The “Swedish Messi” had been given rave reviews back in his home-country before his €2 million transfer to Heerenveen in January. Can Arber Zeneli deliver an excellent campaign to help improve Heerenveen’s fortunes?

  • By Michael Statham
  • Follow Michael on Twitter


The 21-year-old built up a reputation with Allsvenskan side Elfsborg and Sweden’s youth national teams before his move to the Netherlands. Since then, the winger has scored four goals in 17 appearances in the Eredivisie.

Playing style

In his own words, Zeneli says he’s a “fast, technical player who likes to take action.” Zeneli is indeed at his best when running at his opponent in the final third. Like Messi, the Swede enjoys creating chances for his teammates and taking the shot on himself.

That said, further improvements could be made in the winger’s delivery into the box, because for all of Zeneli’s dribbling and technical ability, he tends not to hug the touchline and cross the ball – something which may benefit Heerenveen’s tall, target-man strikers.

What does this season hold for Zeneli?

He should start most games for Heerenveen this season. If fellow Swede Sam Larsson departs the club, then Zeneli will be expected to take on the role of being The Frisians’ main danger man to supply ammunition to the strikers.

Michael Statham (813 Posts)

Writer/interviewer/YouTuber for Football-Oranje. Massive Dutch football fan from the UK. Follow me @EredivisieMike & subscribe to Football-Oranje on YouTube.