Swedish defender Joel Ekstrand may not have been given the window of opportunity to air his skills at Euro 2016. But the former Watford star is certainly attracting plenty of interest from a host of Championship outfits.
What does he bring?
- Strong physical presence
- Leadership from the back
- Championship, promotion winning experience
The Story so far
Born in Lund, Sweden, Ekstrand began his long road to English football at his hometown club. He would spend eight years in the Lunds BK youth set-up before making the career defining move to former national champions, Helsingborgs.
After establishing himself as an instrumental player in the Helsingborgs line-up, and even earning himself a national team call up. The physical centre half was given his break, an opportunity to spead his wings and compete in European football with Serie A side Udinese.
Unfortunately, just one season down the line, Ekstrand was loaned to partner club Watford, a deal that would eventually become permanent. He penned a three-year deal and immediately became the centre piece of the Hornets rear-guard. After their promotion back in 2015, he was pushed further down the line, and after his contract expired last month, many clubs have been chasing his signature.
Who’s after him.
The Championship trio of Leeds United, Bristol City and Reading are all said to have offered the 28-year-old centre half a deal for next season, but he is yet back his decision. If newly appointed Leeds boss Garry Monk does get the deal for Ekstrand over the line, he would join fellow Swede Marcus Amtonsson at Elland Road.