The European Championships in France come to a conclusion this weekend, as with every 2 years, the extra 4 weeks in the football calendar has been a healthy distraction from the toils of waiting for a new domestic season to start. While many of the top clubs across England have been sweating over the fitness and well-being of their Euro stars other managers have been concluding their business deals early. There’s been no Danes in the Euro 2016 shop window this summer but that hasn’t stopped English clubs from bringing in Nordic talent, Out of the 5 Danish deals with English clubs so far there is 1 new face plying his trade, 2 players making loan deals from last season permanent, 1 player returning to a new club and 1 player leaving the English shores and returning to Jutland.
Here are the early deals that have been concluded so far.
Viktor Fischer, Ajax to Middlesbrough – 3.8 Million
Another player straight from the Ajax production line and one of 4 Danes in last seasons squad,Viktor Fischer follows in the footsteps of fellow Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen who cut his teeth with Dutch giants Ajax from youth level, winning multiple titles before leaving for the riches of the Premier League. After playing over 100 games in 4 seasons despite a 14 month lay off and with the departure of coach Frank de Boer the time was right for the 22 year old to make the step up. It was newly promoted Middlesbrough that acquired the services of the 9 cap winger for a fee of 3.8 million, with 2016 Olympic game commitments still to be resolved Fishcher will be Middlesbrough’s first Danish player in the Premier League since 1999 when striker Mikkel Beck graced the Riverside turf.
Simon Makienok, Palermo to PNE – Season long loan.
The Danish ‘Peter Crouch’ as he’s known, 6ft 7inch striker Simon Makienok had a brief and unsuccessful start to life in England last season as he played for Championship relegated club Charlton Athletic, despite scoring 5 goals in 36 games he learnt the toils and pace of English football the hard way. Italian club Palermo have loaned the 25 year old 6 cap Danish player up north this time to Championship side Preston North End for one season and he will look to replicate his Brondby form from 2 years ago that saw a host of European clubs try to capture his signing after scoring 35 goals in 74 Superliga matches.
Anders Lindegaard, WBA to PNE – Undisclosed fee.
Simon Makienok won’t be the only Dane gracing the turf on Deepdale this season. After spending the second half of last season in the Championship with Preston making 14 appearances former Man United goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard has made a permanent move from West Bromwich Albion. The Danish stopper found his playing time at the Hawthorns non existent and a move down a division all but guarantees first team football for the 32 year old Premier League medal winner.With fellow countryman Makienok by his side it will be the first time in 8 years Lindegaard has played club football with a fellow Dane. Lindegaard is unlikely to add to his 5 caps with the emergence of Leicester City hero Kasper Schmeichel now firmly the first choice and who may, like Lindegaard be able to emulate his fathers Man United heroics one day.
Kenneth Zohore, KV Kortrijk to Cardiff City – Undisclosed fee.
The 3rd Danish player to feature in the Championship this season will be Kenneth Zahore. The Under 21 striker had a loan spell with Cardiff City during the second half of last season and has now made the move to the Welsh capital permanent. Zohore’s spell in Belgium was purely for transfer purposes as he never actually appeared for KV Kortrijk despite signing for them. 2 goals in 12 games for the Bluebirds was enough to see him make a full time switch.
Casper Sloth, Leeds United to Aab Aalborg – Undisclosed fee.
One Danish player who will be leaving English football and returning back to the Superliga is Leeds United’s 24 year old midfielder Casper Sloth. After 2 disappointing seasons in West Yorkshire, the lack of international games and the disharmony amongst local support it was inevitable the departure from the Championship was imminent, 14 games to his name was a shock to the system after playing over 100 in his short career. Sloth won the last of his 8 caps playing against England in a 1-0 Wembley defeat during his days at AGF Aarhus and has now signed for Jutland neighbours Aab Aalborg.