20 | Striker | Manchester City | Swedish
When former Dutch great Ronald Koeman says that you can be just as good as Zlatan Ibrahimovic you must be doing something right, and John Guidetti certainly did his reputation no harm when on loan at Feyenoord last season
The 20 year old Swede bagged an impressive 20 goals in 23 league games to help the team to second spot in the Eredivisie before a mystery illness threatened to curtail his promising career before he could build the success at Feyenoord.
Many believed that Guidetti had simply disappeared into a black hole, a victim of the mega bucks superstar squad that doesn’t serve as a good breeding ground for upcoming young talent.
In fact, the striker was fighting for his football future off the field after a bout of food poisoning spiralled to the point where his central nervous system was greatly affected and he had paralysis in his right leg.
The illness caused him to miss the end of the Eredivisie season, and many will say that his absence ultimately cost Feyenoord their chance of claiming the title, but he had done more than enough to leave his mark on the club.
Guidetti began his career in his home country at IF Brommapojkarna, a club who interestingly enough is the largest in Europe in terms of the number of active teams across all age groups.
He played twice for the senior side before joining City as a 16 year old in 2009 and bagged 13 goals in 13 games for the under 18s.
Short term loan spells followed, first back at Brommapojkarna and then at Burnley, before he returned to City and was named in the 25 man squad for the Europa League in January 2011.
There was one major blip along the way when, at the end of the 2011 season, his contract expired and a free transfer to FC Twente looked to be on the cards.
Twente believed that they had a done a deal thanks to the Bosman ruling only for the player to change his mind and agree to a new contract with City.
The move to Feyenoord last year signalled a first extended run in a top flight first team, and it was an opportunity he grabbed with both hands.
Guidetti became just the second player to score three successive hattricks at home in the Eredivisie, one of which came in a 4-2 win over Ajax.
The Manchester City hierarchy obviously recognise his ability and potential, rewarding him with a new three year contract back in October despite still having two years remaining on his existing deal.
While he only has a League Cup appearance against West Brom under his belt for City, it’s hardly surprising that Guidetti is yet to feature in the Premier League given the embarrassment of riches at manager Roberto Mancini’s disposal.
However with some of the strikers misfiring at the moment he could maybe be a left field option over the coming months.
Another loan move looks more likely though with recent reports linking him to Sunderland, and some experience in the English top flight would be the perfect way for Guidetti to find his feet again.
As a City fan, it’s hard to know what the future holds for Guidetti in Manchester simply because we haven’t seen enough of him, but a stint with another Premier League club wouldn’t do him any harm.