Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League • England

Who is Lucas Bergvall? The Swedish gem Tottenham beat Barcelona to sign

James Pennington
New Tottenham signing Lucas Bergvall

New Tottenham signing Lucas Bergvall is already wowing the fans

Lucas Bergvall is a Swedish midfielder currently contracted to Allsvenskan side Djurgardens IF, with a move to English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur confirmed ahead of the summer window.

In the January 2024 transfer window, Bergvall was being heavily courted by FC Barcelona, with a switch to the Camp Nou all but agreed upon.

But on deadline day, Spurs swooped in and managed to convince the 18-year-old to head to north London instead of Catalonia on a five-year contract for a fee believed to be around £10m.

Bergvall’s contract at Spurs will begin on July 1st 2024 and it is thought that he will go straight into the first-team squad.

Spurs manager Ange Postecoglou has a great track record with developing younger players in his managerial career and will see Bergvall as one that could become one of the first names on the team sheet at the club in the coming years.

Bergvall’s career so far

Born in the Swedish capital Stockholm, Bergvall joined the academy of IF Brommapojkarna, where he progressed through the ranks and often captained the side at various age groups.

He made his first-team debut in July 2022 aged just 16 and scored his first professional goal just a couple of months later against Östers IF.

The self-proclaimed box-to-box midfielder helped his side achieve promotion in 2022 making 11 appearances in the process and would join 12-time Swedish champions Djurgardens IF.

In his debut season with his new club, he would make 11 starts in 25 appearances as Djurgardens finished the season in fourth place, though the 17-year-old performances were already drawing attention from the European elite.

Bayern Munich, Manchester United and Juventus were all said to have taken note of the Swede, but it would be Spurs who eventually snapped the midfielder up ahead of Barcelona.

In January 2024, Bergvall would make his full international debut, coming on as a substitute in a friendly against Estonia. He previously represented the nation of his birth at U17, U19 and U21 level before his national team debut.

What is Bergvall like as a player?

Able to operate anywhere in the midfield, Bergvall is already very versatile in his play despite his age.

Watching him, you wouldn’t think that he had just turned 18. Bergvall is incredibly smart in his positioning and press-resistant movement. He has a keen eye for a pass which can unlock a defence with his outstanding technical ability allowing him to do so.

In possession, he offers a calming presence when on the ball which can aid his team if they are under some pressure as well as showing immense leadership skills to motivate his side.

The Swede is able to forecast a passage of play before it happens, often dropping deep to receive the ball before playing a pass to another teammate in a better position.

Last season, Djurgardens had a loss percentage of 18% with Bergvall in the squad (11 times) compared to 42% without him (19 times).

Often operating on the right side of midfield in a 4-3-3, his constant movement and demand to be on the ball makes him difficult to mark and read for opposition defenders.

At 6ft 1in tall, Bergvall is already able to compete physically in senior football and shows the ability and promise to succeed at the highest level.

The 18-year-old hasn’t operated much in a defensive role at this point in his career so it remains to be seen whether he could operate in a deeper role as opposed to the one he primarily has at Djurgardens.

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How will Bergvall fit in at Spurs?

It says a lot that Bergvall chose to join Spurs ahead of Barcelona and what the side from north London are prepared to offer him in terms of game time.

Spurs’ midfield options a this current stage are strong, though Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Oliver Skipp have both struggled to fit in to the starting elven this campaign and are likely to depart in one way or another this summer.

Pape Sarr and Yves Bissouma have performed well when played this season and are expected to be apart of the squad for the foreseeable with Giovanni Lo Celso and Rodrigo Bentancur having injury setbacks which have limited minutes.

James Maddison, when fit, is one of the first names on the team sheet, though the Englishman plays in a more attacking role than what Bergvall would, so competition for that place seems unlikely.

Bergvall would unlikely be thrusted straight into the starting lineup, but at 18-years-old he will undoubtedly pick up minutes and develop into an important player for the English club.

Why Spurs over Barcelona?

There are numerous reasons as to why Bergvall may have picked Spurs over Barcelona, no less so than the uncertainty over the Spanish sides future manager, with Xavi announcing he departure at the end of the season.

Competition in the Barcelona midfield may also be an indicator as to why Barcelona may not be the smartest option for him, with Gavi, Frenkie de Jong, Pedri and Ilkay Gundogan all vying for a starting birth.

Spurs, by almost all means, are a club with serious ambition and the capture of Bergvall highlights just that.

One of the best modern stadiums in the world, some of the best training facilities anyone could offer and a chance to play in the Premier League, the attraction of the lily whites is clear.

Under Australian manager Ange Postecoglou, Bergvall will be under the stewardship of one of the best young managers in the world, with his trust in young players definitely playing a part in the Swedish internationals decision.

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