At the end of the 2022 season — with Molde and BK Häcken claiming the Eliteserien and Allsvenskan titles respec­tive­ly — let’s take a look at the best combined XI from the two Scandinavian leagues

Goalkeeper: Ricardo Friedrich - Kalmar FF

Winner of the Allsvenskan Goalkeeper of the Year award for 2022 and with good reason, the Brazilian stopper made some excellent saves and performed to a high level of consistency in a brilliant year for Kalmar FF. A team we talked about regularly including on an early Wyscout blog*, Kalmar’s possession style under manager Henrik Rydström required a goalkeeper who can not only be an effective shot stopper but also good with the ball at his feet. 29-year-old Ricardo Friedrich fills this brief.

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No keeper in Allsvenskan was more consistent at leaving his line, and Friedrich would act as a proactive keeper coming out to be the last line of defense and also the first line of attack, helping Kalmar push high up the pitch and advance the play. A truly modern goalkeeper.

Left Back: Mohanad Jeahze - Hammarby IF

Despite a turbulent season, in which he was dropped for several weeks after seeking a move away from the club to a bigger league, there can be few doubts Mohanad Jeahze was the best left-back in Sweden in 2022.

Mohanad Jeahze's data via Wyscout Player Report

A player who has developed over many years in Sweden, this was the year Jeahze went to a new level under coach Marti Cifuentes, whose attacking philosophy suits Iraqi international Jeahze perfectly. An offensive full-back who pushes up the pitch, puts crosses in, creates danger and gets assists, Jeahze was the top assist provider in Allsvenskan among all defenders with eight assists in 26 appearances, and also scored three goals for Hammarby.

5.8 crosses per 90 (36.7% successful), 1.39 dribbles per 90 (69.4% successful) and 4.64. interceptions per 90 show his worth and at the end of the season, it was announced that Jeahze will be leaving Sweden to join Wayne Rooney at DC United in MLS.

Center-back: Eirik Haugan - Molde

After suffering relegation with Swedish club Östersunds in 2021, a move to Molde didn’t exactly open too many eyes with high expectations. He has been a brilliant signing though and without a doubt one of the best defenders in the Eliteserien this year. Haugan leads the league with defensive duels, averaging 8.63 per 90 mins and winning an impressive 72.69% of those contests. He is a center-back operating in a back three system and his primary role is simply to win his battles, something which he has clearly demonstrated.

Eirik Haugan's data via Wyscout Player Report

Haugan is very much the enforcer of this Molde defense. He is not an elite technician or a ball-playing defender, nor indeed is he a physical brute relying on strength and height. Haugan is a very good tackler, has strong positional skills and is one of the main reasons why Molde had the best defensive record in Norway this season.

Center-back: Isak Hien - Djurgardens IF / Hellas Verona

Isak Hien left Djurgardens IF in August 2022 and it’s fair to say that this had a massive negative impact on their chase for the Allsvenskan title. He was that good.

The numbers lay it bare. The Stockholm giants averaged 2.36 points per game in the 14 matches he started in 2022, and averaged 1.5 points per game in the 16 games he did not start. His move to Hellas Verona in Serie A was a huge move for him but arguably permanently damaged DIF’s shot at the title.

The defensive solidity Hien brings is obvious - good in the air, excellent along the ground. He averaged 3.57 aerial duels per 90 (60.7% success rate), won 75.3% of his defensive duels and registered an 88.8% pass accuracy. It’s not only the stats, the way he covered ground and his physicality was a level above Allsvenskan. He left Sweden for a fee of roughly €3.4 million Euros - one of the biggest transfers in Allsvenskan history.

Right Back: Martin Linnes - Molde

Capable of playing on either side but predominantly this season used as a right wing-back, Martin Linnes was a big part of the Molde title-winning team. His offensive contributions were at times vital in a year when Molde strongly targeted his side to help make a difference.

Martin Linnes' data via Wyscout Player Report

In terms of statistics, Linnes has just been an excellent all-round player, especially in a creative sense. Compared to other players in his position he ranked 5th most for crosses in the 2022 Eliteserien, averaging 4.49 per 90 mins with very good accuracy of nearly 40%. He was top ranked for deep completions and inside the top ten for deep completed crosses.

He contributed four goals and four assists domestically this year and his experience on the field also can’t be underestimated. Linnes captained Molde nearly a dozen times. His offensive contribution has been key, but he also ranked inside the top 15 for recoveries and counter-pressing recoveries compared to other lateral defenders.

