Sivert Heltne Nilsen earns Ryan Jack comparison as Aberdeen FC fans given inside scoop by ex Dons teammate

Sivert Heltne Nilsen
-Credit: (Image: Daily Record)

Aberdeen fans have been told that their new signing Sivert Heltne Nilsen is of a similar ilk to former Pittodrie captain Ryan Jack and that he can often become a 'bit crazy' on the pitch.

The experienced midfielder is new Dons boss Jimmy Thelin’s fourth signing at Pittodrie after a deal worth around £300,000 was struck with top-flight Norwegian club Brann. Heltne Nilsen – who played under Thelin for two years at Elfsborg in Sweden – has penned a three-year deal in the Granite City and the Reds are hopeful that he can make his debut for the club in their Premier Sports Cup opener against Queen of the South on Saturday.

As well as Brann and Elfsborg, the 32-year old also turned out for fellow Norwegian sides Odd and Valerenga as well as two years in Denmark with AC Horsens and a short stint with Belgium’s Waasland-Beveren. In the 2020 season, the all-action midfielder featured 23 times in Thelin’s Elfsborg team that finished as runners-up to Malmo in the Allsvenskan. Heltne Jensen also won two caps for Norway at U-23 level and captained Brann to glory in the domestic cup last year.

But it was during his first spell with the Bergen-based club between 2015 and 2018 that he was in the same team as Faroe Islands international Gilli Rolantsson, a player who spent four years in Aberdeen’s youth academy. Winger Rolantsson was on the club’s books between 2007 and 2011, and although he failed to make a first team appearance at Pittodrie, played alongside the likes of ex Rangers star Jack, Scotland international Ryan Fraser, Clark Robertson and Fraser Fyvie at youth level.

The 31-year-old reckons Heltne Nilsen’s strong leadership credentials will make him slot right in at Pittodrie and even compared him to Jack, who left Aberdeen for bitter rivals Rangers back in 2017. In an exclusive chat with Record Sport, he said: “Sivert is a top leader than would fit in any team. You just can’t find people like him everywhere. Aberdeen is a big club in Scotland, and he reminds me a bit of former teammate Ryan Jack.

"He is tough, works hard every day and is a bit crazy on the pitch as well! So overall it is a good deal for Aberdeen. Sivert has got a big heart, and the fans will love him because he plays with so much passion on the field.

Gilli Rolantsson (left) challenges Spain's  Isco back in a Euro 2020 qualifier
Gilli Rolantsson (left) challenges Spain's Isco back in a Euro 2020 qualifier -Credit:AFP via Getty Images

Rolantsson - who has won 66 caps for his country and faced off against the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Sergio Ramos and Pepe at international level – is back at his first professional Tvoroyrar Boltfelag after leaving Danish side Vejle Boldklub last year. Despite his advancing years, Rolantsson is confident his old teammate Heltne Nilsen can make a big impression in Aberdeen colours.

He added: “100 per cent. I think it will be no problem at all. He is one of those guys that is taking good care off his body. I think he will do a good job there for sure.”