Midtjylland's Duelund flattered by Premier League links

After a stellar display against Liverpool's youth side for Denmark Under-20, the attacking midfielder has been associated with a switch to Anfield

Mikkel Duelund has admitted that he was "excited" to be linked with several top clubs, including Liverpool, last summer.

The Midtjylland youngster confessed that a major team failed to lure him away from Denmark last summer but would not be drawn on the identity of the team.

However, the Reds were linked with a move for the attacking midfielder after he scored and assisted against their Under-21 team during a friendly in which he played for Denmark U-20.

Duelund, though, says he felt his best option was to remain with the Europa League hopefuls, who meet Manchester United on Thursday.

"I can’t comment on specific names of clubs, but when I learned about the interest of a great club last summer, I got pretty excited and took is as a very nice compliment," he told Goal.

"There has been different rumours linking me to many big clubs, but last summer I was completely sure that I wanted to stay with FC Midtjylland for at least one more year.

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"I was sure that this was the right place for me to stay and play regular first-team senior football at a good domestic level with European games as well. Most importantly, it has allowed me to develop myself.

"At 18 I am well aware of the fact that I need to take some big steps forward to get to the level, where I want to be in the future.”

The 18-year-old has made strong progress in the intervening period. He has been called into the Denmark U-21 training squad and has scored in three competitions for Midtjylland, including a Champions League qualifier.

And while he is content with this progress, he is still hungry for more.

"I have a lot of confidence in myself, and I didn’t want to go abroad to a big club and then maybe risk being pushed back to be playing in a U-19 team again.

"I know I am not the finished article at 18, but I have opened my goal account on senior level and just want to continue down that road."

Midtjylland has proven to be a rich breeding ground for young players in the past, with Winston Reid and Simon Kjaer among the players they have previously developed.