Another international break nears its conclusion, and clubs, fans and media return to their regularly scheduled programming. For the former, this means assessing which players are in which condition and begin to put into practice the planning that has gone on as the athletes have been away with their national teams. For the latter, it entails filling column inches despite there being little in the way of quotes, performances or narratives to write about.
The end result is always, predictably, that trustworthy old comrade, transfer rumour mongering. Typically, rehashed, recycled, or — with the transfer window still nearly two months away — poorly sourced stories that are unlikely to ever turn the corner and become reality.
Thus, Olaus Jair Skarsem. That seemingly random collection of letters represents a 19-year old midfielder plying his trade at Norwegian champions and hometown club Rosenborg. According to ESPN, the long-haired starlet is wanted by a gaggle of Premier League clubs ahead of the upcoming January transfer window, including Liverpool, Everton, West Ham, Brighton and Leicester.
Which begs the question, why would Liverpool be competing with a selection of mid-tier teams for a 19-year old whose single senior appearance for his club came in the first round of a low-level cup competition, or for the B-side at the fourth level of the Norwegian league system? The answer is that they probably wouldn’t, leaving one to wonder exactly how Liverpool’s name found its way into the reports.
Kitted out in our deerstalker hat, we quickly source the article back to local paper Adresseavisa — which immediately lends an air of authenticity — only to find that that outlet references, you guessed it, papyrus non grata The S*n, perhaps the only source one can be absolutely positive possesses not a single piece of inside info about goings-on at the Merseyside club.
So. No need to get overly excited about this one. Skarsem may yet turn out to be a special talent, and, playing for the best club in the country, is likely to be targeted by scouts from all over the continent, but there is no real indication that Liverpool are in for him at this point.