The year is 2010. Bolton Wanderers, currently staring League Two in the face, were in the Premier League and boasted a star-studded side.
Amongst the very best of that side was Swedish striker Johan Elmander, who had joined for a fee of around £10m. He had spells with NAC Breda, Feyenoord and Toulouse before turning up at the Reebok and despite his ability, his success in the north-west was moderate. With just 18 goals in almost 100 appearances, he was never prolific, but he did show an insane amount of skill on his day.
One game, in 2010/11 against Wolves, he scored a sensational goal en route to a 3-2 victory at Molineux. Showing acute awareness, he jinxed past three Wolves players before slotting the ball home with consummate ease. It reeked of Dennis Bergkamp’s effort for Arsenal which gets replayed over and over, but Elmander’s strike is rarely seen.
He went on to score ten in the Premier League before a move to Galatasaray, where he was a two-time Super Liga winner. He returned to the UK with a loan at Norwich, but couldn’t replicate that form. He finished his career with second spells at Brondby in Denmark, and finally Orgryte in his homeland.
That goal against Wolves has been replayed on social media this week, with Bolton’s official site tweeting that they believed ‘if Dennis Bergkamp had scored this, the whole world would know about it’. That’s drawn plenty of response from supporters, eager to discuss the virtues of two strikes; Elmander’s and Bergkamp’s against Newcastle. We’ve got clips of both for you below, with reaction following on.
This Johan Elmander goal doesn't get talked about as much as it should..
— Footy Accumulators (@FootyAccums) May 24, 2020
18 years ago today, Dennis Bergkamp scored one of the greatest goals of all time 🥰pic.twitter.com/P6HrSumf3r
— Goal (@goal) March 2, 2020
One player was capable of doing in time and time again, the other did it once in his career. Seen it happen during a Sunday league match but nobody goes on about it either.
— Phil Eames (@PhilEames3) May 26, 2020
Bergkamp did this time and time again, Elmander did this once. Thats the difference.
— Adam Sharples (@Big_Sharps) May 26, 2020
@brianirwinxx most underrated goal in PL history
— Colm Beakey (@ColmBeakey79) May 26, 2020
— Brian Mzobe (@BrianMzobe2) May 26, 2020
This is a goal where everytime i watch it, it gets better! Viduka feet
— 🏴Jamie🏴 LUFC 💙💛 (@Jam13Simmo) May 26, 2020
Fantastic goal but Bergkamp could do that every week, elmander did it once in a blue moon
— Deano (@Deano87823822) May 26, 2020
If elmander had been consistent, the whole world will know about it.
— Lanre 👑 (@femirewaju) May 26, 2020
Think Wanderers have just compared Elmander to Bergkamp.. I think BWFC need to do more testing, one of there employees is delirious
— Borussia Mag! (@BorussiaMagpie) May 26, 2020