Swedish football has supplied a number of top class players to England, and a significant proportion of those have played for Manchester United. Some enjoyed great success, while others experienced only brief stays at the legendary club.
Here are the Swedish players to have featured for Manchester United to date.
How many Swedish players have played for Man United?
By the end of the 2022/23 English Premier League season, six Swedish footballers had played for Manchester United at some point in their careers. The full list is Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrik Larsson, Anthony Elanga, Victor Lindeloff, Jesper Blomqvist and Bojan Djordic.
Swedish Players who were Members of the Manchester United Squad
While Zlatan Ibrahimovic joined Manchester United late on in his career, the Swedish striker had lost none of his brilliance. He’d already featured for some of the biggest clubs in European football before signing for United from PSG in 2016.
Ibrahimovic was an instant hit at Old Trafford, scoring 28 goals in 46 matches across all competitions in 2016/17. Sadly, his second campaign was blighted by injury, and he only featured in seven games. His brief spell at United was also a successful one as Zlatan helped the club to three trophies, including the 2017 Europa League title.
After a quiet start to his Manchester United career, Victor Lindelof has settled into English football, and he’s now a first team regular. He arrived at Old Trafford from Benfica in 2017, but played in less than half of United’s league games in his first term.
That situation improved from the 2018/19 season onwards, and Victor Lindelof is now one of the first names on the Manchester United teamsheet. He’s moving into his prime as a player, and could become one of the most successful Swedes in English football.
After he became a British footballing legend during a long spell with Glasgow Celtic, Manchester United fans would have hoped for more goals from Swedish international Henrik Larsson. The striker was sent on loan to United from Helsingborgs in 2007.
The Swedish league had entered its offseason, and Manchester United needed a short term solution up front. Larsson arrived and played in thirteen matches scoring three goals. United wanted the player to stay on, but Henrik Larsson had promised to return to Sweden, and went back to Helsingborgs ahead of the new domestic campaign.
Anthony Elanga became a teammate of Victor Lindelof at Manchester United, when he made his professional debut in 2021. United had spotted his potential early, and he appeared as a youth in the club’s academy.
Elanga can play as a forward, or out on the wing and he showed promise during his time at Old Trafford. In total, he played 55 games for Manchester United, scoring four goals, but Anthony Elanga was moved on to fellow Premier League side Nottingham Forest at the start of the 2023/24 season.
His stay at Manchester United was a brief one, but Jesper Blomqvist is the most successful Swedish player to have performed for this legendary team. The attacking midfielder arrived at Old Trafford from Italian side Parma in 1998.
Blomqvist’s signature was highly prized, but United manager Alex Ferguson saw the player as a back up to Ryan Giggs on the left. It meant that his appearances in the 1998/99 season were restricted to 38 in all competitions, and 24 in the EPL – mostly as a substitute. Despite this, Jesper Blomqvist, won three major winner’s medals as his team completed the treble of Premier League title, FA Cup and Champions League.
Sadly, a serious injury struck ahead of the next campaign, and Jesper Blomqvist did not play another competitive game for Manchester United. He’s fondly remembered, although the Old Trafford faithful didn’t see the best of him.
Winger Bojan Djordjic qualifies as a Swedish Manchester United player, but only just. He joined United in 1999 and was employed by the club for six years, but he spent most of that time out on loan.
Djordjic made just two competitive appearances for Manchester United, before the player eventually left on a permanent deal. Unable to break through at Old Trafford, he joined Glasgow Rangers in January 2005.
It’s a relatively short list of players, but one which proves that Manchester United only take the best Swedish talent. Some have been on the club’s books without making a mark, while the better players have made more of a contribution to the team.
Victor Lindelof still has time to add a major trophy to his time at Manchester United, while the Old Trafford door will always be open to other players. Who will be next to represent Sweden at one of the greatest club sides in world football?