Coventry's Viktor Gyokeres is one of the Championship's form strikers this season
Coventry's Viktor Gyokeres is one of the Championship's form strikers this season

Coventry's Viktor Gyokeres is one of the Championship’s form strikers — and he has just been rewarded with an international call-up.

The 23-year-old has nine goals in 11 games in the second tier, guiding the Sky Blues to the lofty heights of third in the table.

Gyokeres’ physical presence has drawn comparisons to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who he has just replaced in the Sweden squad following an injury to the AC Milan frontman.

As the Swedes prepare for qualifiers against Kosovo and Greece, we turn the spotlight on the red-hot Coventry marksman.

Finding his feet

Gyokeres is highly rated in his home country after scoring 22 goals in 63 games for Stockholm side Brommapojkarna and netting on his full international debut at the age of 20.

But he has taken time to find his feet in England since signing for Brighton in 2018.

After time with the Seagulls’ Under-23s, he enjoyed a decent spell on loan at St Pauli in the 2. Bundesliga, scoring seven goals in 26 appearances.

Viktor Gyokeres' double in a shock 4-1 win over Fulham took his tally this season to nine goals
Viktor Gyokeres' double in a shock 4-1 win over Fulham took his tally this season to nine goals

That earned him a shot on loan at Swansea at the start of last season but with playing time limited he was recalled and sent immediately to Coventry in January.

Three goals in 23 games in the Midlands was a modest return but after being impressed with Gyokeres during the spell, manager Mark Robins opted to sign him permanently this summer.

After signing, Gyokeres said: "I liked it here last season, they’re a nice bunch of players and I just wanted to come back and show everyone more and what I can offer this team."

If the jury was out on him after his loan spell, it certainly is not now.

Red-hot form

Not many would have predicted Gyokeres to be third in the Championship goalscoring charts after 11 games but his spectacular form has lifted him and Coventry to new heights.

Seven wins so far has the Sky Blues flying high in third, with Gyokeres notching nine of their 16 goals this campaign.

A club who were facing financial woe and playing League Two football just three years ago, Gyokeres and Co have Coventry fans dreaming once again after years of hurt.

An impressive double in a shock 4-1 against promotion hopefuls Fulham saw Gyokeres make the 2021-22 campaign his best since moving to England already.

His form has firmly cemented him as a No9 to keep a close eye on in the second tier this season and the £1million Coventry paid is already looking like a bargain. 

Viktor Gyokeres has been on fire for Coventry in the Championship this season
Viktor Gyokeres has been on fire for Coventry in the Championship this season

Robins said: "He’s gleaming from belief.

"I said from when he came in he was absolutely brilliant, everything he hit was going in the net.

"He’s difficult to play against, there’s no doubt about that because he’s got all the tools."

Premier League ready?

Prolific goalscorers are hard to come by but what every manager craves, particularly when relegation from the Premier League is on the line.

Judging by what he has shown this season, Gyokeres looks to perfectly fit that bill. 

The 6ft 1in striker has the physical presence and finishing instinct but is also well-versed at carrying the ball forward himself, seemingly giving all the armoury needed to succeed in the top tier.

His rating of 2.4 aerial duels won per 90 places him second overall in the Championship, while 1.8 key passes per game show he can link play as well.

His physique and experience with English football mean he may not need as much time to adjust to the step up and could be an ideal option for clubs struggling for goals.

Despite Coventry currently exceeding expectations, you would be surprised if they stood in Gyokeres' way should a suitable fee from the top flight came in.

Big shoes to fill

Viktor Gyokeres will be tasked with replacing the injured Zlatan Ibrahimovic for Sweden
Viktor Gyokeres will be tasked with replacing the injured Zlatan Ibrahimovic for Sweden

His exploits in the second tier have earned him recognition on the international stage too after a late call-up by Sweden manager Janne Andersson as cover just hours after the Fulham win.

The injured star he is replacing? Only the country’s all-time top scorer Ibrahimovic.

The Sweden icon — who turned 40 on Saturday — is reaching the last days of his playing career and the Blagult are looking for a new hero to take them forward.

On Gyokores, Andersson said: "We have followed Viktor in recent years and know that he is a good football player.

"He did well when we had him on the January tour in 2019 and he has done very well in England lately. I look forward to seeing him in our environment."

Adding to his solitary international goal against Kosovo and Greece would give Gyokeres the best chance of holding onto a Sweden shirt in the future.

With the form he has shown at club level this season, you would not bet against him doing just that.

Tags

CoventryChampionshipPremier LeagueSwedenViktor Gyoekeres

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