What Hibernian can expect from Elias Melkersen
Hibernian have added to their attacking options with Norwegian striker Elias Melkersen. Taylor Murray spoke to Antonin Bardin of Nordisk Norvège to get an idea of what the teenager could bring to the Edinburgh club.
On the 5th of January, Hibernian announced the signing of Norwegian striker Elias Melkersen from FK Bodø/Glimt for an undisclosed fee. The 19-year-old was Shaun Maloney’s first signing as Hibs boss, with more additions in Harry Clarke and Ewan Henderson further bolstering his squad, as the former midfielder looks to propel his side higher up the cinch Premiership table.
At just 19 years of age, Melkersen is as much a signing for the future as he is for the present. In his short professional career thus far, he has already shown his composure in front of goal, scoring 19 goals in 29 games in all competitions whilst on loan at Ranheim IL.
There is plenty of excitement in Leith for Melkersen, with fans desperate to see him in Hibs colours for the first time. That said, what type of player is Melkersen exactly? What are his best attributes? And where will he most comfortably fit into Maloney’s system? I spoke to Antonin Bardin of Nordisk Norvège to get a clearer idea of what Melkersen will bring to Hibs.
Q – What type of player will Hibernian be getting in Elias Melkersen?
A – Elias Melkersen can play in any position in attack. He is very complete and has a great capacity of adaptation. This is one of his greatest qualities because he can be used in different ways depending on the opponent. He knows how to take advantage of the small spaces left by the opponent’s defence and he has very good finishing.
Q – With 19 goals in 29 games in all competitions, he seems to know where the back of the net is. How good has he been playing up top for Ranheim IL?
A – Yes, he was very good which earned him a starting place at Ranheim at only 19 years old. His winning mentality is something else. He scored in every position he was used.
Q – Melkersen can play along any of the front free positions. Which would you say is his strongest?
A – Given that his versatility is one of his greatest qualities, it’s pretty hard to give him a specific position, but I would say as a striker. He likes to score goals and he scores them often, so this position suits him perfectly.
Q – At the age of 19, Melkersen is still very young with a lot of potential. How big is his ceiling in football?
A – Personally I think he is even more promising than [Erik] Botheim. He is only 19 years old and yet his quality of play is already very clean, and he has a good mentality. With time he will be able to play for the national team, but the competition is tough with [Alexander] Sørloth and [Erling] Håland. If he succeeds at Hibernian and continues his good performances with the U20s, there is no doubt that he will be a very coveted player in the next few years.
With plenty of praise and excitement surrounding Melkersen in his native Norway, his move to Hibs will provide him with a good challenge, as he adapts to a new league and a new country for the first time. It will be interesting to see how Maloney uses the striker, with the likes of Kevin Nisbet, Christian Doidge, Martin Boyle, Jamie Murphy and Chris Mueller at his disposal. Healthy competition for places will be encouraging for fans to see, however, as Hibs look to push themselves further up the table in the second half of the season.