Lucas Bergvall turns 18 today (Friday), allowing him to sign on the dotted line of a five-year deal at Tottenham, having chosen north London as his next destination instead of Barcelona. The fact Djurgardens’ outgoing midfield prodigy had the choice is a testament to his immense talent, but having spent his entire career in Sweden thus far, he is by no means a household name.
So who is the teenager Spurs have agreed to pay around £8.5million for before welcoming him in the summer? Well, he has been on the radar of numerous top European clubs for quite some time.
Bergvall cut his teeth at Swedish second-tier outfit IF Brommapojkarna, with sporting director Peter Kisfaludy claiming the youngster paid visits to German giants Bayern Munich and Serie A powerhouses Juventus during his development. The Swede, described as an ‘exceptional talent’ due to his ‘technique and understanding of the game’ by Kisfaludy, was also reportedly on trial at Manchester United when he was 14.
Years later, Spurs and Barca would become embroiled in a January tug-of-war, which Djurgardens director of football Bosse Andersson claims was something completely new for the Swedish outfit. “I have worked in football for many years,” he said. “I have never seen anything like this. Never.
“The interest from the media is always a lot, but the speculations. It’s unreal what is written. It’s probably unreal for [Bergvall] too. It’s very possible that he will be a player abroad this month. That we will agree [a deal] with a club.”
Although Bergvall has been with Djurgardens since December 2022, and will stay with the Allsvenskan side until the summer, he is the latest in a growing line of top-level talents to have passed through IF Brommapojkarna’s esteemed youth system.
Sporting star Viktor Gyokeres developed his taste for goals with them while still a teenager, and Chelsea were rumoured to be eyeing up his colossal £85m release clause this winter. Dejan Kulusevski, meanwhile, spent a decade on the club’s books before heading off to Italy in 2016.
Bergvall will naturally be keen to follow the duo – valued at a cumulative £132m – by making a telling impact at the top level. Kulusevski was reportedly present and acting as an ‘ambassador’ for Tottenham chiefs when he showed his international team-mate around the club’s training facilities last month.
Spurs’ incoming midfield starlet was a debutant and a goalscorer in the Swedish top flight by the age of 16, although he admitted at the time that adjusting to the senior game wasn’t straightforward. “It has been a bit tough,” said Bergvall after making his first start in May last year. “I haven’t been used to the physical [aspect], but it feels like I’ve gotten used to it now and come in more and more and can perform better.”
After watching his performance, Djurgardens boss Thomas Lagerlof had no doubts about Bergvall’s ability to cut it at the top level. “He has that little something extra,” he said. “He can park people inside the pitch, he handles the physical game, can make decisive passes.
“He is a complete player for his age. Then he can learn from the more established players in terms of his positional play, but he has improved his physicality. He was definitely ready.”