Danny Welbeck was not the only Arsenal man to show off his goal scoring ability on international duty this week. Over in Halmstad, Sweden, 19 year old midfielder Kristoffer Olsson scored a 36-minute hat-trick in Sweden Under 21’s 4-3 victory over Turkey. Olsson, who is currently out on loan in Denmark, scored two goals with his left foot and one with his right. Here, Sportsmail takes a look at this versatile youngster.
Olsson, the Norwich City midfielder, right?
No! That’s Martin Olsson. They are both from Sweden but that is where the similarities pretty much end. Kristoffer is a supremely skilful midfielder, who is composed in front of goal.
Kristoffer Olsson scored a 36-minute hat-trick as Swden Under 21s beat Turkey Under 21s 4-3
So what should we call this whizz kid?
Kristoffer, or Kris for short, that’s what he seems to prefer. But don’t get him confused with the other Kris Olsson, the author of the bestselling memoir Boy, lost.
I heard he was from Manchester?
Not quite. He’s from the Swedish city of Norrköping, known as ‘little Manchester,’ because of its similarities to the Lancashire city. On the Baltic coast, this once industrial city is now known for its textile industry. It has nine football teams but many of the 87,000 locals play ice hockey. In fact Karl Magnus Svensson Pääjärvi, one of Sweden’s most famous ice hockey players hails from Norrköping.
So what did little Kristoffer play?
His first love was football. He started his career at Idrottsklubben Sleipner (or IK Sleipner for those who struggle with north Germanic pronunciation). There, he had to choose between football and ten-pin bowling. Unfortunately for the Swedish bowling league, he picked the beautiful game. Kristoffer is also a brilliant table tennis player. When he was younger he reportedly beat Wojech Szczesny and the Polish keeper sulked off.
Kristoffer Olsson joined the Gunners in 2011, Chelsea had previously offered him a trial but he didn’t turn up
When was he first spotted by English clubs?
Chelsea invited him for a trial when he was 13 but Kristoffer was a no-show. Instead he moved to IFK Norrköping. He proved himself an excellent playmaker and subsequently attracted the attention of some of Europe’s biggest clubs, including Juventus and Ajax. In 2011, he signed for Arsenal for £200,000 which is beginning to look like a bargain.
Is he part of the Brady bunch?
Indeed. He is one of a number of good young Arsenal prospects who were scouted by club legend Liam Brady who returned to England and persuaded Arsene Wenger to sign up this Swedish youngster. ‘When they said they wanted me it felt unreal,’ said Kristoffer, shortly after arriving in north London, ‘I mean I played for a club in Sweden, and such a big club wanted me so that was just unreal in the beginning. But after a while I was just happy and proud.’
Kristoffer Olsson made 17 appearances for Arsenal’s Under 21…