Mats Daehli would have made his way back to British shores in January determined to prove a point to those who doubted that he could make it at a Premier League level.
Having been allowed to leave Manchester United in 2013, the Norwegian midfielder headed home to be reunited with his former Old Trafford academy coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
United inserted a clause in the deal to take Daehli to Molde offering them first refusal on any future transfer, but it was Solskjaer who took the 19-year-old with him to Cardiff City after being charged with the task of preserving the Bluebirds’ top-flight status.
He failed in that challenge, struggled to get to grips with life in the Championship and was relieved of his duties in September.
Daehli has also found the going tough in South Wales, with seven second tier starts made in 2014/15.
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The vast majority of those came under Solskjaer’s tutelage and it has been suggested that the youngster will look to move on in the New Year, 12 months into a two-and-a-half-year contract.
Current Cardiff boss Russell Slade is, however, prepared to wipe the slate clean and offer Daehli the opportunities he craves if he proves deserving of them.
He said: “Mats is a very talented young player no doubt about that.
“Of course he has a future here, to be honest for one reason or another we’ve not seen enough of him since we’ve been here to make a proper assessment of him.
“The first thing you want to see is the attitude and desire from the player. That’s important. The other factor has been his hip injury. It’s being aggravated by his gait, by the way the lad runs. It is something that definitely needs to be solved moving forward.”
Given that Daehli did speak with United prior to signing for Cardiff, there would appear to be plenty of potential still to be unlocked.
He really should be flourishing in the English second tier, allowing him to nail down a role with the senior Norway side and pave the way for another step up in class at some stage in the near future.
For now, though, he has hit a career brick wall and must find the right tools to clear his path, possibly with the assistance of Slade, if he is to become the player United and Solskjaer believe he can be.