25 of Scandinavian Football’s Best Young Talents

The January transfer window is just around the corner and teams across Europe will be looking to strengthen their squads for the remainder of the campaign. Some will also be focused on building for the future, perhaps keen on adding young talent. 

Erling Haaland has made the headlines as one of the most coveted players in the world so far this season, while Martin Odegaard has come back into the limelight with his performances for Real Sociedad – giving everyone hope that he has a bright future after he returns to Real Madrid. 

Keeping them in mind, here we look at 25 of the best young footballers from Scandinavia. It might be worth keeping track on them…

25. Mattias Svanberg

Mattias Svanberg

Mattias Svanberg is plying his trade at Serie A club Bologna, and is an important member of their first-team squad. He’s a regular in their team and made 24 appearances in all competitions last season – and he only turns 21 in January.

Svanberg is a stabilising presence in central midfield, and has shown great composure and ability on the ball. 

Given his talent and age, the midfielder – who came to Italy from Malmo – is sure to attract the attention of bigger clubs across Europe in the future.

24. Malte Amundsen

Valentino Lazaro,Malte Amundsen

Malte Amundsen started his career at HB Koge, before joining Norwegian giants Rosenborg in January 2018. They loaned him out for six months before eventually deciding to sell him to Vejle BK in his homeland, Denmark. 

At Vejle, Amundsen has made an impact in attack. The club are currently top of the league and hopeful of securing promotion to the Danish Superliga.

23. Anton Kralj

Anton Kralj currently plays as a left-back for Sanderfjord Fotball in the Norwegian First Division, also known as the OBOS-Ligaen, which is the second-highest level of football in the country. 

The 21-year-old Swede, who also spent time at Malmo FF, has been good this season. As his performances continue to improve, he should be in line for a move in the near future.

22. Aapo Halme

Aapo Halme

Aapo Halme has been a regular for Championship side Barnsley in the 2019/20 season.

Halme is a product of HJK Helsinki and had left them in January 2018 to join Leeds United. After missing a lot of time due to a foot injury, he started to make his presence felt and was part of the first-team squad, making four appearances and earning praise from Marcelo Bielsa. 

The 21-year-old left Leeds to join Barnsley this past summer and has been good for his new team. At 6’5″, he is one of the tallest defenders in the league, and is good on the ball too – allowing him to play in defensive midfield when needed.

21. Alexander Isak

Alexander Isak,Gareth Bale

Alexander Isak was signed by Borussia Dortmund in January 2017, after the striker broke through at the age of 16 for Swedish side AIK. He scored 13 goals in 29 appearances for them, and immediately drew the attention of top clubs across Europe.

After struggling at Dortmund for two years, he secured a loan move to Willem II in the Eredivisie, where he scored 13 goals and provided seven assists in just 16 games. Following his great finish to the campaign, he moved to Real Sociedad, but on a permanent deal. 

Dubbed as the next Zlatan Ibrahimovic, he is being given consistent opportunities to impress as a substitute – it’s only a matter of time before he becomes a starter for them.

20. Edvard Tagseth

U19 Germany v U19 Norway - U19 Four-Nations Tournament

Formerly at Liverpool, the 18-year-old moved back to Norway to join heavyweights Rosenborg after failing to agree a deal with the Merseyside club. 

Tagseth is a versatile, hard-working, left-footed midfielder, who can get his hands dirty for the team, as well as go forward due to his ability on the ball.

19. Onni Valakari

The 20-year-old attacking midfielder was the shining light in what was otherwise a disappointing league campaign for Tromso. He scored seven goals and created another in the 2019/20 season. 

Given his attacking abilities and his young age, it is just a matter of time before teams from the bigger leagues in Europe show interest in signing him.

18. Simon Marklund

The 20-year-old has shown signs of developing into a player who could perform well at the highest level in the last year. Having made his debut in the Swedish top division at the age of 16, the attacking midfielder has now played in the first three tiers to get more experience.

Moving to Kongsvinger in the Norwegian second division, Marklund made seven goal contributions in 28 appearances last season, leading them to fifth position – their highest ever finish in the league.

17. Jorgen Strand Larsen

KRC Genk v Sarpsborg 08 - UEFA Europa League - Group I

The 19-year-old striker is currently plying his trade at Norwegian top division side Sarpsborg 08 FF. He helped them avoid relegation and stay in the division with his four goals and three assists. 

