Many have considered Johan Elmander to be one of the worst strikers to ever grace the Premier League.

Some have even gone as far as to compare him to former England striker Emile Heskey. Emile himself, however, has scored 111 goals in the Premier League and is the league's 17th highest goalscorer. I believe people have the same misconception of Elmander.

Beneath Elmander's goalless exterior lies a talent so raw he makes my heart pound every time he strikes the ball. He began his career in Sweden's lower divisions before making the big move to Dutch side, Feyenoord, at the tender age of 18.

It's difficult to imagine that the 6ft 2in Swede, up until he finished playing for Feyenoord, which he won the UEFA Cup with, played predominantly as a midfielder.

Michael Laudrup was the the man credited for discovering Johan's striking talents and nous for scoring as he signed the swede for Danish club, Brondby; he consequently netted 22 goals in 58 league appearances. Before he finally made the move to the Premier League he spent a couple of seasons in Ligue 1 with Toulouse, in which he was highly credited for guiding the club to a shot at the Champions League.

Elmander arrived at Bolton Wanderers for a record fee of £8.2m - and with it came a Fernando Torres-like expectation. He scored five goals in 30 games in a disappointing debut season in England. Elmander then became the victim of ferocious pundit scrutiny when he went on a nine-month goal drought.

If I told you Elmander only managed to score one league goal in 11 months you would first assume he was a central defender and then tell me to get lost. Even Paul Robinson, the former Spurs and England keeper, managed to do better. He scored twice in six months; admittedly one was a freak own goal in a crucial European qualification game against Croatia.

Johan's form improved at the beginning of the 2010/11 season as he went on to score six goals in 13 games. One of these goals is the reason why Elmander's name should be etched into Premier League history.

After receiving a pass in the penalty area from Stuart Holden, Elmander then dances and jazzes his way around four Wolves defenders, in a tiny slice of space, before slotting home a finesse shot beyond the keeper. In a poll by the Guardian this goal was voted the best Premier League goal ever scored, beating Dennis Bergkamp's wonder strike against Newcastle.

I feared Elmander had given up with English football and left to Galatasaray never to come back. But after two seasons away, the prodigal son has returned to the Premier League, this time with Norwich.

I must applaud Chris Hughton, a manager whose management I dislike, for his amazing skill in the transfer market. Although, now at 32, Elmander has a little time to prove himself. Hopefully, Elmander, like a good wine, has only matured with age and can use his experience to his advantage.

His only two goals so far this season have come against Bury in the League Cup. No doubt it will take some time for Johan to adjust back to the pace of the Premier League but I am sure, equipped with a flurry of facial hair, he will be bashing in goals in the near future.


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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Johan Elmander
Norwich City