Eintracht Frankfurt have moved quickly to snap up 18-year-old Swedish midfielder Hugo Larsson, but who is the talented teenager and what makes him tick? bundesliga.com explores...
Club: Eintracht Frankfurt (as of 1 July 2023)
Country: Sweden (1 cap)
Hugo Emanuel Larsson was born 27 June 2004 in Svarte, a locality in Sweden's Ystad Municipality, which runs along the country's coastline. His footballing journey began at local club SoGK Charlo before, aged just 12, he joined the youth ranks of record Swedish champions Malmo in 2016. He went on to make his professional debut for the club in the Swedish cup on 20 February 2022 and quickly made an impression. So much so that the then 17-year-old played a crucial role in the final as Malmo lifted the Svenska Cupen for the 15th time in their history.
Larsson was a first-team regular by the time the 2022 top-flight season came around, featuring in all but three of his side's 30 league games that season. He got his first taste of European football in four UEFA Champions League qualifying ties in July 2022, before four further UEFA Europa League qualifiers that eventually took Malmo into last season's group stages. There, Larsson played in five of Malmo's six matches, including two defeats to Union Berlin. He leaves his homeland having represented the country's most successful club 59 times, scoring twice in the process. Larsson made a total of 12 youth appearances for his country from U17 to U21 level, before making the step up to the national team in January 2023. He was named in the starting line-up in the 2-0 friendly win over Finland, earning his first senior Sweden cap.
Plays a bit like: Rodri
By trade, Larsson is most comfortable at the base of midfield, protecting his defence. As well as an expert breaker-up-of-play, Larsson also has the technical ability to break lines and thread killer through balls. Larsson's 6'1" frame gives him great presence and his athleticism is eye-catching, underlined by his rapid turn of pace - a unique trait for a player often seen shielding those further back and one which suggests the 18-year-old could easily play as either a No.6 or No.8.
There are shades of Spanish holding midfielder Rodri in Larsson's game, while his close control and skilfulness also has notes of Rodri's Manchester City teammate Kevin de Bruyne, who once starred for both Werder Bremen and Wolfsburg in Germany's top tier. It's a combination for Eintracht and Sweden fans to get excited about.
Did you know?
Larsson could have ended up at Chelsea, having previously trialled with the team he called his "favourite club". Despite impressing in London, though, Larsson didn't extend his stay with the Blues, later explaining that he believed his development was better served at Malmo.
“It’s clear that it was a great experience to go and play with Chelsea," he recalled. "I trained with the team and also got to go to a tournament in Belgium. I also scored a goal. [The move] was a little too early. I did not think it would happen so fast. For me, it was better to continue my development at home, at Malmo. I want to break through at Malmo first before I go abroad.”
What they're saying
“Hugo Larsson is a young and already established midfielder with enormous potential, and who will strengthen our squad... We’ll build him up and help him to take his next steps. We’re convinced that he will provide us with lots of excitement in the future.” - Frankfurt board member for sport Markus Krösche
“Hugo already creates a very mature impression and will be a perfect fit for our team, both on the pitch and in terms of his personality. We’re delighted that Hugo has decided to join Eintracht Frankfurt and we will give him all the time he needs to adapt to life in the Bundesliga.” - Frankfurt sporting director Timmo Hardung
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