Viktor Gyökeres, the Rise of the Swedish Top Scorer

One of the most talked-about names at the moment, Viktor Gyökeres, a Swedish goal scorer on an extraordinary rise, from his promising start at Brommapojkarna in Sweden, through various loan spells, to establishing himself as a player at Coventry City in England, and the fantastic season with Sporting Lisbon.

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The Beginning

Gyökeres was born on June 4, 1998, in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden. He began his football journey there, joining the youth ranks of IFK Aspudden-Tellus at the age of 12. In 2013, at the age of 16, he moved to the under-17 team of Brommapojkarna, also located in the capital but in the western part.

At Brommapojkarna, he was one of the standout players in the youth teams, already showing great physical strength and speed, which earned him his professional debut in 2015. His first two goals as a professional came in the same match, in a 3-0 victory against IF Sylvia in the Swedish Cup. Despite the promising start, Gyökeres wasn’t heavily utilized that season, which, let’s admit, was very challenging for Brommapojkarna, as they were relegated to the Swedish third division.

In the following season, 2016/2017, he helped Brommapojkarna secure promotion to the Swedish second division by scoring 7 goals. At the time, Viktor played both as a winger and a striker, showing versatility and potential. From then on, it seemed like the young attacker’s football career was about to take off.

Furthermore, he was also performing exceptionally well for Sweden’s youth national teams, such as in the 2017 UEFA European Under-19 Championship, where he was the tournament’s top scorer with 5 goals, showcasing his goal-scoring instincts and positioning.

In September 2017, Brighton was beginning to aggressively implement its project of acquiring young promising talents worldwide and splashed out 1 million euros to secure the Swedish gem.

Viktor Gyokeres makes permanent Coventry switch | We Are Brighton
Photo: reproduction We Are Brighton

Loan Phase and Maturation

Upon arriving at Brighton in January 2018, Gyökeres began training directly with the under-23 team and made his professional debut only in August of the same year, in a League Cup match against Southampton. During this season, he made only 5 appearances as a starter.

In the following season, 2019/2020, he was loaned to St. Pauli in the German second division. He had a good spell there, featuring in almost every game of the season, mostly as a starter, and scored 7 goals for the German side.

After a successful stint in Germany, Gyökeres returned to Brighton, but the English club was unsure whether the Swedish forward would be part of their plans for the 2020/2021 season. At the beginning of the season, he played 3 games in the Carabao Cup and scored a goal, but he didn’t convince Brighton’s management, who loaned him out again, this time to Swansea in the English second division.

At Swansea, the Swedish talent struggled to develop his game and failed to score in 11 games. With the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, his contract expired, and he bid farewell to Swansea, now with a new destination in the same league, the modest Coventry City.

At Coventry, Viktor had more time to prove himself and ended the 2020/2021 season well, earning more playing time and scoring 3 goals, which earned him a good start to the 2021/2022 season, along with Coventry’s definitive purchase of his contract for €1.2 million.

During this season, Gyökeres truly showed what he was capable of. Possessing unique explosiveness, coupled with his strength and long strides, he began scoring goals and quickly became an undisputed starter for the team, usually playing as a striker but also often on the left side of the field. It was a spectacular season, with 18 goals in 47 matches played.

The best was yet to come. Viktor gained more confidence on the field and started playing more with the ball, refining his finishing, passing, and ball control day by day. And so began the 2022/2023 season, in which Gyökeres seemed to dominate the Championship, appearing faster than most of his opponents, making precise reads of where he needed to be to receive the ball, and finishing with great power. In total, he scored 22 goals in 50 games, undoubtedly one of the best players in the competition, although he was surprisingly left out of the EFL Championship 22/23 season’s selection.

However, recognition of his excellent football came in a different form, through Sporting Lisbon’s interest in acquiring the young Swede.

NEWS: Viktor Gyokeres nominated for Player of the Month - News - Coventry City
Photo: Coventry City

The Fantastic Season of Gyökeres at Sporting

Sporting signed Viktor Gyökeres from Coventry City in July 2023 for a whopping €20 million plus possible €4 million in bonuses tied to goals, which have likely been met, making it the Lions’ most expensive acquisition.

The Swedish goal scorer arrived needing to prove himself, but that wasn’t a problem. After all, he scored 2 goals in his debut in the Portuguese League against Vizela, 1 in his debut in European competitions against Sturm Graz in the Europa League group stage, and a hat-trick in his debut in the League Cup in a 4-2 victory over Farense.

With his dedicated and goal-scoring style, he quickly became a favorite among Sporting fans. It’s no wonder, as he has scored 26 goals and provided 9 assists in 32 matches so far, meaning he has contributed to more goals than games played. Viktor has been so successful at Sporting that fans already call him “King” of the Lions.

Currently, Sporting is in first place in the Portuguese League with 59 points, just one point ahead of Benfica, but with a game in hand. In the Europa League, they are in the round of 16 and drew the first leg at home against Atalanta 1-1.

Photo: Reproduction Gyokeres Instagram

Gyökeres is undoubtedly one of the most dominant center-forwards in Europe at the moment, not only because of his impressive numbers but also due to his dedication to always improve and his constant evolution. He can finish with both feet, is strong in the air, receives the ball inside and outside the box, has excellent vision, and possesses explosive speed.

Viktor is a traditional center-forward but also excels on the wings and often drops back from the area to participate in building plays. An example of this is the number of chances he creates. At 25 years old, he is playing a complete and top-level football, continuing his steep ascent. He will undoubtedly continue to delight Sporting fans with his goals and his characteristic celebration of intertwining his hands in front of his mouth.

Gyökeres is already attracting interest from various European clubs, with Premier League giants like Chelsea and Arsenal among the most interested. However, Sporting has no intention of letting the player go for a low fee and seeks offers close to his release clause, which is around €100 million.

So, do you know Viktor Gyökeres? Despite his somewhat delayed maturation to be considered a star, could he become one of the main center-forwards in world football?

Photo: Jose Lorvao

Writtwn by João Felipe Miller

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