BODØ (VG) Despite the great interest from abroad, Fredrik Bjørkan (23) has remained in Bodø / Glimt. This fall’s golden match and the European adventure will probably be the last thing the Bodø boy does in the Glimt suit this time.
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– I can feel this is the right time to take the next step, says Bodø / Glimt’s left-back after Friday’s training session in Aspmyra.
In just a few years, Fredrik Bjørkan has become one of Norway’s best sponsors. It seems highly unlikely that the 23-year-old will remain at Bodø / Glimt when his contract expires at the end of December.
With less than six months left on his contract, he is free to negotiate with other clubs, and there is no shortage of interested parties.
– What I have thought the most when it comes to a new club is that it is a club that adapts to me and my strengths more than country or league. I want to join a team and a project that I believe in, where I can help the team and improve. I think if you want to thrive abroad, you have to make it happen, says Bjørkan, who delivered this magnificent goal last season:
VG has previously mentioned that Olympiakos came close to picking up the left-back in October last year. In January, among others Sparta Prague turned down an offer, and as recently as this summer, several clubs were willing to pay double-digit numbers for Bjørkan, who has a contract with Glimt for the remainder of the season.
– There has been a lot of interest for quite some time, not just from one club or league, but from different clubs in different countries. Now it’s about making the right decision, says the player’s agent, Atta Aneke.
Bodø / Glimt CEO Frode Thomassen has not yet responded to VG’s inquiry. In January, he said that Bjørkan was “ready for bigger tasks” when asked if it was relevant to extend:
– Glimt has had every right to reject offers. That is incredibly difficult and a must-do assessment. But a football career is very short, so when great opportunities come, you almost have to seize them, says Bjørkan himself.
VG reaches the mighty hill the day after merchants sometimes devastated the Ukrainian Zorya Luhansk.
– The atmosphere and the pressure yesterday … Winning our first group match in Europe is very difficult for a club like Glimt, says Bjørkan after the 3-1 victory.
The match was another highlight for Bodø / Glimt after the somewhat incredible 2020 season, where Jens Petter Hauge was sold to Milan after devastating the San Siro. This fall two games await him against José Mourinho and Roma.
– You know that if you play well against Roma, you show that you can handle that level, that you have the opportunity to act there as well. It’s not certain that Milan would have bought Jens Petter if he hadn’t swept there, says Bjørkan.
In tune with Glimt’s development, Fredrik Bjørkan has also taken steps. Not many years ago he struggled with injuries and he himself says that “it was not written in the stars” that neither he nor the team should succeed so well.
– I have much more confidence in the player that I am. The experience you bring from each game helps, you recognize the situations and I think I have become a much smarter player.
Now he is devastating Bodø / Glimt so much that he has had a place on the national team.
– We won’t be back for many years before it was completely unlikely to me. Taking the experience of training with world-class players, learning what they do, and watching it is incredibly rewarding. The motivation to take new steps does not diminish.
Against Gibraltar, he got his first round in a counted international match.
– Playing in Ullevaal was completely raw, then I got goose bumps. Then I got more nervous than I had been for a long time, says Bjørkan about the jump.
– What does Ståle Solbakken say about you and your future in the national team?
– I perceive it as very positive. I’ve gotten to the middle of some of the collections a bit, and he has said that I have to put my body in order. I totally agree.
The left-back stretched out earlier in the season and is doing what he can to prevent it from happening again.
– The fights come so close that it is difficult to focus on one area. It is about strengthening it so that it can resist more stress. It goes beyond the game and increases the risk of injury. The most important thing for me is to stay healthy so I can take new steps, he says.
Bodø / Glimt face Alta in the cup on Wednesday. Then Vålerenga comes to visit this weekend, before a very important away game against CSKA Sofia awaits him in the Conference League.