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Saturday, 01 February 2014

Arsenal: Five handy facts on Kim Kallstrom


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Arsenal had been linked with the likes of Julian Draxler, Jackson Martinez and even Dimitar Berbatov over the past month, so you can understand why they are so underwhelmed by the signing of Swedish midfielder Kim Kallstrom.

However, Wenger has got himself an experienced and talented player, one who can certainly do a job for the Gunners given their current injury crisis in midfield.

Kallstrom arrives from Spartak Moscow on loan until the end of the season and is eligible to play in the Champions League. With the current holders Bayern Munich waiting in the wings, Kallstrom's addition could be vital to their progression.

Here are five handy facts on the new man.

1. Born on August 24, 1982, Kallstrom started his professional career at Gothenburg-based side BC Hacken. He scored 14 league goals with the club in 69 appearances before moving to Djurgardens IF in 2002. Kallstrom sampled his first taste of success there, winning the league twice and the cup. He also ended his debut season as the club's top scorer. This form attracted clubs in France. Rennes secured his signature in 2004. Two years later he joined the all-conquering Lyon.

Kallstrom2. Kallstrom is an all-round midfield maestro. He can play anywhere in the middle of the park and is just as comfortable sitting deep as pushing on trying to get on the scoresheet. At one time he was rated as one of the best midfielders in Europe. At 31 his best days are behind him, but you only have to look at Frank Lampard and Ryan Giggs to see that age is only a number nowadays in professional football.

3. He is a man for the big occasions. In an international qualification match against Germany Kallstrom was the hero when he came off the bench at 4-0 down to have a hand in three goals as the Swedes produced an heroic comeback. Kallstrom is also a kind man, helping a former team mascot with Williams Syndrome.

4. It was at Lyon that Kallstrom enjoyed his most successful period. In six seasons he won six honours, including the league twice. Lyon were also regulars in the Champions League. Kallstrom was also sent off in disgrace at Lyon for spitting at an official.

5. At 6ft 1in, Kallstrom is going to increase the height in that Arsenal dressing room. Santi Cazorla will probably call him Andre the Giant! Kallstrom has played for his country in every single age group and currently has 108 senior caps under his belt for the Swedes and 16 goals.

So there are your five facts for the day, but do you think he has what it takes to be a hit at Arsenal? Have your title hopes for this season gone up in smoke given Wenger's reluctance to sign another striker? Whatever your views, we'd love to hear from you.

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