Barcelona were leading the race to sign Lucas Bergvall and a deal was almost done, only for Tottenham to hijack the deal at the last minute.
Barcelona are currently embroiled in crises, both on and off the pitch, with the Spanish giants currently facing financial and performance issues. This has culminated in manager Xavi opting to leave at the end of the season. Worse still, Barcelona — once a dream club of most youngsters — were beaten by Tottenham to the signing of Swedish youngster Lucas Bergvall in the just concluded winter transfer window.
It signalled a new low for the Catalans, who in the past boast of not just the best players in the world in Lionel Messi et al, but can equally attract the best players (not just youngsters) to sign for them.
Bergvall, who turned 18 yesterday, 2nd February 2024 — the same day he did his medical — joins Tottenham in a reported €10 million (£9m/$11m) move.
In this post, FootballOrbit brings you all you need to know about him.
He was born Lucas Erik Holger Bergvall on the 2nd of February 2006 in Stockholm, capital of Sweden.
He started his career at the academy of local side IF Brommapojkarna, which also produced current Tottenham star Dejan Kulusevski and Sporting Lisbon sensation, Viktor Gyokeres.
Bergvall impressed at the academy, leading his side to win numerous youth football tournaments. He was the MVP at the 2018 Madrid Football Cup, where his team emerged champions after defeating Atletico Madrid in the final.
Lucas speaking to the media after his side won the 2018 Madrid Football Cup.
“You think foreign clubs have much better academies, but it doesn’t have to be that way. They may have better conditions and more money, but as long as you play great football you can achieve a lot. We showed that it didn’t really matter how many coaches or how much money you had. When we played Bayern Munich, they came with seven coaches and there we were with one coach and one manager and we beat them 3-0. It was like an opening where you understood that this could lead to something big and I think everyone in the team felt that,”.
Bergvall’s incredible performances caught the attention of Europe’s leading clubs, who started tracking the highly talented young midfielder. He even had trials at Feyenoord and with Manchester United in 2021, when he was just 14 years old.
At only 16 years of age, Lucas made his professional debut when he first played for Brommapojkarna in the Superettan (second tier of Swedish football) on the 9th of July 2022 in a 1-1 draw with Örgryte IS. He netted his first senior goal against Östers the following October.
The youngster will go on to play 11 more games to help his boyhood club gain promotion to the Allsvenskan, Swedish first tier, at the end of the year 2022.
In total, he made 12 appearances, scored a goal and provided an assist during his time at Brommapojkarna.
Despite interests from clubs across Europe, Lucas decided to continue his development in Sweden and joined his brother, Theo, at fellow Swedish side Djurgarden in a transfer worth €900,000 (£768,000) — a record fee for a Swedish teenager.
“Lucas is one of Sweden’s most promising players who has been scouted by many foreign clubs and we are proud and grateful that he chose us,”. “He is an amazing player, very skilled and experienced despite his age, it is great that he is still playing in Sweden.”Bosse Anderson, Djurgardens Sporting Director when Lucas Bergvall joined the club.
Bergvall joined Djurgarden on the 9th of December 2022, but made his debut as a starter in a match against defending champions BK Häcken in May 2023.
In October 2023, he was included in the The Guardian’s list of the best football youngsters in the world born in 2006.
His progress was well managed by Djurgarden, which saw him acquire ample playing time despite being a teenager. He scored 3 goals and provided an assist in 29 matches for the 12-time Swedish champions.
Bergvall rejects Barcelona for Tottenham
Lucas Bergvall’s displays saw him emerge as one of Europe’s most coveted prospects, with several top clubs vying for his signature.
Barcelona were leading the race and it appeared he would be signing for the Spanish giants. A deal was almost done, only for Tottenham to come in at the last minute and convince him that he should continue his career development in London.
On the 1st of February 2024, Spurs agreed a 5-year deal to sign Bergvall for a reported transfer fee of €10 million (£9m/$11m). He completed his medical on Friday, 2nd February — on his 18th birthday.
As part of the deal, he will remain at Djurgarden for the rest of the current season before teaming up with his new mates at Tottenham on the 1st of July 2024.
Lucas Bergvall has represented Sweden at various youth grades from U15, U16, U17, U19 and U21 sides.
He made his senior international debut for his country in a friendly match against Estonia on the 12th of January 2024.
Playing style of Lucas Bergvall
The 18-year-old is a dynamic and silky, all-round central midfielder. Despite his young age, he is very agile and athletic, which enables him to cover lots of distance on the pitch — as he likes carrying the ball forward.
Furthermore, Bergvall is adept at breaking up opposition attacks and can play perfectly-weighed passes to help his side when in transition.
His composure, ball control, and awareness are attributes that can help his team control and dominate possession.
But with his paltry goalscoring record, he needs to significantly improve his finishing in order to become an elite midfielder.
What next for Bergvall?
The all-action midfielder has been regarded as “the next big thing” for a while in his home country, he now has the perfect opportunity in the Premier League to prove himself at the very highest level.
Moreso, the onus to prove that rejecting Barcelona for Spurs was the right choice is now on him. Best of luck Bergvall!