Man United sign Victor Lindelof: Top 10 Swedish players to play in the Premier League

Manchester United have announced the signing of Victor Lindelof from Benfica, their first signing of the summer. The 22-year-old joins a long list of Swedish players to ply their trade in the Premier League.

Lindelof's arrival is a case of one Swede out, one Swede in at Old Trafford, as United recently released Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The 35 year-old can lay claim to being Sweden's greatest-ever player, and he had a stellar season in the Premier League before suffering a torn ACL.

United have also had another player who could arguably be called Sweden's best in Henrik Larsson. The legendary Swede had a three-month loan spell at Old Trafford, and Sir Alex Ferguson says not extending that loan was one of his biggest mistakes.

Freddie Ljungberg set the Premier League alight for Arsenal, becoming a club legend during his 10 years at Highbury and the Emirates Stadium. He also played one season for West Ham.

While Larsson, Zlatan, and Ljungberg thrilled Premier League fans with their exciting attacking play, Sweden has also produced some solid defenders who have graced the Premier League. Olof Mellberg has become an Aston Villa legend, while Jonas Olsson was a stalwart for West Brom.

Check out our list of the top ten players from Sweden to have played in the Premier League in the gallery above.

Where will Lindelof end up on this list when his Old Trafford spell comes to an end?

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Alvaro Morata is set to sign for Man United but how have other Spanish strikers fared in the Premier League?

Alex Rea 10/06/2017
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Manchester United are closing in on the £64 million signing of Real Madrid frontman Alvaro Morata with a four-year deal close to completion.

The 24-year-old will join a whole host of Spanish stars to have made the move to the Premier League but will he make an impact at Old Trafford?

We take a look at three fellow Spanish strikers who were a hit in England and three who were a miss.

HITS

FERNANDO TORRES: Liverpool 2007/11 – £20.3 million

Bought for a then club record fee of £20.3 million in 2007 from Atletico Madrid, Torres quickly took to the hearts of Anfield with a sensational debut season.

He scored 33 times in 46 games as he struck up a telepathic partnership with captain Steven Gerrard.

His following two seasons were punctured by injuries, restricting him to 38 and 32 appearances respectively but he still plundered 39 goals in both.

Rafa Benitez’s departure coupled with a series of broken promises led to his exit in January 2011 as he left for Chelsea in a £50 million deal.

DIEGO COSTA: Chelsea 2014/ – £32 million

The Brazilian-born Chelsea striker qualifies as he is a Spain international and he joins Torres as another successful import from Atletico Madrid

Costa signed for £32 million in 2014 and in just three years he has two Premier League winner’s medals and has League Cup glory to boot as well.

He scored 20 league goals in 26 appearances in his debut campaign as his provocative but predatory prowess made him a nightmare to defend against.

Jose Mourinho’s demise mirrored his own in the following season as he scored just 12 times in the league but he was outstanding for much of Chelsea’s renaissance and ascension to the domestic crown under Antonio Conte as he notched 20 goals.

MICHU: Swansea 2012/15 – £2 million

Gary Lineker described the striker’s £2 million move from Rayo Vallecano to Swansea in 2012 as the “bargain of the century” as his exploits in South Wales once saw him attract interest from the Premier League’s heavy hitters.

The Spaniard scored 22 goals in 43 games in his first to help lift Swansea into ninth in the league while also guiding them to the first piece of silverware in their history as they claimed the League Cup with a win over Bradford.

He started the second season impressively scoring goals in the league and in the Europa League but after making his Spain debut he returned to the Swans injured and his career derailed from there.

Injuries restricted him to just 24 games in all competitions and he was subsequently loaned to Napoli the following season where he turned out only six times as more injury woe reigned over his spell. The 31-year-old is now plying his trade in the Spanish second division with Oviedo.

MISSES

FERNANDO TORRES: Chelsea 2011/15 – £50 million

A Jekyll and Hyde Premier League career sees Torres land on this list as his £50 million switch to Chelsea can be viewed as nothing but a flop – and maybe their worst ever given the exponential fee involved.

He won trophies at Stamford Bridge with FA Cup, Europa League and Champions League success but he never recaptured the formidable form he displayed at Liverpool.

In total, he scored 45 goals in 172 appearances for Chelsea which falls well short of 81 goals in 142 for the Reds. Scarred by persistent injury issues he was never the same threat at Chelsea.

After four years he moved AC Milan on loan before returning to boyhood club Atletico Madrid where at 33 years old he is coming to the end of his career.

