Teenage starlet Pelgander has bright future at Leicester
Emilia Pelgander could be a future star at Leicester.
The teenager joined on a free transfer last week after her contract with Damallsvenskan side KIF Orebro expired.
Swedish midfielder Pelgander is highly rated having made her debut at Orebro at the age of 16.
Now 19, we take a look at what she could offer at Leicester ahead of today's clash with Manchester City.
Pelgander's determination to be a success at Leicester cannot be questioned.
After her arrival was confirmed, she said: "I'm really excited and grateful for this opportunity.
"I really liked my first talks with the manager, discussing how Leicester play and the philosophy here, and I think it will be a good fit for me.
"It's a style of football I like to play. Aggressive pressure and trying to keep the ball, and I think Leicester have started a journey that I want to be on.
"I'd say I'm a midfielder that works really hard. I like to have the ball at my feet and I'm good at passing, being creative and creating opportunities."
Pelgander scored two goals and provided one assist in 2023 — but her ability to drive forward with the ball and win possession in midfield are her most prevalent traits.
She has an impressive ability to read the game and a perceptiveness that belies her youth.
However, Pelgander has acknowledged that she may need to bide her time.
She said: "Willie [Kirk] wants me to play in the way I have before.
"He likes that I'm aggressive and ambitious and want to become a better footballer.
"The training facilities are really nice. I've already met all of the players and coaching staff and they've been really nice.
"I've been watching some games, since I knew this was going to be my team, and I believe I've identified a position that I know I can fit into the team.
"I want to listen to what other players have to say, because they can help me also.
"And for me, coming in during the season, the main goal is to get into the team and get as much playing time as I can so that I can improve myself and hopefully the team with it."
One for the future
Pelgander has joined Leicester at a good time, following a 5-1 victory over Everton in the League Cup and a 1-0 win against the Toffees in the WSL.
She will be competing with the likes of Jutta Rantala, Saori Takarada and Sam Tierney — all more experienced midfielders — for a place in the starting XI.
But Leicester should be a good place for Pelgander to develop, with a fourth successive season in the WSL looking likely if they can avoid a collapse in form.
Even if her initial appearances are as a substitute, expect Pelgander to quickly make an impact in a Leicester shirt.