IT TAKES something for a defender to overshadow a striker who scores nine goals in one match.

But Leo Ostigard appears to have managed it.

The Norwegian defender tends to be the Albion prospect who goes under the radar when the under-23s are discussed.

He probably doesn’t get the headlines enjoyed by goal-getters Aaron Connolly and Viktor Gyokeres, Irish international captain Jayson Molumby or even fellow defender Ben White, who has now joined Leeds on loan.

So he might have expected the same to happen at the recent Under-20s World Cup in Poland when Erling Haland scored nine times in Norway’s 12-0 win over Honduras.

Instead, it was Ostigard – who scored the third goal of that game – who was picked out by hugely respected magazine France Football as one of ten players from the tournament to keep an eye on.

The piece read: “For the Norwegians, it is tempting to remember Erling Haland, top scorer in the competition with nine goals. The problem, they were all scored against a puppet opponent, Honduras.

“Rather than this striker, it’s more worthwhile taking an interest in central defender Leo Ostigard, who has a classic profile (solid in duels on the ground and in the air) but also has real keenness in his passing. Capable of extremely precise long balls, something which shows real technical ability, Ostigard is remaining patient in the antechamber at Brighton, waiting to debut in a Premier League which seems made to measure for him. Or maybe it’s the other way around…”

Norway went home after the group stage, having already lost to Uruguay and New Zealand before the goal rush against Honduras.

But the future appears bright for Ostigard, who travelled on a few occasions with Albion last season.

In a recent interview with Norwegian media, he said: “It’s been exciting, I’ve been there for one year and learned a lot.

“When you come to such a club, it is important that you spend some time and learn the culture and such things.

“Now I have played many games on the under-23s team and done well there, and there are many Premier League players who have gone through the same school.

“I realise people (in Norway) are reacting to (only) playing under-23s but I haven’t become a worse player for being there for one year.

“I know I’ve made a good choice.”

Ostigard, pictured, who signed a three-year contract with Albion last summer, said a loan could now be the logical step for him.

Going into the World Cup, he was open to a deal back in Norway, where he previously played for Molde under the management of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

But performances in Poland might have changed the game for him now.

He added of a loan deal: “That’s the plan I had when I went to Brighton.

“Where to? There are many leagues that may be relevant. You have the Bundesliga 2, the Netherlands, divisions in England, there are several options.

“If I make a bad World Cup, maybe the Eliteserien (in Norway) is the only place I get offers from.

“I will definitely play at the best level I have the opportunity but I haven’t thought about it yet.

“We need to figure out what’s right for me and where I get to play.

“I’m very aware that I have to play matches.”

Ostigard, who turns 20 in November, looked a very assured player during Albion’s comeback to draw 2-2 at Peterborough in last season’s Checkatrade Trophy.

By that stage he was getting over what the Norwegians call “temposjokk”, a great word for being shocked by the speed of English football.

He said: “Eventually you manage to take to the level and many of them here are nice people who take care of you.

“But you also get tested a bit. You can’t get there and be afraid, then you’ve lost.

“Getting that experience has been worth gold to me.”

Ostigard was on the bench for Albion when they played Derby County in the FA Cup last season.

It is likely he will be seen again in pre-season before any loan plans come to fruition.

Who knows? Nine-goal Haland, a powerfully built forward who plays for Red Bull Salzburg, may go on to be the bigger name.

But Ostigard is catching a few eyes.