Elias Jelert – FC København’s teenage sensation by @DanishScout_
FC København have in recent years levelled up massively in regards to their talent development and it looks to be paying off already. They recently sold Victor Kristiansen to Leicester in a record-breaking deal and they still have great talents like Hákon Arnar Haraldsson, Roony Bardghji, William Clem, Valdemar Lund Jensen and Noah Sahsah at the club.
Elias Jelert is part of that fantastic group and has quickly become a nailed-on starter since Jacob Neestrup replaced Jess Thorup as manager of FC København. He has also received his first call-up to Denmark’s national team on the back of several impressive performances.
Who is Elias Jelert?
Elias Jelert is 19 years old and is primarily used as a right-back at FC København, but he can also cover the left-back spot. FC København are currently in red-hot form and are now just one point behind FC Nordsjælland at the top of the Superliga table. Elias Jelert has played a massive part in this impressive run with one goal and one assist during the first five games of 2023.
Jelert has now completely skipped the Danish U21 national team, but he was playing regularly for FC København U19 this time last year, and has only played three games for Denmark U19, which puts his rise into perspective.
As @Nor_Ball’s chart below shows, Elias Jelert is a very well-rounded full-back. He has the offensive quality of a traditional winger as he’s very quick, agile and a good dribbler. His composure, bravery and ability to drive the ball forward single-handedly is remarkable for such a young and quite inexperienced player.
As the chart also shows, he is very solid defensively where he ranks highly in ‘successful defensive actions’ and ‘possession-adjusted interceptions’. His coordination and anticipation helps him out massively in 1v1s and so does his mental attributes. Despite being just 19, he plays with an incredible tenacity and shows a strong desire to win the ball back. I would also not be surprised if he captains a side in the future with the leadership skills he’s already displaying.
He is playing as a full-back for now, but I have no doubts he would be an incredible wing-back too. His offensive and defensive qualities mixed with his stamina and workrate is the perfect package for the modern game.
I would compare Elias Jelert to Jeremie Frimpong. There is of course a big difference from the Superliga to the Bundesliga, but Frimpong does not excel defensively in the same way as Jelert, but what sets them apart from many full-backs/wing-backs is their offensive ability. Frimpong is one of Europe’s most productive full-backs/wing-backs this season, and Jelert is showing the same kind of promise on the offensive end.
What’s also exciting about Jelert is his ability to move inwards. FC København currently play with a right-footed winger ahead of him, so to avoid occupying the same spaces, Jelert can’t do too many overlapping runs. Being able to work with both left-footed and right-footed wingers is another exciting aspect of Jelert’s game.
What’s next for Elias Jelert?
Jelert’s future is very hard to predict. This is just his first season as a starter for FC København, but I do feel like he could end up bringing in more money than Victor Kristiansen. He is already looking like one of their best players, he impressed during his four games in the Champions League and he just received his first call-up to the Danish national team. His feats at such a young age will certainly raise interest from big clubs around Europe.
Staying for another year could prove to be a wise decision, but I honestly feel like he’s good enough to already move up the ladder.