Former Arsenal academy midfielder Kristoffer Olsson believes he was too impatient in North London, moving on too early.

Jack Jebb
BARCELONA, SPAIN: Juan Antonio of FC Barcelona duels for the ball with Kristoffer Olsson (R) and Jack Jebb of Arsenal during the UEFA Youth League Quarter Final match between FC Barcelona U19 and Arsenal U19 at Mini Estadi on March 18, 2014, in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Kristoffer Olsson joined Arsenal in 2011, after a couple of trial periods with the club, and he progressed from the academy to make his first-team debut in the League Cup at the age of 18.

But that debut turned out to be his only appearance, and the midfielder left the club just over a year later at 19. He joined FC Midtjylland on loan, then permanently in late 2014.

Almost seven years later, Olsson is making a good career for himself. He plays for RSC Anderlecht, and he’s a regular Sweden international, with 30 caps – and 25 of those caps coming in 2019 onwards.

Whilst the 26-year-old says he has no regrets about the way things panned out, he admits he was probably too quick to leave Arsenal. He believes he could have broken into the first-team if he’d been more patient.

“When Arsenal calls you, it’s hard to resist,” Olsson explained. “For three years, I was in a host family who took care of me, but I was far away from my family. In the end, I only played one game there.

“Looking back, I think I was too impatient. At 19, you always want more. Maybe I would have broken through if I had stayed.

“But I have no regrets. I have improved as a footballer to the point of being a starter for Sweden.”

Perhaps Olsson’s career would have gone very differently if he’d stayed at Arsenal. It’s certainly not impossible he’d still be playing for the club today, if he’d stuck around long enough to break into the first-team.

But as he says, his career has still taken him to a point where he’s a starter for his country. He can’t have too many complaints.