Loan watch: Omar feels right at home
- 09 May 2011 22:35
- Posted by Tim Oscroft
Omar Elabdellaoui is already feeling the benefits of being back in his homeland after just a few weeks of furthering his footballing education with Stromsgodset.
The 19-year-old midfielder is on loan to the club that currently tops the Norwegian Premier Division, but he initially swapped Scandinavia for City when he joined the club's Academy four years ago.
Having moved impressively through the ranks into the Elite Development Squad, Omar missed three months of the English season with an ankle injury but after recovering the club from the town of Drammen, outside Oslo, came calling for the start of their own season in March.
"I've played five games so far, and it's going quite well - we're top of the table!" smiles Omar. "We often play three in midfield and I have taken the defensive role, but I'm also going out onto the right or the left so I'm doing a few different things. My favourite players are David Silva or Iniesta, I'd like to be a bit like them!"
There was a familiar face at Stromsgodset when Omar went back to Norway in Mohammed Abu, a Ghanaian midfielder who was also loaned out after signing his City contract last summer. The pair had become firm friends when Abu first trained with City in 2010, and Omar can see differences in his mate.
"It's been great to meet up with Mohammed again over here. We lived together before, in our digs in Manchester. I think it's good for him as well, because I'm from Norway so I can show him around and how things are here.
He's really improved a lot having been in Norway, he's a much more confident player now.
...Omar on Mohammed
"One of the City scouts always calls me after the games every week to find out how I've done. The management at Stromsgodset have been really good with me too, they knew I was injured earlier this season and they have allowed me to keep on building my fitness. I've had no problems since coming here, they are looking after me well."
Omar's manager in Norway, Ronny Deila, is impressed with what he has seen so far from the youngster, who is in his country's Under 21 squad.
"Omar has worked really hard since coming here," he told mcfc.co.uk "He has a lot of energy, he wants to be the best he can all the time, the thing is to calm him down at times. He'll take time to develop, but it's good that he has this hunger to be the best he can."
Omar replaced Mohammed Abu for the final half-hour of Sunday's draw with Tromso, and he is keen to start more games before his loan deal expires at the start of July
"I just want to play as much football as I can, and help the club still be at the top of the table when I leave. We've had a great start to the season, it's the first time we have been there in 14 years and think we'll do well. It's a young team, but talented. It's more physical here, and there's a greater tempo because I'm playing against men, not boys. Getting first team football is good for me and I think it is helping me develop."
MCFC.co.uk will bring more updates from Omar & Mohammed in the coming weeks.