He's a goalscoring midfielder who is leading Mainz's charge away from the relegation zone, but who exactly is Sweden international Robin Quaison?
bundesliga.com sheds some light on the gifted attacker...
Position: Attacking midfield
Country: Sweden (15 caps, 7 goals)
A Stockholm native, Quaison has been kicking a ball around for as long as he can remember and joined the youth academy at local club AIK in 2000 at the age of seven. He was loaned to feeder team Vasby United at the age of 17 in 2011, scoring eight goals in 17 outings in the Swedish third division. That convinced AIK head coach Andreas Alm to recall him and Quaison was part of the first-team squad from 2012 onwards, registering another eight goals in 63 appearances in the top division. Serie A side Palermo liked what they saw and snapped him up in July 2014 - by which time he had already become a full Sweden international after making his debut in a friendly against North Korea in 2013.
Watch: Quaison's October 2019 Goal of the Month winner
Eight more goals in 70 games for Palermo followed over the next two-and-a-half years before Mainz swooped to bring him to the Bundesliga in January 2017. Quaison was a steady, regular performer for the 05ers in his first couple of seasons at the club, notching 14 goals in 67 matches.
He really came into his own in the 2019/20 campaign though, leading the line with maturity. Not only did Quaison score the Bundesliga's Goal of the Month in October 2019, he also went on to hit a maiden career hat-trick in Mainz's 5-0 thrashing of Werder Bremen on Matchday 16. Still just 26, the only way is up.
Plays a bit like: Serge Gnabry
Although he was nicknamed the ‘Scandinavian Xavi’ during his time at Palermo, Quaison plays much further forward than the former Barcelona midfield metronome and has more attacking instincts.
In fact, his style is much more akin to that of Bayern Munich and Germany midfielder Serge Gnabry. Both have stocky frames, are quick on their feet, excellent at dribbling, can play in central attacking midfield or off the flanks, and are equally adept at scoring from outside the box as they are at teeing up teammates to score.
Did you know?
Born in Stockholm to a Ghanaian father and a Swedish mother, Quaison’s middle name is ‘Kwamina’, which means ‘born on a Saturday’ in Ghanaian dialect. His birthday, 9 October 1993, was indeed a Saturday.
What they’re saying
“His movement behind the opposition defence is very intelligent and he’s a player who can make an impact. He’s constantly on the move between the lines.” – former Mainz head coach Sandro Schwarz
“[His development here] always goes unnoticed. Robin arrived here for a small fee from Palermo as a player with a lot of potential, and he’s made a lot of progress with us. Now he scores regularly and is in the Sweden national team. He’s got a clear head and we’re happy to have him here.” – Mainz sporting director Rouven Schröder
“I’m an attacking player that likes to have the ball a lot. I love to play in the middle but I can play on the wings too. I can play anywhere.” – Robin Quaison