Andreas Granqvist – FC Krasnodar’s Swedish warrior looking to return home

FC Krasnodar defender Andreas Granqvist is arguably in his best form ever. In November, he was Sweden’s most important player in their 1-0 aggregate win over Italy in the World Cup qualifiers that sent a shock through the footballing world, as Italy are now set to miss their first World Cup tournament since 1958. Especially in the return 0-0 leg at the San Siro, Granqvist was outstanding, singlehandedly controlling the Swedish defence. Just over a week later, he broke Zlatan Ibrahimović’s 10-year streak of being Sweden’s player of the year, as Krasnodar’s big central defender won the award for 2017.

Granqvist is currently playing his fourth season at Krasnodar, and it will most likely be his last at the bulls. He will be 33 next summer, where he is likely to move back home to Scandinavia, after the World Cup in his second home country, Russia. Granqvist has flirted multiple times with Scandinavian clubs in 2017. He has not concealed his dream of returning to his first professional club, Helsingborgs IF, but given they currently play in the Swedish second tier, that seems like an unrealistic move. Across the sound in Copenhagen, interest in Granqvist is also noticeable. Denmark’s FC Copenhagen and Granqvist have been an ongoing subject since last year. Granqvist has almost confirmed his move back to Scandinavia, but according to Sportbladet, he has not decided if it will be Helsingborgs IF or a Danish club that will be his next employer;

A lot of things need to be perfect, for me not to move back (to Scandinavia, red). But if it becomes HIF or a nearby club in Denmark, we will see.

Back in August, FC Copenhagen manager Ståle Solbakken revealed that he has tried to bring the big Swede to the Danish capital, but Granqvist’s salary was simply miles away from anything Copenhagen could match.

Solbakken told Copenhagen’s official website;

We have talked to Andreas Granqvist in Krasnodar, but he earns more than our entire squad put together – so it will not happen now.

The Danish champions are struggling heavily in the league right now, especially at the back. So Granqvist would have been a perfect addition this summer. But if Copenhagen miss out on Europe next season, a move for Granqvist would look a lot more doubtful than if Copenhagen did qualify. And it would also mean he is out of options in Scandinavia, as he wouldn’t join Helsingborg arch rivals Malmö FF, and the current league leaders in Denmark, Brøndby IF, simply can’t match a salary which he would find acceptable.

This could lead thought to if Granqvist would be up for one more adventure abroad, or perhaps another year in Russia. If he performs at the World Cup, who knows what could happen, and who could be interested. Questions could also be asked about Granqvist’s ambition. He definitely has a few more years at his peak, but a move back to Scandinavia would put him into a form of early retirement. But as for right now, a move back home is highly doubtful. It seems there is no obvious place to go for Sweden’s player of the year.

Lukas Müller

Author: Lukas Müller

I caught up with Russian Football during the 2007-08 season. Zenit and the Russian National Team’s performances made me stick around. I am a Zenit-supporter and run the club’s Danish website dk.fc-zenit.ru and official Nordic Twitter account. I also do video-stuff at Denmark’s biggest club Brøndby IF. 18 y/o.

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