One of the reasons on why I left Celtic FC was that I didn’t wanted to be restricted to only do first team scouting. Having scouted academy players for many years I felt that I needed to do a combine role where I also could watch the most promising youngsters.
Mattias Svanberg is a player I have followed closely since he was 14 year old. Now being 17 year old he finally gets playing time for the first team. What he showed in his last match against Helsingborg was a demonstration on how a youngster should grab his chance once given it. Him scoring the last goal was something I have seen multiple times before on different levels. It was not luck – it was a mixture of years of hard work, talent and the right mentality.
As a scout it is these special moments that give me satisfaction on a different scale. Every year I evaluate my own work to see where I can improve as a scout. When a player fail to meet my expectations this is crucial. What went under the radar that I failed to see? The same applies for when a player is a success. This process is for me important to always keep myself on the toes.
We all scout and judge differently and that is what I like with football scouting. And just to make it clear now, one good game doesn’t make you a superstar. But I am just as confident now in Svanberg as I was when I first saw him play. While bigger clubs generally have been good scouting the best youngsters in Scandinavia I sit with a feeling that Svanberg has been overlooked. That for me is strange and it could be costly in the long run.
So what to look for when scouting such young player? What moments in the players game makes you realize that he can deliver at the highest stage?
My early and actual comments on Mattias Svanberg you can read under. I tried to highlight his qualities and to tell the club to sign him immediately.
Academy product obviously, but a player I have seen in many matches and is probably the biggest talent in Malmø FF for many years.
Played in Nike Cup in Manchester in 2014 and did very well for a side who finished on 8th place in the world. The player won 3 different prices in the region of Skåne (in january 2015), which no players have ever, manage to do before him.
Huge talent without a doubt. I have seen the player for Malmø FF in the youth champions league in 2014 (Svanberg was 15 at the time). This year he is dominating matches for the under-19 side so he only plays there occasionally. Now a regular starter for the under-21 side where he has performed very well for his side who is leading the table. Also trains a bit with the first team.
In the first match of the season he scored an hat trick for Malmø under21 side vs Elfsborg. He then played as a striker – scored with a great header and some clever finishing with his right foot. In more recent matches he has been deployed on the right-wing where he has played most of the times for the last 18 months.
His preferred role is a central midfielder where I saw him play a week ago, after playing the first half as a right-winger. His under-21 side were loosing 0-2 at half time and Svanberg were instrumental in his side getting the draw.
Has a well built body, quite tall without knowing his exact height. Is not bullied away easily – not in youth league or for the under-21 side.
Comfortable playing the ball on first touch or just simply challenge the defender from his wing position. His right foot is his strongest foot and he has a precise powerful shot which he more often than not gets on target. Is not afraid to use his left foot for shooting from different angles either. Has scored some great goals playing in various positions I have seen. Directs his shot, even under pressure with power – or using his wrist to curl it into the top corner.
Very skillful player – possesses great vision of play. I was curious about seeing him playing as a CM (his preferred role I`ve heard) but he did very well. His right foot is of a high quality and his tempo in play is rock solid.
Works hard in defense and cover lots of ground. Mature playing style is the key word. He positions himself in key areas well, regardless of the position he plays in.