Club: Eintracht Frankfurt (Malmö)
Position(s): CM, DM
Preferred Foot: Right
Strengths: stamina, ball carrying, long passing & composure
Development Areas: attacking output (G&A), strength
After Jesper Lindstrøm, Jens Petter Hauge, and Frederik Rønnow, the latest Scandinavian talent to make his way to Eintracht Frankfurt is Hugo Larsson. The 18-year-old all-action box-to-box central midfielder has been a standout performer in the Allsvenskan this season for Malmö, who received a Swedish league record €11.5m for Larsson, who arrived on a five-year contract.
Born in Svarte, Larsson began his footballing career in SoGK Charlo before signing with Malmö at the age of 12, making his senior debut on February 20, 2022 and impressing in the top-flight, winning the Svenska Cupen as well as the 2021–22 Individual Allsvenskan Young Player of the Year. Larsson is incredibly composed on the ball & press resistant, as he regularly receives the ball from deep and turns casually past onrushing attackers. But his real strengths are in progressing the ball due to his incredible running power and stamina for his age.
The teenager is an immense ball carrier and a monster in transitions, perfect for counter-attacking sides like Eintracht. His long legs and mobility help him make tackles & interceptions. Larsson’s relentless engine also means he can press high up and can either run from deep or ping long passes out to the wings.
Despite being 6’2”, Larsson has a very slight frame at 18 years old. However, if he builds his physical strength and bulks up a bit, he’ll be a beast in duels and will be capable of shrugging off stronger opponents in more competitive leagues. He looks set to play alongside Djibril Sow in the double pivot or serve as Sow’s understudy — they could get a defensive-minded midfielder to pair alongside either one of the two.
His qualities make him a top player for a double-pivot partnership with a tough-tackling DM, but I see his future as a more advanced box-to-box midfielder who makes late runs into the box to score goals, similarly to Granit Xhaka, İlkay Gündoğan or Jude Bellingham. However, in order to be more lethal in this position, he’ll need to develop his finishing and shot volume, but at 18, he has time on his side and has the attributes to provide a similar profile to Bellingham for Eintracht.
It has been a rollercoaster season for Eintracht Frankfurt, who made it to the Champions League Round of 16, lost to RB Leipzig in the DFB-Pokal Final, and who will be playing in next season’s Europa Conference League after finishing seventh. They have already lost manager Oliver Glasner and look set to lose Daichi Kamada on a free transfer as well as Randal Kolo Muani who is linked to a wide range of clubs after his impressive campaign. Nevertheless, they have what it takes to push for another promising campaign thanks to a plethora of young talents including Willian Pacho, Junior Dina Ebimbe, and Hugo Larsson.
By: Ben Mattinson / @Ben_Mattinson_
Featured Image: @GabFoligno / DeFodi Images