PROSPECT | Hugo Larsson – the Swede taking the Bundesliga by storm | OneFootball

PROSPECT | Hugo Larsson – the Swede taking the Bundesliga by storm | OneFootball

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·12 January 2024

PROSPECT | Hugo Larsson – the Swede taking the Bundesliga by storm

Article image:PROSPECT | Hugo Larsson – the Swede taking the Bundesliga by storm

Ahead of the 2023/24 Bundesliga season, the name Hugo Larsson wasn’t that much of a known quantity in the world of football. The former Malmö midfielder is slowly making his name far more recognisable as one of the main bright spots in Dino Toppmöller’s Eintracht Frankfurt side.

Over the course of the summer, quite a few clubs were rumoured to be vying for Larsson’s services. Among those clubs was Borussia Dortmund, who would at this point in time benefit from a midfielder of his capabilities. In joining Frankfurt however, Die Adler secured the services of a player that could really become a sought after target for club’s domestically and abroad in the coming years.

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Able to play both as a central and defensive midfielder, Larsson is quite capable both in progressing the ball for his side as well as winning position and transitioning from defence to attack. The Swede has a strong ability as a ball carrying midfielder that is complemented by his ability to run relentlessly for his side across 90 minutes. These qualities make him the perfect archetype for what clubs look for when they seek out a box-to-box midfielder.

Since joining Frankfurt, Larsson has scored two goals and provided one assist in the league, but his impact goes far beyond just the goals and assists he’s recorded so far. The numbers behind his time at Frankfurt show that he is a very accurate passer of the ball, with his pass success percentage sitting at 88% this season in the Bundesliga alone. Across his 14 appearances for Frankfurt, he has recorded, on average, 1.2 tackles, 1.3 interceptions and 0.6 fouls per 90 minutes played. Keeping his game clean while effective at such a young age is a good sign that the player will develop quite nicely in this area.

In the offensive part of his game, we see some room for improvement, particularly key passes, with Larsson putting in on average 0.6 key passes per game. We very much know that the 19-year-old is capable of putting in those killer passes, just as he did in Frankfurt’s clash with Dortmund earlier this season. Larsson was lauded for the precision of his pass to Aurélio Buta, which propelled Frankfurt towards their second goal. Larsson won the ball deep in his own half out on the left flank. A driving run towards the centre of the park put him in position to find Buta with a beautiful ball across towards the right flank, which set his team up for Omar Marmoush’s second of the game.

This instance of play against Dortmund is symbolic of both Larsson’s ability and maturity. He showed both great physical ability to drive the ball forward, but also great awareness to pick out Buta who made his own run in tandem. The game also highlighted Larsson’s ability to find promising positions in the box, which he did on quite a few occasions against Die Schwarzgelben.

Then there is also Larsson’s performance against Bayern Munich that we can discuss as a case study. Larsson was the initial catalyst for Frankfurt’s third goal of the night, intercepting the ball very close to the halfway line and laying it off to his teammate. Larsson continued his run towards the box while Marmoush drove the ball forward, and then found the Swede with ease. Larsson wrong-foots the defender and the ball is in the back of the net.

Looking at his first few months in the Bundesliga, it’s safe to say that Larsson has shown very real glimpses of his ability to become a crucial player for Frankfurt in the coming season(s). As he adapts to the level of play in the Bundesliga, we will likely see more interest come from clubs as his profile as a player is certainly a coveted one.

There are numerous clubs that would benefit from his midfield presence, but the player seems to have a good head on his shoulders when it comes to his career trajectory. Back in 2021, Larsson had the opportunity to have a trial with Chelsea. Despite his experience, the Swede opted to stay in his home country, stating that the move in question was too early for his liking:

“It was of course a great experience to train with Chelsea. I trained with the team and was even allowed to go to a tournament in Belgium. I also scored a goal there…It [the move] was a little too early. For me, it was better to continue my development at home in Malmö.”

Larsson’s reasoning strikes me as rather level-headed, putting his career and development first.  The hope will be that Frankfurt can hold onto him for some time yet, as his development is far from complete. At this early stage in his career it seems that he has found a comfortable place to nurture his skills in Die Adler’s capable care.

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