A PLAYER of undoubted potential, John Guidetti was once described by former England and Manchester City boss Sven Goran Eriksson as the best young talent in world football.
At just 21-years of age the Swedish protégé has his entire career in front of him, yet if the past few years are anything to go by, then his compatriot, Eriksson, may prove to be spot on with his assessment of the young striker.
Despite having yet to make a league appearance for Manchester City, Guidetti has shone in the light blue shirt at the Etihad Stadium during his outings for both the Academy and reserve team set-ups.
Scoring 13 goals in as many matches during his maiden campaign at Under 18 level, following his arrival from Swedish side IF Brommapojkarna in 2008, the youngster was showcased at first team level during the summer of 2010.
New boss Roberto Mancini was eager to see the prospect in action, thus included him in his squad for the pre-season tour of the United States – where he showed the credentials that would suggest he was more than capable of performing at the highest level.
Featuring prominently in the victory against Sporting Lisbon stateside, he did enough to warrant a first ever competitive appearance for the Citizens just two months later, where he assisted the only goal of a narrow League Cup win over West Bromwich Albion.
A host of lower league sides were interested in taking the frontman on loan during the winter, but it was Burnley who won the race for his signature – completing an emergency 28-day loan deal in November.
He proved an instant success in the claret and blue shirts, netting the winning goal on his Championship debut against Barnsley at Turf Moor.
Four further appearances followed for the Swede, and despite the Lancashire side wanting to prolong his stay, City decided against it and opted to name him in their 24-man Europa League squad.
He failed to feature in that competition though, and in fact, his spell at Burnley was his only serious action of the season, with Guidetti having to make do with further appearances at reserve team level.
In the summer of 2011, after understandably failing to dislodge the likes of Sergio Aguero, Carlos Tevez and Mario Balotelli at the Etihad Stadium, a host of top European sides were chasing his signature after being made available on a year-long loan.
Dutch Eredivisie side Feyenoord overcame serious competition from the likes of Ajax and Benfica to acquire his services, and it proved to be a match made in heaven as he rifled home an incredible 20 goals in 23 appearances for the club.
Bizarrely, Guidetti’s opening four goals for the Rotterdam based outfit all came from the penalty spot in his first three outings, before he netted his first goal from open play in a 4-0 away triumph against Vitesse Arnhem.
His scoring credentials made him a firm folk-hero amongst the Feyenoord supporters, yet he etched himself further into the hearts of the fans with a stunning hat-trick against fierce rivals Ajax in January 2012.
He incredibly followed that match-winning performance up with two more three-goal hauls, making it nine goals in three home games – a feat that can only be matched by one other player in Dutch top-flight history.
With the side riding high in the league, and Guidetti enjoying a mesmeric inaugural season, he was struck by a mystery virus as the campaign drew towards its climax, prematurely ending his wonderful stay in the Netherlands.
What initially looked like a short-term setback turned into a problem that brought serious doubt over his long-term playing career, with club medics unable to diagnose a problem that left him with no feeling in his right leg.
It eventually culminated in an eleven-month period on the sidelines, with the forward only returning back to training last summer following the lay-off, which was eventually diagnosed by consultants as a nerve problem.
His move to the Britannia Stadium has been seen as a coup with a host of Premier League sides courting his signature, and you can be certain that the talented youngster will be desperate to recapture the form he showed with Feyenoord as he looks to crack the English top-flight.