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Sebastian Larsson

Published: Thursday 1 March 2012, 16.28CET
Sunderland AFC
Published: Thursday 1 March 2012, 16.28CET

Sebastian Larsson

Sunderland AFC

A squad player at UEFA EURO 2008, Sebastian Larsson is now one of the key players in Erik Hamrén's Sweden team. A right-sided midfielder and set-piece specialist with energy, skill and an accurate long-range shot, he has spent his entire career in England – at first with Arsenal FC, then at Birmingham City FC and, since the summer of 2011, with Sunderland AFC.

• Lured to England by Arsenal at the age of 16 after being spotted playing youth football for Sweden but found the going tough at the north London club, making just 12 appearances, including three in the Premier League and one in the UEFA Champions League (against AFC Ajax), before he was despatched on a season-long loan to Birmingham in 2006.

• Helped the Blues to automatic promotion from the Championship, sealing a permanent move halfway through the campaign, and displayed even better form in 2007/08, despite the club's relegation, scoring six goals in the Premier League – including a spectacular last-minute winner at Tottenham Hotspur FC in new manager Alex McLeish's first match.

• Made his senior debut for Sweden against Turkey on 6 February 2008 and was included in their UEFA EURO 2008 squad, making one substitute appearance at the finals against eventual winners Spain.

• Helped Birmingham win another promotion in 2008/09 and registered four goals in each of the next two Premier League campaigns while playing regularly for Sweden and finally scoring his first international goal – on his 29th appearance – in a UEFA European Championship qualifier at home to Moldova on 29 March 2011.

• Left Birmingham after another relegation to join Sunderland, for whom he scored on his Premier League debut against Liverpool FC at Anfield; also struck in each of Sweden's final two UEFA EURO 2012 qualifiers, against Finland and the Netherlands, before hitting a double in a February 2012 friendly triumph over Croatia.

Last updated: 22/03/12 15.35CET

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