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Friday, 06 January 2012

Could these youngsters from Scandinavia be transfer targets for Premier League clubs?


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Sqf Scandi

Last time out I reported on the transfer speculation surrounding Ajax's young Danish talent Christian Eriksen. While nothing has yet happened regarding a move by Manchester United, or any of the other mega-clubs supposedly watching him, we would do well to remember that he is still only 19 and despite 20 senior caps is still eligible for the U-21 side.

This week I'm taking a look at some of the other young Scandinavian talents who have already left their homelands but could be on the way to even bigger and better things.

Håvard Nordveidt - Borussia Moenchengladbach

The 21-year-old Norwegian defensive midfielder's talent was spotted at an early age. He became Haugesund's youngest ever first team player at the age of 16 years and two months, going on to play in 10 league games, before Arsene Wenger let some moths and £500,000 out of his wallet to take the young man to London in July 2007 while still just 17.

He played in a pre-season game against Barnet and was named captain of the reserve side in 2007-08. In August 2008 he went to UD Salamanca on loan and then to Lillestrøm in his homeland in March 2009 making 17 league appearances.

In July of the same year he signed a one-year loan deal with Nurnberg of the Bundesliga and went on to make 19 league appearances and attract the attention of Borussia Moenchengladbach who duly signed him for £800,000 in December 2010. He started for the first time against old club Nurnberg in January 2011 and has become a regular starter (32 starts so far) for the club currently fourth in the Bundesliga. Along the way he has made 20 U-21 appearances for Norway as well as two full caps.

Fredrik Sørensen - Juventus

19-year-old Danish defender Sørensen has had a meteoric rise to the Juventus first team. He broke into top-team football after signing for Lyngby in 2007 and was whisked off to Turin for a trial with Juventus on August 27 2010 while still only 18. He was successful and was a member of Juventus' Primavera (youth) Team for the 2010-11 season. 

A series of injuries to first-team players saw him called up for his top-team debut against Bologna at right-back, going on to make a number of appearances including an amazing performance at centre-back in the Derby D'Italia against Internazionale where he snuffed Samuel Eto'o out of the game. On the back of these performances he signed a four-year deal with 'The Grand Old Lady' on May 10 2011.

Yet to play for the full Danish national side he has played at every other level and his first cap can't be far away.

Rasmus Jønsson - VfL Wolfsburg

Sweden's 21-year-old striker Jønsson made his first-team breakthrough as an 18-year-old in 2008 playing alongside the legendary Henrik Larsson for Helsingborgs in his homeland. His Helsingborgs career peaked when he scored the only goal of the 2010 Swedish Cup Final against Hammarby.

During the summer transfer window the next season he was snapped up by VfL Wolfsburg on a four-year deal making his debut soon after in a Bundesliga match versus Schalke 04 setting up Mario Mandzukic's second goal. To date he has played eight league matches for the Gelsenkirchen giants and has amassed 11 caps for the Swedish U-21 side and two full caps.

Nicolai Boilesen - Ajax

19-year-old former Manchester United target Boilesen is a left-back/centre back with Ajax who began his career in Brøndby's youth team whom he joined in 2004 at the age of 12. As his contract with the Copenhagen side neared its end he trained with Manchester United and was reputedly being tracked by a number of top clubs before deciding on a move to Amsterdam on a free transfer following the advice of fellow Dane Christian Eriksen.

He has yet to establish himself as a regular starter for Ajax but has played seven games for the first-team this season including a Champions League scoreless draw against Olympique Lyonnais and several Eredivisie matches.

Boilesen has played at every level for Denmark including winning two full caps. With his current contract up at the end of June 2013 he will be looking to push on and gain a new deal with Ajax or to put himself in the window for a transfer so expect to hear more about this young man.

These are just a few of the young Scandinavian players who have caught the eyes of coaches and fans outwith their native countries. There are more where they came from such as Daniel Wass (Benfica/Evian/Denmark), John Guidetti (Man City/Feyenoord/Sweden), Marcus Pedersen (Vitesse Arnhem/Norway) and many more talented youngsters still learning their trade in the domestic leagues so the future looks bright for the Scandos.

Article by Iain Macfadzean

Related Articles:

Is Danish Wonderkid Christian Eriksen set to join Manchester United?

Scandinavian Spotlight: Small Countries with Big Ambitions

Scandinavian Spotlight: FC Copenhagen on top as attendances continue to rise

Scandinavian Spotlight: Europa League Places Decided and Tough Euro 2012 Drawa

Final Week in Norway, FCK lose Derby and Transfer Talk

Denmark the only international winners, Zlatan and back to domestic tussles

Three times the fun for Helsingborgs

Scandinavian Spotlight: Molde clinch title, cup finals loom and European failure

Elfsborg clinch third as FC Copenhagen suffer a dip in form

What next for the loveable Sven-Goran Eriksson?

Euro finals berth for both Denmark and Sweden

Iain turns his attention on champions elect Molde

Helingborgs secure Swedish title and world records in Norway

Can Molde hold on to the dream?

Title beckons in Norway and Sweden

Happy days for the Danes

Can Norway see off their main rivals?

How do the small clubs survive

It's all hotting up in the north

Will Europe throw up any major shocks this season?

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