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Five Scandinavian strikers impressing in Europe this season

Scandinavian strikers are making their mark in European football this season with several centre-forwards from the region in the goals.

Denmark, Norway, and Sweden have produced some brilliant goalscorers over the years and the current contingent are certainly impressing on the continent.

We’ve looked at five Scandinavian strikers in fine form across Europe’s top leagues in 2023/24.

Erling Haaland (Manchester City)

The poster boy for Scandinavian football and centre-forwards in the game right now. Norway’s hopes of ending their major tournament drought will largely hinge on the performances of Haaland and Arsenal midfielder Martin Odegaard in the coming years, two talents it is hoped can form part of a Norwegian Golden Generation.

Haaland has shattered goal records ever since his initial emergence at Red Bull Salzburg, with a hat-trick on debut in the Champions League a sign of things to come. After prolific spells with Salzburg and Borussia Dortmund, he signed for Manchester City ahead of last season and set a new landmark for the most goals scored in a Premier League campaign in his debut year.

The 23-year-old scored 52 goals in all competitions to fire the Citizens to treble success and collected a clean sweep of individual accolades, including the PFA Player of the Year, FWA Footballer of the Year and European Golden Shoe.

Haaland has now hit 83 goals in 91 games for City and has 31 for the campaign to date. He’s already entered the top 20 all-time goalscorers in the Champions League, boasting the best goal-per-game ratio (1.08) in the competition’s history.

Norway’s national record is also in his sights with only Jørgen Juve (33) having scored more goals than Haaland (27).

Alexander Sorloth (Villarreal)

Alexander Sorloth has spent his international career in the shadow of the aforementioned Haaland, though forms part of Norway’s towering twin threats at centre-forward. The nomadic career of the 6ft 4in forward took on a new stop in the summer when Sorloth signed for Villarreal from RB Leipzig.

An impressive campaign on loan at Real Sociedad had persuaded The Yellow Submarine to keep Sorloth in Spanish football and that faith has been rewarded.

The 28-year-old has scored 14 league goals – the highest-return of his career in a top-five European league – with only four players having netted more in the division. He’s also added five assists, offering a fine focal point for a Villarreal team who have bounced back from a difficult start to climb the table.

Sorloth has come a long way since an underwhelming spell at Crystal Palace earlier in his career.

Alexander Isak (Newcastle)

Alexander Isak’s electric form for Newcastle has moved the Swedish striker into contention for the Premier League’s Golden Boot.

The 24-year-old has hit 17 goals for Eddie Howe’s team to keep alive the club’s hopes of securing European football. Isak’s 106 minutes per goal is the best ratio in the Premier League this season and he has now scored 27 goals in 38 starts since arriving into English football.

Recent performances have seen Isak likened to Thierry Henry and compatriot Zlatan Ibrahimovic, with Isak boasting an eye-catching skillset. Tall, quick, and with the fleet of foot of an elite winger, he can appear near-unstoppable when operating in full flow.

The coolness of his finishing is perhaps what separates him from others, however, with an often predictable outcome when faced with goalkeepers one-against-one.

Rasmus Hojlund (Manchester United)

Manchester United broke the bank to sign Rasmus Hojlund from Atalanta last summer, spending £72m to continue the Dane’s meteoric rise.

Hojlund’s route to the top had taken him from Copenhagen, to Sturm Graz, Atalanta and then Manchester United in successive seasons and the 21-year-old has taken each step in his stride. After a mixed start in the Premier League, Hojlund found his form over the festive period and became the youngest player to score in six consecutive Premier League games.

Earlier, he had impressed despite Manchester United’s early elimination from Europe, with five goals in six Champions League group games. With a month to go of the campaign, a return of 13 goals in all competitions is an impressive haul from a young talent who has been placed under big expectations in a dysfunctional team.

Better support and service is needed next season.

Viktor Gyokeres (Sporting Lisbon)

Premier League clubs will be kicking themselves at missing out on Viktor Gyokeres last summer, with Sporting Lisbon winning the race to sign the Swedish striker from Championship side Coventry City.

Though hugely impressive in England’s second tier, few could have predicted his performances this season. Gyokeres has a staggering 36 goals and 15 assists in 43 appearances for Sporting, form which has taken Ruben Amorim’s team within reach of the Primeira Liga title.

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The 25-year-old is an all-action presence with ball-carrying excellence and powerful runs past defenders, alongside the goal threat which has made him a prolific presence in Portugal.

England’s elite are circling ahead of the summer transfer window, where Gyokeres’ €100m (£85.4m) release clause might need to be activated to lure him from the Estádio José Alvalade.

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