Sarpsborg midfielder Kristoffer Zachariassen is, according to website HITC, a close target for Leicester City. The 24 year old former Nest Sotra player is one of many players from this club climbing the league ladders of Norwegian football.
Sarpsborg is a club previously managed by Brian Deane who was the one establishing the club at the highest level during his spell here from 2012 to 2014. Another known face in Norwegian football assisted him, Ian Birchnall. Birchnall originally born in Leicester has been coaching and in management in Norway since assisting Deane at Sarpsborg.
The club who has climbed from their relegation battle positions in previous seasons, are now well established and in the top half of the Norwegian football league, and their knowledge and ability to find talent in lower leagues is amazing.
Their team is based on mostly, former players from the region, returning and coming back to the area, youngsters from the area and players overlooked or released from top clubs at an earlier stage and found in lower semi-professionals clubs.
Zachariassen is a typical Sarpsborg player, spotted at Nest Sotra, in the 2nd tier, and developed to become one of the most promising players in the top flight this season and also making a number of stunning performances in the Europa League.
To see Sarpsborg qualify for the group stages of this competition was a bit like Graham Potter’s Ostersund last season, when the swedes took on Arsenal. Sarpsborg played this season against grand opponents such as Genk and Fenerbahce.
Tobias Heintz (20), one local youngster who also impressed in the Europa League has allready left Sarpsborg in this transfer window and joined Turkish club Kasimpasa. In the Video you can see his amazing goal on Loris Karius, who had to let in two goals against Sarpsborg. We all remember the Karius nightmare in the Champions League, he also had a bit of a problem at Sarpsborg, despite seeing his team as winners in the end.
To see Kristoffer Zachariassen linked with Leicester City is a thrill, and his vision and fast passing forward makes him a player who could set up Jamie Vardy and also himself attacking with great pace. A bit of a surprise, would probably believe that Dutch or Belgian football would be the next step or maybe Rosenborg, and from there step on.
Norwegian international Sigurd Rosted is probably the best example of how talent has flourished at this club, joining from third tier Kjelsås in 2014, playing two season and being sold to Gent, and today a regular in the Norway squad, allready capped five times.
Sarpsborg is a club that picks up the “Jamie Vardy’s” of Norway, and develops them into Norwegian top flight players and makes them sales objects for foreign teams and the top clubs in Norway. Anders Trondsen is a current example, making it to the full international scene as Sarpsborg player and from there being sold to Rosenberg.
Sarpsborg also have a few Danish players in their squad, and they brought forward Senegal U.20 international Krepin Diatta who they sold to Belgian club Brugge. They are not afraid of selling players as they have to to bring revenue in and from that money be smart and find talent for nominal fees in the lower leagues of Norwegian football.