DRAMMEN (VG) In 2019, Håkon Evjen swept the Elite Series and was named Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year. This season he has more playing time at the U21 team than at AZ Alkmaar.
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– I came to AZ to play football and nothing else, so it is clearly a boring situation, says Håkon Evjen.
Follow the Norway U21 team on Friday: 18.00 Norway-Finland, qualifier for the European Under-21 Championship, live on VG + Sport – with transmission from 17.35.
In 2019, Evjen played big for the Eliteserien in his first season as a fixture at Kjetil Knutsen’s Bodø / Glimt. With 13 goals and 6 assists, he was both the top scorer and top scorer for the Glimt team, which finished second in the table that season.
Was Rewarded with Young Player of the Year and Player of the Year awards in the Elite Series 2019:
February 1Photo: Fredrik Hagen
The ravages at Norway’s highest level sparked interest beyond the country’s borders, and the following winter was Evjen sold for a record sum to the first Dutch club AZ of Alkmaar.
But since then, the up arrow has changed course:
– There have been many ups and downs. Perhaps more downward than upward, Evjen tells VG and elaborates:
– It was a bad time to go abroad, since the “crown” struck immediately. Also, there have been players that were going to be sold that I would take over, but then they weren’t sold anyway.
In his nearly two years at the Dutch club, the 21-year-old from Narvik has received 28 appearances in all tournaments in the AZ jersey, but only four matches since the beginning.
This season, he actually has more playing minutes in the two U21 team meetings than in the club team in total. But now the place in the starting eleven of the U21 team may also be in jeopardy:
– The situation of your club has been demanding for quite some time. At the same time, Evjen is a type of player where fitness is not an issue. He is very “easy to train” and is so agile even if he plays 90 minutes all the time or not. But it’s also a bit about his pace and form, and his choice and technique, where we now notice that he suffers a bit from not getting the development we could have had, says U21 manager Leif Gunnar Smerud.
– Does that mean that he is coming out of the starting eleven ?, asks VG.
– We’ll see. But it is clear that the competition here is very good for places, and over time you will not be able to maintain a place in our national team if you do not have a certain number of minutes to play at the club, Smerud replied the day before. VG + Sport broadcast the match against Finland.
A deal that will otherwise be very important for Norway’s Under-21 team if they want to qualify for the European Under-21 Championship.
Return to the Elite Series?
After a year and a half with little playing time in Holland, it was natural to imagine that Evjen would possibly move this summer. It did not happen.
– It’s been a bit of a back and forth with a lot of different clubs, Evjen admits that he doesn’t want to go into specifically who has sniffed out the former Bodø / Glimt player.
– Does that mean AZ said no to other clubs that loved you?
– Yes. They have faith in me and I respect that. AZ has said no to absolutely everything that has happened in the last two years. But there comes a time when it is not enough, because if they say they have faith in me and want to prove it, then they almost have to start doing it, Evjen responds to VG.
The left-handed playmaker is open to wanting more playtime in the future, and that may mean they have to take a new step.
– All I know is that I want to play soccer and I have not had so many opportunities in AZ.
– Is the Eliteserien relevant to you if AZ said it’s okay for you to go in January?
– Yes, I want to play soccer. So it will be exciting to see if it will be here in Norway or abroad. Of course, I hope to play in AZ and show what I’m good at there. I hope it happens first, but you never know.