Ranking the 9 best-ever Scandinavian Prem players as Haaland joins Man City

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There is little doubt new Manchester City signing Erling Haaland has the potential to overcome the likes of Peter Schmeichel and Freddie Ljungberg take the crown of the best ever Scandinavian in Premier League history.

The £51million man comes with an outstanding reputation in front of goal having bagged an astounding 86 goals in 89 matches for Borussia Dortmund.

The 21-year-old has already credited Pep Guardiola as a motivating factor in switching the Westfalenstadion for the Etihad with the belief that the City boss can somehow wield him into an even greater goalscoring force. For Man City, the hope is that Haaland's arrival can end their Champions League hoodoo.

Despite boasting one of the best squads in world football, the Cityzens have fallen short in lifting the 'Old Big Ears' trophy – both Haaland and City are desperate to put that right in the 2022/23 campaign.

If the Norwegian can replicate his successes abroad, there is no question he will go down as one of the greatest Scandinavian stars to have graced the Premier League. But until then, Daily Star Sport brings you the current top nine…

9. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg

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Hojberg's tough-tackling nature and dominant presence saw Southampton fork out £12.8million to bring him to Saint Mary's from Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich in 2016, and he instantly became the beating heart of the south coast side.

His menacing midfield nature was blindingly obvious to the Premier League elite by the time Ralph Hasenhuttl appointed him club captain in 2018, though there were some doubts surrounding his £15m move to Tottenham at the start of the 2020/21 season.

But two years later, Hojbjerg has silenced the doubters, featuring in all but two top-flight matches for the north Londoners since his arrival. Now gearing up for his first Champions League campaign Hojbjerg's stock continues to rise.

8. Seb Larsson

Enjoying nine stellar seasons in the Premier League, Larsson's remarkable dead-ball ability was the envy of the top-flight – ex-Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger once claimed he was "maybe the best in the league as a free-kick-taker."

Also part of the famous Birmingham City side that defeated the Gunners in the 2011 League Cup final, Larsson racked up 26 goals and 26 assists during his time in the second city, sweeping up almost every honour in the 2007/08 club awards.

The Swedish international was named City's Player of the Year and Player's Player of the Year while also scooping up the trophy for Goal of the Season.

Larsson transferred to Sunderland in 2011 on a free transfer and also endeared himself to the Stadium of Light faithful with some incredible individual displays.

7. Morten Gamst Pedersen

Signed by Graeme Souness ahead of the 2004/05 season, Gamst Pedersen racked up 47 goals during his nine-year love affair at Ewood Park.

Known for his constant appearances on Match of the Day's Goal of the Month, thousands of football fans tuned in each week just to catch a glimpse of the wonders from Pedersen's left boot.

Now aged 40, Pedersen plays in the Norwegian second division for Alta, where he still reps his iconic no.12 shirt.

6. John Arne Riise

Continuing the theme of Scandinavians possessing cultured left feet, John Arne Riise had defenders cowering every time he lined one up from distance.

The Liverpool cult hero wrote himself into Anfield folklore for his devastating last-minute winner against Manchester United, which was recorded at a staggering 70mph – almost taking the net off.

Such was his ability to whack a ball, Riise somehow managed to break the leg of Man United midfielder Alan Smith when he attempted to charge down one of his shots – ouch!

5. Christian Eriksen

The lynchpin in Tottenham's creative output for nigh on a decade, Eriksen's sizzling performances had Spurs vying for an unlikely Premier League title in the 2015/16 season – however, the north Londoners pulled a 'typical Tottenham' and finished third in a two-horse race.

The Danish international also lead the club to a first Champions League final, but more silverware heartbreak saw him leave the club in pursuit of trophies, signing for Antonio Conte at Inter Milan.

At the San Siro, Eriksen helped the club to a first scudetto in 11 years before suffering a cardiac arrest at Euro 2020. Unable to return to Serie A due to league regulations, Eriksen joined Premier League newcomers Brentford for the remainder of the 2021/22 campaign.

The 30-year-old is now linked with a fairy-tale return to Tottenham or a move to Man United following the expiration of his contract.

4. Kasper Schmeichel

Part of Leicester City's historic title-winning team, Schmeichel has proved himself as one of the Premier League's best shot-stoppers during his eight-year stint in the English top-flight.

The Dane also aided the Foxes to a first-ever FA Cup last term and is also in the top 20 goalkeepers for Premier League clean sheets.

Though he still has some work to do if he is to succeed his dad in our rankings.

3. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

While it all went pear-shaped for the baby-faced assassin at Manchester United this season, his legacy at Old Trafford is still undoubtedly intact.

Netting one of the most famous goals in Man Utd's history, Solskjaer's last-minute winner against Bayern Munich earned the Red Devils the title of European champions and they are still the only club in English football to have recorded the treble of League, European Cup and FA Cup.

Registering an incredible 126 goals for the Red Devils, Solskjaer's status as a club legend and a Premier league icon is unblemished.

2. Freddie Ljungberg

10 years a Premier League legend, Ljungberg burst onto the scene with a debut goal in a 3-0 win against Man United and it didn't take long for the Swede to win the hearts of the Arsenal fans.

Sporting his now-emblematic red mohawk, Ljungberg won two Premier League titles and three FA Cups during his time in north London and was part of the Gunners' historic 2004 'Invincibles' side.

The 45-year-old is a five-time Swedish Midfielder of the Year winner but just misses out on the no.1 spot.

1. Peter Schmeichel

There was only ever going to be one winner – a five-time Premier League champion, a three-time FA Cup winner and also part of Man United's treble-winning 1999 team, the greatest ever Scandinavian is unquestionably Peter Schmeichel.

Featuring in the inaugural 1992/93 campaign, Schmeichel spent a further six seasons at Old Trafford where he won the lot before joining Sporting Lisbon.

After also claiming the Portuguese league title, the Dane returned for two more seasons in the Premier League with Aston Villa and Manchester City, finishing his career in England with 128 clean sheets – just 47 to beat dad then, Kasper.

  • Premier League
  • Manchester City FC
  • Erling Haaland

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