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A Closer Look At Left-Back Kristoffer Lund

By Tyler Trent

Kristoffer Lund warming up before a match against Malmö. Photo courtesy of BK Häcken.

Some die-hard American prospect trackers will know the name Kristoffer Lund Hansen (Lund). The 20-year-old Danish youth player was born to an American mother and a Danish father. With the great rise and success of dual national players playing for the United States National Team in the last decade, Lund has been on the radar as a potential player for the USA to recruit despite his regular appearances for the Denmark youth teams. However, to MLS fans, his American passport is an intriguing asset for roster-building purposes.

While Lund is still no household name, his stock has been rising this season after a breakout season with BK Häcken in the Swedish Allsvenskan. Starting 23 games at left-back in the 2022 season, Kristoffer Lund helped lead BK Häcken to their first-ever Allsvenskan league title. Häcken primarily played in a 4-3-3 formation focused on build-up play with smart positioning and defensive play. There are some similarities in the way Häcken and Charlotte FC played this season. However, Charlotte finished the season alternating between playing a 4-2-3-1 formation and the previously mentioned 4-3-3. Both these formations thrive on having quality wide players capable of providing offensive spark, and Lund did that this season in Sweden.

Lund provided a team-leading six assists in the league this season while performing well in his defensive role. With two full seasons in Sweden with steady improvement and quality on the pitch, the American passport is just an added bonus for a MLS team interested in signing him. What does Lund offer as a potential signing at left-back? Balance. In his second season for BK Häcken, Lund provided a critical balance between solid defensive contribution and elevating the level of the strong attack for his team.

Standing at 6 feet tall, Lund is capable of providing a physical presence both on the ground and in the air. Shot blocking and interceptions were his specialty in defense, with 0.53 and 1.39 per 90, respectively. His ground duels and aerial duels statistics were average for defenders in Sweden, but Lund was only booked three times in his 25 appearances.

While Lund is a balanced player, his crossing and offensive capabilities still shine. His six assists aligned with his xA (expected assists) for the season. Crossing numbers for Lund were near the top of the league in 2022, with 4.06 per 90 minutes and 1.10 successful crosses per 90. Lund is a strong passer but also makes use of his dribbling skills to progress the ball up the pitch. He averaged 1.87 dribbles per 90 this season. Lund didn’t provide much goalscorer capabilities this season, only taking five shots. However, three of those were on target.

Kristoffer Lund poses with his club teammate Oscar Uddenäs in a friendly match between Sweden and Demark U21. Photo courtesy of BK Häcken.

Kristoffer Lund offers much beyond statistics as well. At only 20 years old, he plays like a veteran and tries to lead the team on the pitch. Lund describes himself with the words "happy, fighter, and fast" but credits his mentality as his biggest strength on the pitch. Following the Allsvenskan season, he received his first call-up to the U-21 Denmark National Team after playing at previous youth levels for them. Being involved in the youth national team setup is a significant advantage in player experience. While Lund’s experience primarily comes from his two senior seasons at Häcken, he came up through the FC Midtjylland academy setup in Denmark from 2015 to 2020. During that time, the Midtjylland senior team was playing strong football, including two championship seasons and second-place finishes. Being around quality players during that time, such as Frank Onyeka, Alexander Sørloth, Evander, and Anders Dreyer, likely helped him grow as a player at a young age as well.

Kristoffer Lund’s current contract with BK Häcken ends in 2024. Transfermarkt currently values him at 1 million euros. However, that fee is probably on the rise coming off a very strong season for the champions of Sweden. There has been reported interest in Lund from other European clubs as well as several MLS clubs, including the newest MLS Club, St. Louis City SC. In an interview in October, Lund addressed the St. Louis City FC rumor, mentioning he didn’t know of the St. Louis City rumor specifically but complimented the growth of MLS and soccer in the US before reaffirming he was focused on finishing the season with Häcken and felt Sweden was perfect for him. This is a pretty standard response about transfer rumors while the season is ongoing, but the positive comments about MLS could give hope to any team that is on the market for a left-back.

Charlotte FC is likely going to be signing a left-back this offseason. Kristoffer Lund provides an opportunity for a young, quality defender to be added to the roster, all while not counting against an international roster spot. Adding Lund to the roster would be a great compliment to the style of play that Joseph Mora brings to the squad at that position. Mora has been at his best in defense, while Lund could bring some defensive quality, but with an excellent offensive side of the game that Charlotte didn’t see much of at left-back in their first season. Coming off a great season in Sweden and with reported interest from multiple clubs, getting a good deal agreed upon could prove to be more difficult than current player valuations would indicate. If Charlotte could keep the price in the range of current estimate value for Lund, signs point to it being a quality move for the club and for Kristoffer Lund.