Striker hoping to face Manchester United after scoring his first goal for Norwich City U23s

Gassan Ahadme joined Norwich City during the January transfer window Picture: Norwich City FC

Gassan Ahadme joined Norwich City during the January transfer window Picture: Norwich City FC - Credit: Norwich City FC

Two months ago Gassan Ahadme was playing in the third tier of under-18 football in Spain. Tonight the Moroccan striker is hoping to face Manchester United’s under-23s for Norwich City.

After two appearances as a substitute for the young Canaries, the 18-year-old started and scored during a 3-3 draw at Nottingham Forest in the Premier League Cup on Monday, powering home a header from an Alfie Payne corner to put Norwich 2-1 ahead with 20 minutes remaining.

“It was great to score my first goal for the club, it was my first start because I had been out injured because of an arm injury, but I am really happy to get my first start and first goal,” Ahadme said.

“I am enjoying my time here in Norfolk; it’s great to be playing full-time because in Spain I was training three or four days a week, only in the afternoons.

“There are quite a lot of differences, the pitches that we play on have real grass here, even at the smaller grounds. Where I played in Spain, we had artificial grass and so do a lot of the smaller teams.”

City claimed to have beaten off a host of European clubs to sign Ahadme during the final days of the January transfer window,

The teen had been playing for Gimnastic de Manresa, who play in Group Three of the División de Honor Juvenil, the top level of Spanish football’s under-18 league system and compete against youth teams from the likes of Barcelona, Mallorca and Zaragoza.

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“I’m quite tall and am not very quick, so I would say I’m a bit like a target man,” the forward continued. “But I also like to be quick on the floor as well, and use my skills to draw players towards me.

“I like the Brazilian style of play because they are skilful, but I also idolise Cristiano Ronaldo and I see my reflection in him a bit. He works really hard, and has made himself into the player that he is, which is why I really like him.”

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Ahadme will not be gracing his hero’s former stomping ground Old Trafford this evening though, as the Premier League Two encounter is being played at Leigh Sports Village (7pm kick-off).

United’s youngsters sit sixth in Division Two and City are 11th – six points clear of bottom side Sunderland – after heavy defeats to Wolves and West Brom followed a 2-1 home win over Reading at the start of the year, with their PL Cup campaign coming to an end at Forest on Monday.

Speaking to the Canaries’ official website, Ahadme concluded: “I am looking forward to the Manchester United game, they are a big team but we played well against Nottingham and I think we will do the same on Friday.”

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