ALBERT LUQUE: Newcastle 2005/07 – £9 million

Newcastle’s 2005 summer spending will go down as a black mark in their history as in the same summer Michael Owen arrived for £17 million, so too did Luque for £9 million.

His signing from Deportivo La Coruna was a mess on two parts. First, his dismal spell in the North East was investigated for payment irregularities and then he made only 21 appearances scoring just once, although that did come against rivals Sunderland in a 4-1 win.

Despite operating as a centre forward on the left wing and in a left forward spot, Luque never lived up to his billing as a fast and talented striker and he was sold to Ajax for £2 million in 2007.

He finished his career Malaga after he retired following his release from the Spanish club.

ROBERTO SOLDADO: Tottenham 2013/15 – £26 million

A lack of mental fortitude ultimately saw Soldado flop at Tottenham as he failed to live up to his hefty £26 million switch from Valencia.

The Spaniard scored just 16 goals in 76 games with the North London club, a sharp downturn in form from the 82 times he scored in La Liga from 141 appearances.

A vicious mix of glaring missed chances and managerial mistrust following Andre Villas Boas’ departure four months after his signature, saw him leave White Hart Lane after a disastrous two year spell.

He has reinvented himself at Villarreal though as he become their chief creator since returning to La Liga in 2015.

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Alvaro Morata must arrive at Manchester United from Real Madrid ready to deliver the goods

Andy West 10/06/2017
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If it is to be believed Alvaro Morata is on the brink of joining Manchester United prove to be accurate, the Red Devils will clearly be getting themselves a good player.

Exactly how good, however, is not entirely certain because Morata, despite now being 24 years old, has never really been given the chance to fulfil his undoubted potential.

That, of course, is exactly why he looks likely to be heading for the Bernabeu exit door. Without intending any disrespect towards United, it’s clearly the case that if Morata was getting enough playing time under Zinedine Zidane there’s no way he would be leaving Spain.

But the fact is that Karim Benzema is continuing to block his path to more regular first team football, and looks certain to do so for the foreseeable future.

Benzema is one of club president Florentino Perez’s personal favourites, and also has an excellent relationship with his fellow Frenchman Zidane, which allowed him to retain first choice status despite suffering a sub-par season.

Indeed, there must have been many occasions over the last few months when Morata wondered exactly what had to happen for him to usurp Benzema in Madrid’s starting line-up.

After all, the young Spaniard was playing well and scoring goals, making the most of every opportunity he was given. Benzema, meanwhile, appeared to be affected by his well-documented off-the-pitch problems, dipping into arguably the worst form of his career with games regularly passing him by.

But when the biggest occasions came around – such as both Clasicos and the latter stages of the Champions League – the teamsheet always saw Benzema’s name included, with Morata relegated to the bench.

Morata finished the season with just 14 league starts to his name, but he still managed to outscore Benzema (who started 23 games) by 15 goals to 11. In fact, Morata’s goals per minute ratio was better than any of his teammates, including Cristiano Ronaldo, so his frustration at failing to gain more starts is fully understandable.

This isn’t the first time that Benzema’s stranglehold on a starting place has forced Morata to leave, with the same scenario unfolding three years ago when he made the move to Juventus.

There was always the sense, though, that he could come back from Italy if he proved himself capable of competing for a starting place at the Bernabeu, and his two years in Serie A were really just an extended big-time apprenticeship for a player who, back then, was still a promising youngster.

Even with Juve, however, Morata wasn’t fully trusted and only started 27 league games during his time in Turin, reserving many of his best performance for the European stage as Juve progressed to the 2015 Champions League Final, where Morata scored in the 3-1 defeat to Barcelona.

This time, however, there is a sense of permanence about Morata’s impending departure from his boyhood club and also a sense of no turning back. It’s time for him to prove himself, and shed the ‘one for the future’ tag which has hung around his neck for the last four or five years.

So what kind of player are United getting?

As well as having a good eye for goal, Morata is skilful, has intelligent movement, holds up the ball well and possesses just about enough pace to keep defenders honest.

But he has always looked a little delicate, and the biggest question mark must be whether he will by physically durable enough to withstand the battering he is sure to receive from rugged Premier League defenders and the English game’s lenient referees.

He also needs to show that he is consistent enough to bear the burden of becoming the focal point of the attack for one of the world’s most high-profile teams. At Madrid, he was never given the chance to show that he could handle such pressure, but now his time to shine appears to be coming.

Unlike the departed Zlatan Ibrahimovic and former target Antoine Griezmann, Morata is not yet fully proven at the highest level.

But with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial already within the ranks, United do not need another ‘developing’ player. Morata must arrive at Old Trafford ready to deliver the goods from day one.

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