In this series, we take a look at some of the most interesting young talents in the world of football. Next up is BK Häcken’s 20-year old winger Patrik Walemark.

He is a player that creates danger almost every time he gets the ball. A player who has come on leaps and bounds this season, rising from a known prospect to arguably the most in-form player in the league. And he is a player who is certain to have huge interest from clubs outside Sweden at the end of this season due to the dazzling nature of his performances.

He is Patrik Wålemark and you may want to get to know him as he is likely to be a player you hear more about in the years to come.

Wålemark turned 20 in October but has already made a big impact at BK Häcken, a club who were expected to challenge for the Allsvenskan title this year but have flattered to deceive and are set for a mid-table finish. The Gothenburg-based club have several impressive young talents - Leo Bengtsson, Benie Traore and Ali Youssef among them. But it is Wålemark who has been most influential this season, rising to become the team’s talisman and arguably their best player.

Patrik Walemark's Wyscout Report

Patrik Wålemark started his career at Qviding in Swedish football’s third tier. Just a few years ago he was playing for the club’s youth team, but he made a rapid rise from Qviding’s junior team to the first team, scoring 12 goals before signing for BK Häcken in January 2020. Wålemark comes from a football family - his father Jens played for another big Gothenburg side, GAIS, in the 1990s while his uncles Jorgen and Bosse were both key players in helping Ljungskile rise through the divisions.

On his first start for Häcken in July 2020, the young Swede immediately made headlines with a brilliant free-kick and three assists against Elfsborg in a 6-0 win. You knew then that Wålemark had a bit of magic about him. He ended his debut season at the top level of Swedish football with three goals and five assists from 21 league games played.

This season though, Wålemark has stepped up a level in style. Averaging 2.91 shots per 90 - 9th best in Allsvenskan according to Wyscout data - and with the joint third-highest number of dribbles of any player in the league (175 - averaging 8.21 per 90 minutes), Wålemark has simply gone up a gear. At the time of writing, he has nine goals and eight assists from 27 league games - averaging a goal contribution every 143 minutes played.

Patrik Walemark's shot chart from Wyscout Player Report

For BK Häcken Wålemark tends to play as a right-sided forward or just off the striker in a number 10 role. He is positionally quite versatile, but many of his best moments have come when receiving the ball on the half turn in wide or central areas and breaking through the lines to run at defenders, play through balls or crack a shot at goal.

Patrik Walemark's dribbles chart from Wyscout Player Report

Though he is not what you would call an out-and-out, traditional winger, some of his actions are quite similar in style to the legendary Arjen Robben. Wålemark loves to dribble down the right side, cut in towards the area onto his left foot and unleash a shot on goal.

He does not possess Robben’s speed or directness, he is more Mesut Ozil-like in the way he glides past players and beats them with a drop of the shoulder or a piece of nonchalant skill. But if you give him time and space on that left foot anywhere near the penalty area you are in trouble. Every single goal he has scored for Häcken has been on his left foot.

In recent months in Allsvenskan, the youngster has almost been unplayable, leading his manager Per-Matias Høgmo to describe Wålemark as “truly one of the greatest talents in Swedish football in a long, long time.”

“As a coach, it is fun to see a player who develops as fast as he does,” said the BK Häcken manager in November about his recent form. “He has started to gain the physique - which makes him start more than last spring, has an extreme competence in dribbling past opponents easily, while he can also feint away from them away in one v one duels - and then he has a surgical left foot that can both assist and score goals.”

“He has taken enormous steps and I really believe that he can become Sweden's best player in the future.”

Wålemark’s form has seen him called up to Sweden’s Under-21 side, where he scored against Bosnia-Herzegovina in a recent 4-0 win. He has had an interest for a while from clubs abroad but this season that has ratcheted up a notch. At a recent game against Degerfors scouts from AS Monaco, Ajax, Atalanta, Anderlecht, Sampdoria, Sassuolo and Girondins Bordeaux all turned up to see him, according to Göteborgs-Posten.

Averaging 0.42 goals per 90 (ranked joint 11th in the league, minimum 600 minutes played), 0.28 assists per 90 (top 10) and 0.42 key passes per 90 Patrik Wålemark is enjoying his football, and may soon be ready for the next level outside Sweden.

“(After the season ends) you have to sit down and see if there is something that feels right,” Wålemark has said, taking everything in his stride. “That's what's most important. Otherwise, I do not mind staying until next summer or so.”

The 20-year-old is not in a rush to leave, but if he keeps this form up Häcken may end up receiving an offer they can’t refuse.

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