‘Injury made me stronger’ - Arsenal starlet reveals early London struggles

Kristoffer Olsson has been speaking to Arsenal about his recent breakthrough - and how it all started.

This season has been a breakout campaign for Swedish midfielder Kristoffer Olsson. The talented central midfielder made his first-team debut in the Capital One Cup against West Brom earlier in the season - and even slotted home a cool penalty in the resulting shootout.

The 18-year-old starlet had received mass praise from Arsenal fans who followed the clubs pre-season closely - with most Gunners impressed by his composed midfield play, passing range and technical prowess.

He is certainly a player built out of the Arsenal mould - and that will be why they brought him in at such a young age from IFK Norrkoping in 2011.

Moving away from your family and homeland at such a young age is a brave decision to take, and one a growing number of players are doing in this current climate which sees young stars from around the globe joining clubs abroad.

And in an interview today with the official Arsenal website the Swedish supremo in waiting spoke of many things - including his pride at making his debut, his friends at the club and playing in Europe - but for me it was the comments about his start at the club that stood out from the interview with Isaac Moore.

He admitted to times of loneliness early on at The Emirates - in particular after suffering an early injury during his time in England:

“When I got injured in my first season I started to miss my family and my friends. At that time, football was all I had in England so when I wasn’t playing I felt a bit lonely. But looking back it definitely helped me to get stronger and when I got back from the injury I just felt stronger than ever. There were a couple of other players who had injuries and we went through the recovery process together.”

He certainly has come through the tough times shining on the other side. He recently captained the side in the UEFA Youth League - and his talents are clearly recognised by Arsene Wenger, who has him training with the first team.

It is good to see a player so young take the positives from something that was once a negative in his life, turn it around, and use it as a driving force toward becoming a first-team regular.

A prophecy you can easily see him fulfilling.

image: © Kieran Clarke

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