Kris Olsson: Arsenal's Next Swedish Star?
We all know that Arsenal's Academy is one of the best in England and always has couple of talented youngsters in it. This season Arsenal have the likes of Zelalem, Crowley, Toral and Olsson. Today we'll be looking at Kristoffer Olsson, Arsenal's Swede who joined the club in 2011 from IFK Norrköping for only £200,000. Before joining Arsenal, Olsson was wanted by many clubs including Juventus, Ajax and IFK Göteborg. Also at the age of 13, Kristoffer was called up on trial by Chelsea but he didn't turn up.
Olsson signed for Arsenal after having two trial periods at the club. While on trial at Arsenal, he played for Arsenal's U16s against Crystal Palace and was invited to take part in the Ferrolli Cup and the Nike Cup as a result of his performances. After signing for Arsenal, Olsson revealed that it was the drive of Arsenal Academy manager, Liam Brady to persuade Arsène Wenger to sign him, which at the end resovled with Wenger signing the youngster.
In his first season he impressed with his composure in possession and excellent passing ability. Also in his first season Olsson struggled to keep hold on to the pace of the English game but with every match he got better. He became more confident and comfortable and he ended his season with numerous assists. After his impressive first season, he continued to play amazing in his second season, where he scored couple of goals but his best contribution to the team were his assists.
Olsson first played for Arsenal during their 2013 pre-season tour to the Far East. He scored his first goal for Arsenal against the Indonesia national football team after a brilliant cross from Tomas Rosicky. Olsson made his full debut for Arsenal on 25 September 2013 as an 84th minute substitute in a League Cup game against West Bromwich Albion. He has also represented Sweden at various youth levels. His style of play has been compared to former Swedish Arsenal players, Fredrik Ljungberg and Sebastian Larsson. He's capable of playing as a playmaker but he can also play in a slightly deeper role in midfield. He's brilliant in making both short and long passes. He's known for his hard-work and determined attitude. Olsson is extremely skilful and really good passer of the ball but this season he's got a different role in the Arsenal U21 team.
I can proudly say that he is the most complete midfielder that Arsenal have in their Academy. He stepped up his game and is playing in the deeper role in midfield, which is the position where Mikel Arteta plays for the first team. After mentioning Arteta, who is in his 30s, Arsenal will need to look over for his future replacement but I think that the right player to replace the Spaniard in this team is our young Swedish talent Kristoffer Olsson. I rate Olsson very highly and he is an Arteta-esque player and my guess is that with one or two short loans just so he can gain little bit experience, he'd be ready to start playing for Arsenal's first team.
Olsson recently rejected loan offers from Ipswich and an unknown League 1 team. Olsson rejected the offers because he thinks he's ready for the first team and he'll talk with Wenger soon. Olsson has described his move to Arsenal as one of his best decisions in his career so far, he loves this club and loves training with the first team. He's not regreting for turning down Chelsea too, he's a Gooner. Don't be surprised if you see him in action against Coventry, hopefully he'll impress you too.
Here is a video of Olsson's performances last season.
Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed it.
Thanks for the photos to Kieran Clarke (@KieranCPhotoAFC) and to Arsenal's official photographers Stuart MacFarlane and David Price and also thanks for the video to Viktor Berglund.
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