John Guidetti aims to be new Henrik Larsson
The 22-year-old forward rushed to Glasgow on Monday in the hope of following in the footsteps of fellow Swede Henrik Larsson, who achieved iconic status at Celtic by scoring 242 goals in 315 games in his seven years there.
“It was chaos yesterday. I don’t think I ate all day,” Guidetti told newspaper Sportbladet as he arrived on Sweden’s west coast for duty with the Under 21 side.
“It was just wait, wait, wait. Hundreds of fans stood outside the stadium and waited in the middle of the night,” said Guidetti, who had been told that he was surplus to requirements at the City of Manchester Stadium.
It looked like the wait was in vain, for him and the fans, but media in Scotland reported on Tuesday that the Scottish FA had accepted the transfer paperwork and it was now up to world governing body FIFA to judge if the move could be approved.
“I hope that it sorts itself out with Celtic, otherwise I’ll have to stay at City and that’s not the worst thing that could happen,” Guidetti said. “Unfortunately, the papers weren’t finished in time and now it’s up to FIFA to decide.”
Guidetti, who says playing barefoot during five years spent living in Kenya helped him develop his skills, has never played a senior game for Manchester City, who he joined from Swedish club Brommapojkarna in 2008.
He burst on to the scene in the 2011/12 season, scoring 20 goals in 23 games on loan at Feyenoord. Last term he went to City’s Premier League rivals Stoke City on loan, but failed to find the net in six games.
A move to Celtic could be exactly what he and the club need.
After several loan spells, Guidetti is eager for a run of games and Celtic, knocked out in the Champions League playoffs and struggling at the start of their league campaign, are crying out for a new Larsson.
“We did actually talk about the number seven (Larsson’s old shirt),” Guidetti told Sportbladet. “They’re big shoes to fill, but it would have been fun.”
Having granted Celtic a 24-hour extension to the transfer deadline, the Scottish FA is now expected to plead the club’s case to FIFA.