Name: Leo Ostigard
Club: Brighton & Hove Albion
Date of Birth: 28 November 1999
Leo Ostigard – his career so far
Leo Skiri Ostigard is a 20-year-old Norwegian defender who’s currently plying his trade over in Germany at FC St. Pauli, on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion. Even though he was a regular part of the Seagulls’ U23 squad, the young centre-back had to further his development and find more first-team chances in Germany’s second tier.
But his footballing venture began back in home in Norway where he penned a three-year contract with Molde, joining the team’s youth system in 2017 and then advancing through their ranks. But ahead of the 2018/19 campaign, having not featured nearly as much as he probably wanted to, he was sent out on loan to Viking FK, where he managed to impress, featuring 13 times as a very young lad.
Shortly after that loan spell came to a close, Ostigard was then scooped up by Brighton in August 2018, initially penning a deal that would bind him to their U23s on a three-year contract.
The young central defender made 12 appearances in the Premier League 2 Division 1 during his debut season in 2018/19, scoring twice in their big 4-2 victory against West Ham United in December 2018, which ended up being his only goals for the squad.
But that was not the end of his journey as another loan was just around the corner in 2019/20 and Ostigard then joined the German outfit in the second tier. Since then, he has made a total of 21 appearances, starting 18 of the 20 games in 2. Bundesliga and only missing some due to an injury early in the season and not making the squad on one other occasion.
Even though he is yet to make a senior appearance for his parent club, the future does seem bright for the young Norwegian talent who’s still at the very beginning of his career.
The biggest piece of Brighton news around Ostigard is probably his future at the German club and the details around his contract in regards to all the outside circumstances amidst the recent outbreak. We still don’t know whether he’ll return to his parent club in the summer or will his loan deal be extended as a direct result of everything that’s been happening in the world.
But some transfer rumours at the end of last year did indicate St. Pauli were quite eager to keep Ostigard in their squad as they’ve been really impressed by his performances. The youngster has been a regular in the squad, as we’ve seen from the stats above, and could stay there to ensure his development.
It should also be noted that he was singled out on numerous occasions by some reputable outlets like Kicker and France Football for being a youngster to keep an eye on in the future.
In some other Brighton news, the club’s football chief Dan Ashworth recently came out with a statement that several young talents at the club could be ready for the upcoming Euros, Ostigard included.
The 20-year-old is captaining Norway’s U21 squad and could soon be ready for a step up.
Ostigard is the type of defender who seems very comfortable on the ball and also quite able to cover both sides of the defensive line quite well. Upon analysing his heatmap for the 2019/20 season at St. Pauli, we can see that he tends to step forward and be in possession rather high up the pitch for a centre-back.
This could well play into Potter’s hand if he is to demand that style of play with the build-up starting all the way from the back at Brighton. Ostigard is quite good at winning duels, recording a 75% success rate in all defensive ones and winning 67.2% of his 8.77 aerial duels per 90 minutes in 2019/20.
His aggressive nature can also be seen in 6.61 interceptions and 14.51 recoveries per 90 minutes in 2019/20, with 9.9% of the latter happening in the opposition’s half.
With 85.9% passing accuracy, 46.8 short passes and 8.24 long passes per game, he does seem to have all the requirements of a modern centre-back.
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