AMSTERDAM – With Örebro midfielder Alejandro Bedoya nearing the end of a fine season, we thought it best to ask the local scribes that see him every game about exactly how good it really was.
The US midfielder was named to a few unofficial midseason XI's among the bigger Swedish soccer outlets. He's clearly been instrumental for a team not used to competing for a place in Europe.
Örebro's UEFA résumé includes just six games during the 1990s, but a Wednesday night win at GAIS would send them five points clear for a Europa League berth with three to play.
Our scribe guests have all noticed Bedoya has been attracting plenty of attention from European clubs, including Rangers and several Eredivisie outfits. In fact, neither of the two local-based scribes we talked with hold much hope of the American staying in Sweden for next season.
"The window opens again in January and he will be one of those names people expect to go to a bigger league," said Anders Borgström of Expressen.
[inline_node:310120]Added Marcus Avenberg of Svenska Fans: "There have been clubs here watching him. I think he has only one year left on his contract, so I'm afraid maybe he'll disappear. If he had scored more goals, I'm sure he wouldn't be here next season."
With the continental buzz high and the season winding down, we asked each of our three Swedish journalists a pair of simple questions:
1: How key has Bedoya been to ÖSK's success?
2: Does he have a chance to be named to the official Allsvenskan Team of the Season?
Here is how they replied:
Anders Borgström - national daily Expressen
1: "They play with just three midfield players, a 4-3-3, so he is the attacking player and very important. He is always running and creating spaces for the wingers. He has had a great season. He has problems to score, but many chances and he's a great team player."
2: "It's a hard question. Most of the best players in the Swedish league are midfield players. So there's maybe 10 good players in that position and he's one of them, of course."
Johan Arvidsson - local daily Nerihes Allehanda
1: "He's been a very important player this season. He bring skills and quality to the team that are missed when he's gone. He's a key player, there's no doubt about it. He's always defending and attacking, and I don't think they have another midfielder who does so much."
2: "That's a tough question. They have another player in midfield, Nordin Gerzic. Alejandro was better in the early part of the season, while I think maybe Nordin has been better in the later part of the season. It will difficult to tell who will be on that team, because both are very good – I guess we'll wait for the last four games to see who accelerates. I think [one will make it] because the top two teams, Malmö and Helsingborgs, don't really have any player who would come ahead of these two guys in midfield. Alejandro and Nordin both have good chances to make that team."
Marcus Avenberg - Svenska Fans
1: "He brings quality in midfield that no other midfielder in the squad can bring. His running up and down, and getting into the box, creates space for the others. It really shows when he's not in the lineup. They change a bit when he's gone. They are not as offensive."
2: "He was very good before the World Cup, and has been good after, but I think another player in the team has been better after World Cup. I'm not really sure [Bedoya] will make the team, I'm afraid. Alejandro needs to score more goals, I think, to have a chance to make the Team of the Season."