9 Scandinavian players set to take Europe by storm
Robin Quaison (Sweden), 21
Born and raised in one of the poorer suburbs of Stockholm, you sometimes get the feeling you are watching a cross-over between a footballer and a basketball player when Robin Quaison is on song: the powerful, long-legged physique, the skill and the tricks, the directness, and the swagger as well.
But within this analogy, perhaps Quaison’s weaknesses can also be traced: limitations tactically and in his decision-making, leading to ineffectiveness and him too often drifting out of games. But his club, Palermo, are clearly believing in him – he played 19 times in Serie A last year, coming directly from the much weaker Swedish league – and recent evidence (see Javier Pastore, Paulo Dybala) suggests he is at a very good place to take his offensive game to another level.
Pione Sisto (Denmark), 20
The undisputed star of the much-heralded new generation of Danish players is Bayern Munich’s Pierre Höjbjerg. In terms of pure excitement, though, the buzz surrounding FC Midtjylland’s South Sudan-born winger Pione Sisto is hard for anyone to match – watch the clips below of him in action, and you understand why. Remarkable explosiveness and quick feet, instinctive two-footed control, powerful shooting and a strong, elastic physique; Sisto is nothing short of spectacular. Clubs from all the major leagues are following his progress – in England, Everton are believed to be extra keen – and while he is still raw and sometimes lacking in end product, his dogged determination to develop his game (spending as many hours training individually as he does with his club) impresses, and might lead to a bigger club snapping him up soon.