Enoch Kofi Adu (mid) free agent; Alexander Milosevic (def) free agent; Stefan Silva (att) free agent; Joel Ekstrand (def) free agent; Budimir Janosevic (gk) Brommapojkarna; Robert Lundstrom (def) Valerenga; Tarik Elyounoussi (mid) Olympiacos; Nabil Bahoui (mid) Grasshopers – on loan; Ahmed Yasin (mid) Hacken – end of loan; Rickson Mansiamina (mid) Syrianska – end of loan; Anton Jonsson Saletros (mid) Ujpest – end of loan;
Johan Blomberg (r) (mid) Colorado Rapids; Stefan Ishizaki (r) (mid) Elfsborg; Chinedu Obasi (r) (att) released; Nils-Eric Johansson (r) (def) end of career; Amin Affane (sp) (mid) IFK Gothenburg; Noah Sonko Sundberg (sp) (def) Ostersunds; Daniel Mushitu (sp) (att) Vasalund – on loan; Eero Markkanen (sp) (att) Randers – on loan; Christos Gravius (mid) Degerfors – on loan; Agustin Gomez (def) Defensa (ARG) – end of loan; Simon Thern (sp) (mid) Heerenveen – end of loan;
The excellent end to the 2017 season that saw AIK finishing on a ten-game unbeaten run and claiming the 2nd spot gives confidence that this time around Norling’s men could be much more consistent from the off and Yellow and Blacks are seen as serious title-contenders.
During the winter months veteran Ishizaki left, while the team’s captain Johansson retired, but both of them were not seen as part of AIK’s future anyway due to their advanced age. Obasi was also released as he is prone to injuries, plus AIK found much more effective strikers last summer anyway. The young Argentine Stefanelli impressed since joining in mid-July and in 2018 he will be the key figure up front, actively supported by experienced Goitom and Avdic.
The arrivals of wingers Elyounoussi and Bahoui, plus the return from a loan spell of Yasin, mean that AIK will once again have impressive attacking potential and the gaffer is likely to continue using formation with three men up front, with Yasin expected to become regular starter on the right wing.
To boost the defensive options Norling signed three new players for his back line, with the free agents Milosevic and Ekstrand bringing with them lots of Allsvenskan experience and providing depth in this area.
The key figure in the middle of the park will be the young 22-year-old promise Kristoffer Olsson, who established himself as a regular last season and this term he is expected to be given even larger responsibilities in the ball distribution. If Olsson and Stefanelli, the two young stars of the team that are their best assets too, deliver as expected AIK will enjoy a strong campaign.
AIK have solid mixture between youth and experience in every area of the pitch and usually this is a formula for success.
Hoping to mount a challenge for the title, but will need to be exceptional in order to seriously trouble Malmo. Still a top three finish is well within the capabilities of the squad.