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When Mats Møller Dæhli arrived on loan from SC Freiburg during the 2016/17 winter break, it didn't take him long to dribble his way into the supporters' hearts. Another loan deal and season later, the Norwegian is now a fully fledged member of the St. Pauli squad. In this conversation with us, he revealed how happy he is about making his move a permanent one.

"I feel it's the right decision," said Mats Møller Dæhli, delighted to be back in Hamburg again for the start of the 2018/19 campaign. The clamour for the fleet-footed Norwegian to stay at the Millerntor when his loan from SC Freiburg ran out at the end of last season was emphatic, especially among the fans. "Hierbleiben" ["Stay Here"] was the chant that rang around the ground after his official send-off before the final home game against Arminia Bielefeld. No sooner said than done.

Though his schedule took him away on international duty at the end of the season and then on holiday back home in Norway, there was only one place the 23-year-old wanted to be. "I was desperate to return to St. Pauli because they're the best thing for me at the moment," he said. "My national coach also advised me to take this step. I have more chances to play at St. Pauli and apart from that the club is simply very close to my heart. The support of the fans and the atmosphere at the Millerntor is outstanding."

Møller Dæhli has set himself three targets for the new campaign. "I want to score more goals, provide more assists and spend less time off the pitch," he said. The St. Pauli No14 missed several games due to injury last term and this is something he'll be working on during the summer break. "I've already started and will be doing more strength training in future to reduce the risk of getting injured. My goal is to play through an entire season."


Photos: FC St. Pauli