Danish Superliga Scouting: Part II by Max Graves
Picking just three players for the second part of my ‘Ones to watch’ was a very difficult choice due to the vast amount of talent under the age of 21 in the Danish Superliga. We’re looking at two players that have hit the ground running at the start of this season, and my final choice is a wildcard, a player who hasn’t managed to solidify his place in the first team yet, but who I feel is ready to make the step up to first team football.
Oscar Schwartau joined the Bröndby IF academy from FC Roskilde. During the 21/22 season, made 9 appearances for the Bröndby IF U17’s squad scoring 12 goals and getting 4 assists, this included his last game in the U17s squad where he scored 5 goals against Silkeborg U17. In the second part of the season, He went on to make 12 appearances for Bröndby IF U19’s team at the age of 15 scoring 5 goals and getting 1 assist. On the opening day of the 22/23 season, Oscar Schwartau made his First Team debut against AGF aged just 16 years and 61 days, becoming the fourth youngest player ever to make a Superliga appearance. Schwartau then became the second youngest player to score in the Superliga on the 14th August 2022, scoring against Odense BK from a shot from outside the box on his left foot. Schwartau has made 3 appearances in the Superliga and 2 appearances in the Uefa Conference League Qualifications this season and seems to have earnt his place in this starting 11.
Oscar Schwartau has been primarily used as a number 10, a roaming attacking midfielder or as a ‘Second Striker’ for Bröndby IF. During his first three games for the Bröndby’s first team, Schwartau has impressed me with his workrate and eagerness to get on the ball. He possesses a great first touch with the intent of moving towards goal and breaking into space in order to create opportunities. He has a strong initial burst of pace, which allows him to consistently play short passes to his teammates before quickly moving into open space. Schwartau is strong at passing and striking the ball with both feet.
Intelligent with his movement, positioning and timing of runs, Schwartau looks to find pockets in the half-space. Schwartau is also happy to drift wide, combine and create overloads with the wingers and full-backs. He’s good at linking play, often dropping deeper to collect the ball, circulating possession and drawing the opposition out of position.
Schwartau’s stamina and workrate is extremely impressive for his age. He is very capable playing in a high pressing team, working very hard and accelerating towards the opposition. Schwartau does occasionally lose out on defensive duels due to his timing of tackles and lack of strength when putting in a challenge but the more exposure he has to first team action, this area should be something he could develop over the coming season. At the age of 16, Schwartau has already cemented his place in the Bröndby first team and looks like he has a very bright future ahead of him.
Similar player to: Emile Smith-Rowe
Ernest Appiah Nuamah
Ernest Nuamah, nicknamed ‘Nana’, signed for FC Nordsjælland from the Right To Dream academy in January 2022. After making just one appearance for the Nordsjælland U19s, he made his first team debut and scored his first goal for FC Nordsjælland against AGF on the 10th April 2022. Nuamah went on to make 9 appearances for FC Nordsjælland’s first team. He has made a great start to the 22/23 season scoring 2 goals from his 5 appearances.
Nuamah is a left-footed winger, usually playing on the left wing but has made a few appearances on the right wing. He has impressed with his incredible speed and turn of pace, driving forward with the ball, beating defenders in 1v1 situations with his quick footwork, close control of the ball and unpredictability. Comfortable receiving the ball both wide on the flank or in the half-space, Nuamah shows a great ability to carry the ball into dangerous areas through dribbling and arriving in dangerous areas.
Nuamah is ranked 1st this season in the most touches in the penalty area, averaging 7.21 per 90 minutes, 2 touches per 90 ahead of the second highest Gustav Isaksen. Nuamah is finding himself in dangerous positions and getting lots of opportunities in the penalty area, however, his final product tends to lack a bit of conviction. This season he has a 35.7% accuracy rate from his 2.73 shots per 90 and a 25% accuracy rate from his 16 crosses. His decision-making and his composure in the final third is definitely an area that Nuamah needs to improve on.
Nuamah is very dangerous dribbling with the ball in 1v1 offensive situations but also demonstrates a goalscoring instinct getting into good positions in the box attacking crosses into the box. So far in the 22/23 season, Nuamah has made on average 7.21 dribbles per 90 with a successful percentage of 57% and an impressive 15.78 offensive duels per 90 with a success rate of 37%, ranking him third overall in offensive duels.
Nuamah’s link up play is also very impressive, drawing the opposition defenders out of position and attacking into space. He has built a great partnership with Andreas Schjelderup and the two look likely to cause havoc on the Superliga defences this season.
Defensively, Nuamah’s speed means he is very confident playing in Nordsjælland’s system of pressing high and has shown his ability in intercepting opposition passes and dispossessing the opposition with speed and high intensity.
Nuamah is a real threat in offensive transitions and on the counter attack due to his ability to break through the defence with his raw pace which makes him a valuable asset to the FC Nordsjælland team.
Similar player to: Andreas Skov Olsen, Leroy Sane
Orri Steinn Óskarsson
Orri Steinn Óskarsson came through the academy of IF Grótta, Iceland. Aged just 13, he made his first team debut for IF Grótta and signed for FC København in the summer of 2020 aged 15. In the 21/22 Danish U19 Ligaen, Óskarsson was the topscorer of the league with 30 goals (21 non penalty goals) and 6 assists in just 24 games. He made his First team debut in FC København’s 3–0 win against AaB on the 22nd May 2022, only a few days before he signed a contract extension. This season, Óskarsson was named on the bench during FC København’s 3–1 win at AaB on the 24th July 2022 but is yet to make an appearance.
Óskarsson has been primarily used for the U19 side as a Traditional number 9 or ‘Complete forward’ in the 4–2–3–1 or 4–3–3 system that is used by the FC København First team. Óskarsson’s ball striking and finishing with both his right and left foot is extremely accomplished. In the 21/22 season in the Danish U19 Ligaen he scored 30 goals in 24 games with a season xG of 22.57. He shows impressive composure and accuracy when taking penalties, scoring 9 from the spot last season in the 21/22 Danish U19 Ligaen. Óskarsson’s great awareness of space in the final third, combined his composure and technical ability give him the assets required to be a great number 9.
Óskarsson is comfortable in possession, dribbling at pace with the ball on his right and left foot. Last season, Óskarsson has also shown a good range of accurate passing with both feet. His awareness of space and dangerous areas makes him not only a threat dribbling at defenders but also is able to pick out his teammates in space. Óskarsson’s movement off the ball is very intelligent, allowing him to get into dangerous areas in the final third whilst also creating space for his teammates to run into. He likes to play on the shoulder of the defenders and in between the wing backs and centre backs, meaning it is very difficult for the opposition to mark him. He shows clever movement and times his runs excellently, peeling off the opposition defenders in the box, giving him time and space when he receives the ball, showing great composure to pick out the corners of the goal when he can.
Similar player to: Ivan Toney, Gabriel Jesus