Central Midfield: Sivert Mannsverk - Molde

Signed by Molde in the summer of 2021 from second-tier side Sogndal for roughly £500k, he has become the clear standout defensive midfielder in the Eliteserien. As is often the case for someone of his ilk and position, it can be difficult to stand out statistically. He ranks inside the top ten for recoveries and counter-pressing recoveries, thus enabling Molde to swiftly get the ball back in the middle of the field. Mannsverk has ranked inside the top 30 for progressive runs, progressive passes and also has a respectable average for deep completions.

Sivert Mannsverk's data via Wyscout Player Report

It is unsurprising to see him average a high number of passes per game (54.08) because he’s been the engine in the Molde midfield all season. Some of his best attributes are mental, spatial awareness and positioning skills. At just 20 years old a big future awaits. He only scored one Eliteserien goal all season but did net the winner in the Norwegian cup final victory 1-0 vs Glimt which further demonstrated his ice-cold composure and technique.

Central Midfield: Mikkel Rygaard - BK Häcken

A fundamental part of the story of the season in Sweden as BK Häcken won the league title for the first time in their history, Mikkel Rygaard has to make our team of the season.

Arguably the best midfielder in Sweden, Rygaard was phenomenal at the heart of Häcken's midfield not only in his impact on the field, goals and assists but mainly in his ability to help drive the team to the next level, from a fun-but-ultimately-not-threatening team to a feared force in Allsvenskan, a much more ruthless, efficient, cold-eyed operator.

In a way, it feels unfair to leave Nahir Besara out of this team as he registered 11 goals and 11 assists. But Rygaard was the engine room, clutch in key moments for BK Häcken. He scored 11 goals himself, four assists with an xA (expected assists of 6.6), averaged 2.29 shots per 90, 49.4 passes per 90, 9.3 progressive passes per 90 and 8.45 passes to the final third per 90, weighing in with crucial goals in massive games such as two in the 4-0 win against rivals IFK Goteborg to win the league.

Attacking Midfield: Amahl Pellegrino - Bodø/Glimt

Statistically, his numbers were through the roof yet again. Pellegrino scored 25 Eliteserien goals for Bodø/Glimt and also supplied 10 assists. He is no spring chicken now at the age of 32 but continues to be one of the best technical players in this league and he suits the Bodø/Glimt system perfectly.

Amahl Pellegrino's data via Wyscout Player Report

Pellegrino once again significantly overachieved his xG numbers of 16.93 and is capable of scoring spectacular, unexpected goals. Pellegrino ranked inside the top 30 for his position with various different metrics; overall shots, passes, crosses, shot assists, touches in the penalty area, received passes, progressive passes and recoveries in the final third. He has been an absolute beast in so many different ways.

Attacking Midfield: Hugo Vetlesen - Bodø/Glimt

The 22-year-old attacking midfielder has had a sensational season for Bodø/Glimt. He scored a massive 16 goals and also weighed in with 6 assists domestically. Vetlesen was arguably the best player in the entire Eliteserien for 2022. His overall xG was 9.96, impressively high for a midfielder but also impressive with how he overachieved this metric with some excellent finishing.

Hugo Vetlesen's data via Wyscout Player Report

Vetlesen fired an average of 2.71 shots per 90 mins, the most of anyone who plays in his position in the league. His assist total has been aided by averaging 2.41 deep completions per 90 mins.

Striker: Alexander Jeremejeff - BK Häcken

22 goals in 27 appearances, a goal every 81 minutes, the top scorer in Allsvenskan and the sharp tip that provided the firepower that propelled BK Häcken to their first-ever league title, Alexander Jeremejeff was quite simply exceptional.

Alexander Jeremejeff's data via Wyscout Player Report

The Robert Lewandowski of Allsvenskan, the 29-year-old registered the highest non-penalty goals per 90 and the most shots on target. He scored headers, he scored penalties, he scored with both feet, and he scored important goals. The best striker in Sweden in 2022, closely followed by Marcus Antonsson.

Striker: Casper Tengstedt - Rosenborg

It is remarkable that someone can get into the team of the season who has only been involved for half of the campaign! In the summer of 2022, Rosenborg signed striker Casper Tengstedt from Danish side Horsens for roughly £1m and it has been an inspired piece of business. Incredibly, he scored 15 league goals and also supplied 14 assists in just 14 starts for the Trondheim giants. He has transformed their attack into one of the best in Norway and given them a lethal touch up front.

Casper Tengstedt's data via Wyscout Player Report

Tengstedt has massively overachieved his xG of 7.66 so perhaps nobody should expect such amazing numbers next season. However, his average shots per 90 mins (3.41) suggest that he will keep firing on all cylinders and finding great goalscoring positions. Tengstedt is a great all-around striker who has strong mental, physical, and technical qualities. His positioning is excellent and a cornerstone for his success.

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