Isak Hansen-Aarøen has 36 youth international appearances with Norway. - © IMAGO/MARIUS SIMENSEN
Isak Hansen-Aarøen has 36 youth international appearances with Norway. - © IMAGO/MARIUS SIMENSEN

Isak Hansen-Aarøen: Who is Werder Bremen's winter signing from Manchester United?


Werder Bremen have bolstered their ranks with the signing of Isak Hansen-Aarøen from Manchester United, but what else is there to know about the prodigiously talented Norwegian?

Data correct as of 3 February 2024

Isak Hansen-Aarøen

Age: 19 (born 22 August 2004)
Club: Werder Bremen
Attacking midfielder
Norway (capped to U21 level)

Key stats and facts

Hansen-Aarøen joined Bremen on the final day of the winter transfer window, but unlike Tahith Chong's move from Man Utd to the Weserstadion three years ago his move is permanent, the Norway U21 midfielder signing a four-year contract.

It remains to be seen when the youngster will make his Grün-Weißen debut, but his short career history thus far suggests he won't have to wait long at all.

Hansen-Aarøen was born in Tromsø in 2004, and, already a part of his local club's youth side, took part in the Manchester United Soccer Schools World Skills Final having been ranked one of the five best youngsters in the Nordic region at the age of 10.

Five years later and he was making his top flight debut for Tromsø, playing the final minutes of a 2-0 win at Kongsvinger. At 15 years, 10 months and 15 days of age, he was and is the youngest player ever to turn out for the club.

Two months after that and United snapped him up, reportedly fending off competition from Liverpool and Everton. Although he never broke into their first team, Hansen-Aarøen contributed eight goals and 10 assists to their academy teams, and won the FA Youth Cup in 2022.

Plays a bit like: Naby Keïta

Eighteen direct goal-involvements from 84 academy games at United might not be too intimidating a return on initial inspection, but Hansen-Aarøen was developed as a string-pulling midfielder in the Paul Scholes mould at the Trafford Training Centre, with smart touches around the corner and an ability to play the 'pass before the pass'. Stylistically, he isn't too different from new Bremen teammate Naby Keïta.

Did you know? 

Hansen-Aarøen is an avid fan of crime-thriller movies, and body art. The butterfly tattoo on his neck might be the most immediately striking, but the new Bremen man has artwork dedicated to film classics such as Pulp Fiction and the Dark Knight adorning his body.

What they're saying

"Moving to Werder is the right step for me. I’m happy to have the opportunity to play in the Bundesliga for such a big club." - Hansen-Aarøen on completing his move

"Isak's a very exciting talent with great potential. We're very happy that we managed to convince him of his sporting prospects with us. His contract in England would have expired in the summer and he would've aroused even more interest. It's all the better that we've already been able to sign him." - Bremen sporting director Clemens Fritz

"Isak's technically well trained, is good at keeping possession and a good understanding of the game. He brings a lot to the table, but we also see a lot of development opportunities with him." - Ole Werner on his new player