Larsen also spent a year on loan at AC Milan with their U-21 team, as the Italian giants had identified him as player with great potential who could develop into a leading striker in the future.

16. Leo Väisänen

Leo Väisänen has had an interesting journey in his football career so far, helping RoPS secure their highest ever finish of second in the premier division of Finnish football (Veikkausliiga). After impressing for RoPS, he joined Dutch side Den Bosch in August 2018. 

The 22-year-old central defender has been an integral part of the Dutch second tier side, and was key to them securing a fourth-place finish in the Eerste Divisie last season. His performances have been noticed by bigger teams in Europe and are likely to lead to a move for him soon.

Väisänen would be hoping to follow in his brother, Sauli’s footsteps, who plays for Serie B side, Chievo Verona.

15. Joel Asoro

Dutch Eredivisie"Fc Groningen v Feyenoord Rotterdam"

Still only 20, Asoro has experienced a turbulent time in his club career so far, going through some highs and some lows. Initially a target for some of Europe’s biggest clubs, the striker eventually joined Sunderland in 2015, aged 16.

Asoro became the Black Cats’ youngest ever Premier League player when he made his debut as a substitute in August 2016, at the age of 17. He scored three goals and assisted two while playing for them in the Championship in the 2017/18 season. 

He moved to Swansea for the 2018/19 campaign, but failed to get settled, only providing two assists. The striker has now moved to Groningen in the Eredivisie, where he is slowly getting back to his best.

14. Marko Johansson

Marko Johansson is considered to be one of the most talented young goalkeepers in Sweden. Being Swedish, he is of Macedonian origin, which makes him eligible for both countries. 

Known to be very confident, Johansson has had a noticeable season at his current club GAIS, where he was sent on loan by Swedish giants Malmö FF.

At GAIS, he has enjoyed first-team action and helped them avoid relegation in the Swedish Superettan. Malmö have already called him back from his loan spell in order to prepare for the upcoming season.

13. Victor Jensen

Victor Jensen

Playing for Jong Ajax, Victor Jensen has shown himself to be a talented winger and has regularly contributed goals.

Jensen also made his debut for the Denmark U-19 in 2019. Still only 19, he will definitely be a part of the Ajax team in the future.

12. Julian Faye Lund

A Norwegian goalkeeper, Julian Faye Lund has been labeled as one of the most exciting young goalkeepers in his country. After showing great potential as a youngster at hometown club Oppsal IF, he was quickly signed by Norwegian powerhouse Rosenborg BK in 2015.

Despite his young age, he is considered to be mature beyond his years, which saw him get loaned out to recently promoted side Mjondalen IF. After a tough season in the Norwegian Eliteserien, the 20-year-old helped his team avoid relegation and stay in the top division.

11. Lassi Lappalainen

Lassi Lappalainen

Lassi Lappalainen has made great strides at a very young age, and is one of the best prospects to come out of Finland in recent years. 

The 21-year-old left winger, who can also play as a forward, is currently plying his trade at Montreal Impact in Major League Soccer. Lappalainen is on loan at the Canadian club from Serie A side Bologna, who signed him in the summer of 2019. 

He scored three goals for HJK Helsinki back home in Finland in the 2018/19 season and added to that tally with five goals in MLS.

10. Martin Kuittinen

Martin Kuittinen, who can play both as a winger and a wing-back, holds both Finnish and Polish passports. 

A youth product of La Liga club Real Valladolid CF, the pacy winger moved to Portuguese side S.U Sintrense in search of regular first-team football. After spending two years in Portugal, he was linked with Östersunds FK, who were the favourites to sign him. 

However he eventually signed for Icelandic side Vikingur Olafsvik on a short-term deal, where he managed to impress by scoring two and assisting five goals – which constituted 25% of his team’s total goals in that period. 

Kuittinen is being followed by Portuguese Primera Liga sides, for a possible return to the country.

9. Alfons Sampsted

Sampsted is a right-sided defender for Swedish side IFK Norrköping and has recently gained a lot attention, becoming one of the Icelandic prospects for the future. Having a long term contract with the Swedish club, he has come very close to becoming a first-choice option under the management of Jens Gustafsson.

