Top scorer Tobias Lauritsen (24) and midfield talent Joshua Kitolano (20) leave Skien in favor of Sparta Rotterdam.
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That confirms the clubs Thursday night.
– Tobias is a player we have followed for a long time and who has convinced us. He can be valuable as both a play-off point and goal scorer. We know that other clubs have wanted him so we are happy that he chose Sparta, says club director Gerard Nijkamp.
Lauritsen stays in Odd for just over four more weeks before he then joins Sparta where he is ready to play on July 26. The tallest striker is the Skien team’s top scorer with four goals in nine games from the start so far this season.
– It’s extremely delicious. I have always dreamed of playing in Europe and the Netherlands. I am very happy that it has happened, Lauritsen says to VG.
– What was the main reason you chose Sparta?
– I have got a very good impression of the club and always wanted to play in the Netherlands. It is a historic and cool club. So it’s a dream come true. The Dutch league is of great interest with a lot of people in the stands and a league that I feel can suit me well.
At the same time, Lauritsen thinks it will be special to leave Odd, where he was as a young boy before he signed a contract with the A-team in 2018 after a stay in Pors Grenland.
– It will of course be a little strange to leave Odd. It’s going to be both sad and good. I’ll be playing there for another month so I’m looking forward to finishing in style.
Lauritsen is represented by Jack Karadas, while Kitolano has Atta Aneke as agent.
– We have for a long time been actively working to find a good alternative for Tobias abroad. There have been a number of clubs interested. Tobias has already declined any offers. We have long thought that the Netherlands and the Honorary Division will be the right step to take for Tobias. The honorary division is therefore one of the leagues we have had the main focus on in the work of coming up with a good offer for him, says Karadas to VG.
20-year-old Joshua Kitolano is a real Odd product who made his debut on the A-team when he was only 16 years old. Since then, he has played over 100 games in the white jersey. He will be available for Odd until and including the match against Rosenborg on July 30.
– Joshua is a player with great potential, who was on the block for many clubs for good reason. Despite his young age, he already has a lot of experience and he is clearly ready to take a new step. We see Joshua as a big addition, says Sparta director Nijkamp.
Odd is in 12th place in the Eliteserien with four wins and seven losses in the first 11 rounds. Sparta from Rotterdam, which is the Netherlands’ second largest city, finished in 14th place in the Eredivisie last season. 48-year-old Maurice Steijn is the team’s coach.