You may have noticed the standards in the Allsvenskan diminish slightly these past few weeks. As I write, clubs from Holland, Denmark and Belgium are pillaging the league and running off with the competition’s best players.
Dutch side FC Utrecht have been the greediest having bought both Alexander Gerndt and Marcus Nilsson from Helsingborg, and Johan Mårtensson from Gais. FC Copenhagen’s new manager Roland Nilsson was expected to clear out his old side Malmö FF and Helsingborg, but so far he has only managed to sign IFK Göteborg’s key defender Ragnar Sigurosson. Mjällby’s Moestafa El Kabir finally makes his long awaiting departure from Sweden and has signed for Serie A side Cagliari. Guillermo Molins has gone to Anderlecht where he’ll join his old MFF teammate Berang Safari, while Örebro defender Michael Almebäck has been bought by rivals Club Brugge. Too broke to pay up now, Glasgow Rangers has signed Örebro’s American midfielder Alejandro Bedoya on a pre-contract that will come into force in November. Even the kids aren’t safe, with Arsenal pouching 16-year old Kristoffer Olsson from IFK Norrköping.
The talent drain won’t stop there either. For Mervan Celik, Mathias Ranegie and Teteh Bangura, leaving is just a matter when and not if.
The flow of talent in the opposite direction is not nearly as rich. Andreas Vasquez returns to Gothenburg after three years in Switzerland, this time signing for BK Häcken. To date Vasquez’s most famous moment was scoring an impressive cross-kick goal from just outside the penalty area back in 2007 when he played for IFK.
The other notable ‘signing’ has been Halmstad’s assistant coach Michael Svensson coming out of retirement and registering as a player. Considering how many goals Halmstad have conceded this season, it’s a move that reeks of desperation.
UPDATE: The chase for AIK’s Tetah Bangura heats up and the longer he stays in Solna, the more ludicrous the rumours. A little over a year ago he was on trial at fourth-tier club Köping, and now he is supposedly being watched by Man U.