Alexander Isak of Sweden

Sweden’s Future Looks Bright Thanks to 4 Young & Electric Attackers

The March international break usually gives national team managers the opportunity to experiment with their squad, with the set of fixtures often just friendlies.

Sadly for Sweden, they failed to qualify for Euro 2024, and whilst they had a tough group, which included Belgium and Austria, it certainly could be perceived as a failure on their count. Thus, former head coach Janne Andersson decided it was ultimately the right time to step down from his post.

The Swedish FA turned to former Blackburn Rovers manager Jon Dahl Tomasson as their new man in the dugout. Hailing from Denmark’s capital Copenhagen, Tomasson is the first non-Swedish manager to take charge of the national team for over 50 years.

Tomasson had a hugely successful playing career at both club and international level. He made 112 caps for his country, scoring 52 times, and won several major honours at club level including the 2002/03 Champions League with AC Milan under Carlo Ancelotti. The Dane can certainly lean on this experience as he looks to guide Sweden to better prospects over the next two years.

Tomasson is blessed with some talent and experience in his Sweden squad. His first selection includes Manchester United’s Victor Lindelof, who will retain captaincy, and the vastly experienced Emil Forsberg, capped 86 times for his country so far.

However, it is his attacking options that are catching the eye of many Sweden fans and neutrals alike, in particular, the quartet Tomasson has seemingly decided will be his first choice in the immediate future. Namely, they are Nottingham Forest’s Anthony Elanga, Alexander Isak of Newcastle United, Spurs winger Dejan Kulusevski, and one of the world’s deadliest strikers, Victor Gyokeres of Sporting Lisbon.

These four attackers at Tomasson’s disposal could come together to create one of the most dangerous attacking quartets in international football. They each have different strengths, which complement each other well and create a great balance in attack for Blågult.

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Sweden’s 4 Attackers to Lead Them Into the Future

Anthony Elanga

Elanga is one of the most dangerous players in transition in the Premier League. He is lightning-fast and very strong, and when he is running at full pace is very hard to stop. Nottingham Forest have hurt teams a few times on the counter-attack this season, with Elanga spearheading that.

He is a superb dribbler and uses his burst of pace in tight areas to get away from a defender and create a goalscoring opportunity. Elanga is the kind of player who does not need lots of touches to have a major impact on the game. He is composed in front of goal and especially likes to cut inside from whichever wing he is playing on and finish in the far corner.

The former Manchester United winger is enjoying a fine season at the City Ground. He has the most assists amongst Forest players in the Premier League, with seven, and his 12 goals and assists combined are also better than any teammate. He is certainly a potent weapon for Tomasson at international level.

Alexander Isak

Previously, Newcastle’s number 14 has had comparisons to the great Thierry Henry, and this extends further than just wearing the same iconic shirt number. Isak has a tall frame but is a superb dribbler. He can slalom in and out of defenders, making it look so easy.

The 24-year-old’s assist against Everton last season was a perfect example, changing direction with ease and gliding past several Everton defenders, all while keeping close control of the ball. It was a superb piece of play from Isak.

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Deployed both out wide and as a number nine under Eddie Howe at St James’ Park, it seems like Tomasson could well use Isak as a second striker for Sweden, just behind Victor Gyokeres. This could well lead to new a partnership blossoming between the two Swedish forwards.

Dejan Kulusevski

A very different type of winger to Elanga, Tottenham man Kulusevski excels in the half-space on the right-hand side, often starting wide and driving inside to look for a shot or a whipped cross into the penalty area.

He has a very good relationship with Spurs full-back Pedro Porro, and they create good rotations on the right-hand side. Porro sometimes overlaps and holds the width, allowing Kulusevski to operate in the half-space he excels in, or underlaps and entrusts Kulusevski to stay wider.

Kulusevski’s creative skill in the final third makes him a very dangerous weapon for Tomasson and Sweden. The 23-year-old is a crafty player, who sees passes others often would not and can unlock defences with a clever through ball in behind the opposition defence. He has created 10 big chances for Spurs this season and will be hoping to carry over such impressive output to the national team.

Victor Gyokeres

There are not many strikers in Europe at the moment who are as deadly as Sporting Lisbon’s talisman Victor Gyokeres. The 25-year-old is having an exemplary season under Sporting manager Ruben Amorim and has been touted with a move away in the summer, with at least one club likely to activate his €100 million release clause.

Gyokeres is strong, with his hold-up play being a notable part of his game. He is superb with his back to goal and is confident dropping deeper to help link play up and facilitate runners in behind, showing a creative side to his game. The Sporting man has 10 assists in Liga Portugal this season.

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However, most importantly, he is a superb goalscorer. Gyokeres has scored 22 goals in the league, and five in the Europa League in 33 games in all competitions. He is superb inside the box, and his powerful frame helps him to get away from defenders easily and finish from all angles. He is a complete centre forward.

Patience Is Key

The important thing to remember with Tomasson’s new-look Sweden attack is that it might take a bit of time to build up the relationships between each other. Whilst they will no doubt look to hit the ground running against Portugal on Friday, it might necessarily not click yet.

However, this is not a negative. Time is on their side. Of the four players discussed here, Gyokeres is the oldest, and he is only 25. There is no great rush, and full focus should be on qualifying for the 2026 World Cup and developing a team good enough to do well in the USA, Mexico and Canada.

Patience is key with this new-look Sweden attack, although you would be forgiven for wanting to watch them in action immediately. It is the start of an exciting new era, and Tomasson genuinely has some of the most exciting attackers in Europe at his disposal. Time will tell just how good they will be, but it is certainly a front four to keep an eye on during the international break.

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