DAVID SMITH - Thursday, August 11, 2016
American attacker Jeremy Ebobisse will not be receiving a contract offer from Danish club SønderjyskE, as stated by team officials this week.
The 19 year-old forward joined the reigning Danish runners-up for a trial run last week, as the team gears up for a full season which could also include a full spate of Europa League games.
While they did not feel that he would fill any of their needs in the short-term, SønderjyskE sporting director Hans Jørgen Haysen did have positive words of praise for the USA U-20 standout.
"Jeremy is a great guy with a future ahead of him," Haysen stated to local media. "We knew very well that he is a player for the future but we hoped nevertheless that he was a little further since he has also played on the U20 national team."
"But he is clearly one we should watch out for due to his great speed and an amazing explosive force, so if he can get out and play some matches somewhere, he can be really exciting."
While still eligible to play for his college team Duke for another two seasons, it is clear from the steady stream of recent trials that he is putting a priority on landing a professional opportunity in Europe. This likely means that more are around the immediate corner, particularly with most teams across all divisions in Europe still in the final weeks of stocking up their rosters for the 2016/17 season.
Rather than limit his view to typically recognized top-tier destinations such as the upper two divisions in England or Germany, his tendency thus far to focus on seemingly "smaller" leagues such as the Danish Superliga or France's second tier could prove to be fortuitous if he is determined to make the jump overseas.
His highly-touted potential has clearly been demonstrated in his most recent season at Duke as well as through leading-man performances with the US U-20 squad in the Dallas Cup and NTC Invitations. He remains, however, a raw talent who needs a competitive, professional team environment with a steady stream of games in order to have the best chance to grow into his full capacity as a player.
In this regard, MLS may have made his path a more direct one by overlooking him when selecting their latest Generation Adidas class, thereby removing one of the most alluring options for promising players in their first few years of college.
Going the route of fellow Americans such as Charlie Davies, Alejandro Bedoya or Ethan Horvath, and heading to a lower-profile country like Sweden or Denmark could pay off in a similar manner by giving him a consistent level and intensity of competition, on a day-to-day basis, which absent from the college game.
The question is now whether his talents will be enough turn the heads of another European team in the coming weeks, wherever they may be, or if his decision will be delayed until early-2017 following the completion of the upcoming college season.
Since Duke begins their 2016 competitive schedule in exactly two weeks, with a pair of warm-up exhibitions in between, the picture will become clear very soon.