Norrköping, who finished fifth this season in the Swedish Allsvenskan, loaned him out to his home club Breidablik Kópavogur for more experience.

If he continues to progress as he is, he could become an important part of IFK Norrköping.

8. Mathias Bringaker

Bringaker is a Norwegian striker playing currently for IK Start. 

Though not the tallest, his strength and goalscoring ability stand out. He scored seven goals and provided three assists for IK Start last season. 

Bringaker came through the Eliteserien side Viking FK, but moved to Start to play regularly, and has made remarkable progress. If he can repeat his good performances next season, he is likely to gain a move to a club outside the country for the first time.

7. Dejan Kulusevski

Dejan Kulusevski,Theo Hernandez

The 19-year-old attacking midfielder has been extremely impressive for Parma on loan from Atalanta. He has been an integral part of his team’s early season form, as they sit in eighth position in the table.

Kulusevski is now attracting the interest of teams like Juventus and Inter in Italy, while Premier League giants like Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal have been linked with him too.

His work rate, ability to create and score goals and dribbling are all strong facets of his game. Kulusevski recently also made his senior debut for Sweden and should be a part of Euro 2020.

6. Nikolai Laursen

Dutch Eredivisie"VVV Venlo v FC Emmen"

Talented Danish striker Nikolai Laursen joined Eredivisie side FC Emmen in the summer of 2019 after spending the last four years with Jong PSV – the reserve side of PSV Eindhoven. 

A product of the famous Danish club Brondby IF, Laursen has been consistently involved in the 2019/20 Dutch league for Emmen. Tall and lanky, the 21-year-old would be hoping to add to his burgeoning reputation in 2020 to secure a move to a bigger club.

5. Jacob Bruun Larsen

Jacob Bruun Larsen

The 21-year-old Danish winger has been at Borussia Dortmund for four years now and has made it to the first-team. He has been a regular squad member in all competitions this season for Dortmund.

Larsen also made his senior debut for Denmark in 2019 and will be an important member of their team going forward.

4. Sander Berge

Sander Berge,Naby Keita

Sander Berge is a talented defensive midfielder, who reads the game very well, showing great composure on the ball and the ability to sense danger. 

Berge’s dribbling is an underrated facet of his game that allows him to contribute in attack effectively. A tidy player, the 21-year-old has been linked with the likes of Napoli and Liverpool, with Genk holding onto their priced asset for the moment. 

He has already made 20 appearances for the Norwegian national team and is a key player for them.

3. Mohamed Daramy

Mohamed Daramy has already made 19 appearances in all competitions in the 2019/20 season for FC Copenhagen, and contributed one goal and three assists. 

Though his parents come from Sierra Leone and he holds a Sierra Leonean passport, the 17-year-old has said that he would like to play for Denmark. 

Daramy has interest in his services from both Celtic and Liverpool.

2. Martin Odegaard

Martin Odegaard

The Norwegian prodigy has been playing in Europe’s biggest leagues since the age of 16, having been signed by Real Madrid in January 2015. He has since spent multiple spells on loan honing his talent.

Known for his composure on the ball, great vision and eye for goal, Odegaard has been extremely impressive for Real Sociedad in the opening months of the season in La Liga. 

Odegaard found it tough in his initial years at Real, playing for Castilla and struggling on loan for two years at Heerenveen. However, his career really kicked off on loan at Vitesse Arnhem in the 2018/19 season, as he scored 11 goals and provided 12 assists, helping them finish sixth in the Eredivisie. 

He has been La Real’s most important player this season, and has become a crucial member of the Norway side that will be part of the Euro 2020 play-offs in March 2020.

1. Erling Braut Haaland

FC Flyeralarm Admira v FC Red Bull Salzburg - tipico Bundesliga

The hottest young talent being talked about in the transfer market currently is Norwegian striker Erling Braut Haaland. The Red Bull Salzburg man has been in incredible goalscoring form in the Austrian Bundesliga.

However, what has caught the attention of teams all over Europe have been his performances in the Champions League. 

At just 19, Haaland’s game has a lot of room to develop and yet, he is being linked with the biggest clubs in the world, with Manchester United, Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund and Barcelona expressing most interest. 

Having played under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Molde, many believe that the Red Devils are in the driver’s seat for his signature. 

Looking at 25 of the best young Scandinavian footballers in the world


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