As we get closer to the new Eliteserien and Allsvenskan 2024 season, let’s take a look at some of the most promising talents that you should follow in Scandinavian football this year.
Sverre Nypan – Rosenborg Midfielder
One of Norway’s hottest young prospects just turned 17 during the winter break and is primed for a big 2024 at Rosenborg. Sverre Nypan burst onto the scene during the 2023 campaign and looks set for a big future. He actually started the last two games of the 2022 season as a 15-year-old, so the writing was on the wall early. Nypan was always earmarked as a wonderkid. He’s now completed over 1500 minutes in the most recent Eliteserien campaign and could be a key man for Rosenborg very soon.
It’s very early in his career but two great players he is often compared to are Luka Modric and of course Norway’s very own Martin Odegaard. Nypan has brilliant technical ability along with specific physical attributes such as excellent agility and balance which make him an ideal advanced playmaker. He's often been used at Rosenborg on the left-hand side of a midfield trio which is perhaps best described as an inside Mezzala type of role. He is right footed so naturally tends to drift inside.
Two of his best skills are dribbling and ball progression. He has nearly a 74% rate of keeping possession following a dribble and went on to take a shot after nearly a fifth of those attempts. His 71% accuracy for ball progression also stands out, especially in the 30-40m range. Nypan clearly has an unusually high footballing IQ for such a young player and his decision-making and the mental part of his game is where he is well above most of his peers. Nypan is not a secret anymore and all of Europe's top clubs will be following his campaign at Rosenborg with major interest.
Filip Jørgensen – Odd BK Attacker
Odd BK have a very talented young attacker in their squad. Filip Jørgensen has progressed at an increased rate in the last year and is right up there with some of the most talented players in the Eliteserien of his age group. Jørgensen actually started off life more as a central midfielder, or even a defensive midfielder in a more deep-lying playmaker role. His strong vision and eye for a pass was evident early on in his career. He has progressed to play further up the field and his most prominent role this season has been on the left wing as an inside forward.
Jørgensen might even develop into a shadow striker type of player and operate more centrally. What was evident as the season got beyond the summer was his improved finishing ability and decision-making with chances. Jorgensen shot 39 times during the 2023 Eliteserien campaign and on average each attempt had a 0.21 xG, which is really high. He was getting into some really good scoring positions which is encouraging. Jorgensen underachieved his xG of 9.38 in the last calendar year but this is an area of his game that is only going to get better.
Versatility is one of Filip Jørgensen’s big strengths. He looks like the sort of player who can play anywhere in midfield or attack. At some stage, he might have to nail down a more specific role, but he can play on either wing and has been making moves to play more central as well. It will be interesting to see what plans Odd BK have for him in the 2024 season. If he continues to catch the eye, then he is a major candidate to move in the summer transfer window due to his high upside.
Vetle Walle Egeli – Sandefjord Left Back
Sandefjord are not a club famed for a top-class youth academy in Norway compared to the likes of Stabaek, Rosenborg or Lillestrom. But they have been fortunate enough to have two brothers pass through their ranks in recent years. They lost the younger player, Sindre Walle Egeli to Danish club FC Nordsjaelland, but have absolutely made the most of his elder sibling Vetle Walle Egeli who was one of the best fullbacks last season in the Norwegian Eliteserien. He actually got minutes at senior level in the two previous campaigns, but his minutes were restricted. Heading into 2023 there were high expectations as one of the youngsters/players to watch, and he didn’t disappoint.
The best part of his gameplay and metrics were with the defensive side of things. Compared to other defenders of a similar type, Egeli ranked in the top 20 for recoveries, counter-pressing recoveries and defensive duels. His 64.2% success with defensive duels especially stands out as an impressive stat. However, it must be remembered that the team he played for were involved in the relegation battle all season and were underdogs in most fixtures. In a side like that, it can sometimes be tough to showcase a full skill set.
It might be time for him to move to a better team and he will be a major candidate to transfer somewhere before the start of the Scandinavian season. He looks like a tremendous prospect though with some very solid groundwork with the defensive aspects of his game and plenty of room to grow offensively. Egeli has been operating mostly as a left back and his strong foot is on that side. However, he has played on the right-hand side as well and could easily develop into an inverted fullback with the right coaching. The future looks promising.
Viktor Dukanovic – Hammarby Attacker
Stockholm club Hammarby endured a mediocre season with little to shout about and even lost their manager Marti Cifuentes at the end of the campaign to English Championship side QPR. The brightest light of their 2023 campaign was the brilliant form of their young Montenegrin winger Viktor Dukanovic. Hammarby acquired him from Buducnost Podgorica last January for a sum of around £1m, which is quite a sizable fee for any Allsvenskan team. He hasn’t disappointed, netting 11 times in the league, and dazzling with his technical skills.
There’s no doubt at just 20 years old, Dukanovic is one of the top young talents in the Swedish top flight. The role he plays best can be described as inside forward cutting in from the left wing. He is far from a traditional wide player but has strong dribbling and ball-carrying skills which leads him into a position to score goals. He was the joint-third top scorer in the Allsvenskan for 2023 with 11 goals from an xG of just 5.86. Key to his success was a high shot rate of 4.15 per 90 mins. He backs himself to score from a distance and is capable of delivering special goals.
Ranking inside the top six for offensive duels, dribbles and progressive passes, this is a player who is often heavily involved in the Hammarby attack. Dukanovic is not afraid to get stuck in physically and this is an area he can only get stronger with in the future as he gets older. His type of role suits most teams now and he looks set for a big move to mainstream Europe at some stage in the next 12 months. Hammarby would love a full season out of him, but he will be on the radar of several clubs heading into the summer.