Emil Krafth could not have picked a more inopportune time to sign for Newcastle United. He was announced just hours before hometown hero Andy Carroll would make his heralded return home last Thursday.
Though being the low key type of person he seems to be, that may have suited him just fine.
Emil was announced that morning with some fanfare as we got to see the customary collection of photos with him wearing the shirt in a variety of poses. We also got the interview with Emil who we noticed spoke excellent English.
However, talk of Emil coming to Newcastle soon went quiet after the news of Big Andy’s return started being reported.
Krafth was seen in the photographs released of Saturdays training session. He definitely looked the part of a strong and physical player in those pictures.
He also made the bench in the opening game though he had been at the club only a few days.
We don’t think he will make the starting eleven against Norwich on Saturday but should find himself in the matchday squad again. Javier Manquillo did enough to keep his place we feel.
What will Emil Krafth bring to this squad and what qualities does he have that may separate him from Manquillo and DeAndre Yedlin?
When asked what type of player he was and how he would describe himself in his initial interview, responded:
“I’m solid. I’m very physical. And I’m good with the ball. I’m good one against one on defense.”
He also stated in that interview that he learned a lot of defensive tactics in Italy – big surprise! While in France, he noted that it was a more physical league than Italy and somewhat similar to the Premier League. This familiarity with a physical league should help him transition to the Premier League. The English game, he thinks, will suit him quite well.
Emil Krafth– Solid, physical, and good on the ball
Do these descriptions of himself match with what others have said about his play?
A report in 90min describes Emil as a quick and direct player who can cross a ball well. They also describe him as very solid defensively.
Sean McCormick in the Chronicle interviewed various people who are familiar with Emil Krafth and what type of player he is.
Roar Hansen coached the right-back at Swedish club Helsingborgs. This is how he described the Swede:
“He developed very good, he played all the games. He is a physical, quick player. He improved with the ball at the time and he is not the most talented player I ever worked with but he always worked hard.
“He always wanted to be better, always listened to the coaches and the more experienced players.
“He has gone on to Italy, France and England and I can tell you I am a very, very proud coach.
“He is a very humble guy. He talks to everybody, all the fans, all the kids. He comes from a very small village in Sweden and he has a good family. He is a very good person.”
This is a nice description of Emil from someone who was around him when as he developed. We like that Hansen describes him as a hard worker as well as being a good listener. That usually means someone will be a smart player on the pitch. Paul Dummett is a similar type of player who takes instruction well.
It’s also the physical ability that will matter in the Premier League. The fact the Krafth is physical and quick should suit the style of the English game.
Manuel Minguzzi, a reporter of Tutto Bologna, had this to say about Krafth from his time in Italy with Serie A club Bologna:
“Donadoni liked his physical strength and his good technique, but his tactical gaps in Italy were never solved. This is why Donadoni preferred other players to him.”
Minguzzi is referencing Roberto Donadoni who coached Krafth at Bologna. Incidentally, there were reports this summer that the Italian was interested in joining Newcastle but was not considered.
This is not as glowing a report on Emil in terms of his tactical gaps. Krafth did mention that he learned defensive tactics in Italy in his interview. Minguzzi also mentions his strength and technique which are two attributes that should help him in England.
Alexis Blin, a defensive midfielder and Amiens teammate, described Emil Krafth with a bit more reverence than Minguzzi:
“There are very physical matches in France and much running and tackles and so on, so that was more his style of playing.”
“He was an important player in our team, in fact. He has got the team spirit, so you can be confident when he is on the pitch because he always gives his best for the team.
“He’s a fighter on the pitch and that’s what the supporters liked here. He was good at crossing as well. This is the reason why I think that he is ready to play in the Premier League.”
From what we have gathered it looks like Emil Krafth should be a solid and dependable addition to this squad. He also seems like he will be excellent in the community as well. We can’t wait to get a look at our new right-back and see some of those crosses reaching Joelinton in the box.