PLAYER PROFILE - KRISTOFFER OLSSON, MIDFIELDER, 17
The young Swedish midfielder joined us 2 years ago from IFK Norrkopings. Liam Brady watched him play in Sweden and was sufficiently impressed that he invited Kris to Arsenal for a trial. Olsson did very well and we signed him for a nominal fee shortly after. This past summer he put pen to paper for his first professional papers. He celebrated that contract and his 17th birthday by making his senior debut in pre-season as we won the Markus Liebhrr Cup at Southampton.
Olsson started his career as a defensive midfielder or a deep-lying playmaker in the mold of Andrea Pirlo and Pep Guardiola or closer to home, like Arteta. But in the last year, Kris has been converted to a natural No.10. With his technical ability, quickness, close control and ability to spot a pass, Olsson has taken to the position change with aplomb. He’s been a key member of the reserves playing in the hole behind the striker showing great movement, vision and creativity.
He scored against Norwich U-21s yesterday as he continued his good form this season. Chuba Akpom called Olsson a dream to play with the best player in the reserves. The right-footed Swede idolizes Zinedine Zidane, Cesc Fabregas and Jack Wilshere. He’s modeled his game after them and it’s evident in his fluid pass and move attacking style when he’s on the ball. Olsson is yet another gem in a good batch of exciting young players that is about to make a significant impression at Arsenal.
Kris is probably a year or so from being in the first team mix. After all, he’s only just been promoted to the reserves this season. And at only 17, he has a lot of time to make his mark with us. Olsson needs to bulk up, adapt to the pace of the senior game and show more decisiveness in the final third. He’s exhibited rapid growth in the last year and if he continues on this trajectory, a loan spell next season will be the final part of his progression before he pushes himself into Wenger’s plans.
At the moment, he’s doing all the right things with the U-21s. Olsson is hoping to make a similar impact to former Swedish Gunner legend Freddie Ljungberg. They might not play in the same position but they share a similar fondness for some crazy hair! And Kris isn’t opposed to dying his flame red either! We might have a new cult hero on our hands.
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