Date: 24th August 2017 at 8:01pm
Written by:

Shoot! would like to wish Kim Källström many happy returns as the Swedish star celebrates his 35th birthday today!

The midfielder, who earned 131 international caps for his country before retiring from Swedish duty last summer, did taste English football, for a brief spell, during his ill-fated loan at Arsenal.

After joining the Premier League outfit back in January 2014, a back injury significantly damaged his Gunners impact, leaving the Emirates Stadium after just four appearances at the end of the season.

So, Shoot! asks where is Källström now?

Swedish star Kim Källström.

The deep lying central midfielder began his professional career in Gothenburg with BK Hacken (1999) in his homeland, helping the club earn promotion to the Allsvenskan (top-flight), before earning a transfer to Djurgardens IF in 2002.

Following two Allsvenskan titles, the Swede opted for a move to France next, joining Ligue 1 outfit Rennes during the 2004 January transfer window, where he scored 21 goals in 88 appearances in all competitions.

Källström ended his two-and-a-half-year spell in Rennes by joining French rivals Lyon in June 2006, where he went onto lift two league titles, two French Cups and two French Super Cups.

Lyon proved to be Källström’s longest-serving club, where he racked up 281 outings in all competitions, including 22 goals and 38 assists.

But he left the Parc Olympique Lyonnais in July 2012 after putting pen to paper on a €3m transfer to Russian club Spartak Moscow.

However, it wasn’t long until Källström was on the move again, as Arsenal completed a shock deadline day loan swoop for the Swedish star.

The midfielder joined Arsene Wenger’s side on January 31, 2014, until the end of the season.

But, the reason behind why his arrival was ‘surprising’ is because a back injury was discovered during his medical, but the club still agreed for the move to go ahead despite Källström needing to undergo rehabilitation.

Fans, not just of Arsenal Football Club, but football in general; were left baffled by Wenger’s decision to complete a deal for the injured Sweden international, despite being sidelined for at least another seven weeks, especially with The Gunners top of the Premier League table during the first weekend of February.

Therefore it wasn’t until nearly the end of March when Arsenal’s deadline day signing finally made his bow, replacing Tomas Rosicky for the final 11 minutes in The Gunners’ 2-2 draw at home to Swansea City.

Arsenal’s Kim Källström celebrates during the penalty shootout.

His next outing proved significant, as he jumped off the bench in extra-time of Arsenal’s FA Cup semi-final clash versus Wigan Athletic, where he scored his team’s second spot-kick in an eventual 4-2 penalty shootout victory. Something Källström described as, “the greatest 15 minutes of my life”.

A few days later, the Swede was given his first and only start under manager Wenger, during Arsenal’s 3-1 Premier League win over West Ham United at the Emirates.

Källström’s final Gunners outing came on the penultimate matchday of the 2013-14 Premier League campaign, coming on for the final 27 minutes in Arsenal’s 1-0 triumph over West Bromwich Albion.

Despite netting an all-important penalty in the semi-final, Källström wasn’t even selected in Wenger’s matchday squad for the 2014 FA Cup final, which saw Arsenal defeat Hull City 3-2 after extra-time inside Wembley Stadium.

That summer, the midfielder returned to Russia, where he played a further 28 times for Spartak Moscow the following term, before joining Swiss Super League outfit Grasshoppers in June 2015.

But even being appointed captain couldn’t stop Källström from leaving after just 19 months. He terminated his contract by mutual consent in January 2017 after wanting out of Grasshoppers, citing personal reasons for his departure.

Källström made four appearances for Arsenal.

Just 10 days later, the midfielder returned to familiar surroundings by re-joining Djurgardens in his homeland, putting pen to paper on a two-year deal.

In fact, his decision to return to the Allsvenskan outfit crashed the club’s official website following his transfer announcement.

Appointed captain once more, Källström has become a key player for Djurgardens, featuring in 19 of their 20 league games so far this season, with his team currently 10 points adrift of leaders Malmo with 10 games remaining in the Swedish top-flight.

Brought to you by Shoot!