This will be Johansen’s first time playing in his native country in over ten years, having been in Britain for the last decade after he joined Scottish giants Celtic from Stromsgodset back in 2014, followed by spells with Fulham, West Bromwich Albion and, most recently, QPR.
The former Norway national team captain can look back on his career in England and Scotland with pride, winning three Premiership titles with Celtic while earning two promotions back to the Premier League through the Championship playoffs during his time at Craven Cottage.
However, upon returning to the top-flight for the second time in 2020, Fulham decided to send the Norwegian out on loan to fellow London outfit Queens Park Rangers. After an impressive loan spell with the Hoops, Johansen was signed permanently for a reported £600,000 fee on a three-year deal.
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Johansen became the captain at Loftus Road back in 2021 and went on to make 88 appearances for QPR in all competitions, scoring six goals and recording 13 assists but mutually agreed with the club to terminate his contract last summer despite having one more year remaining on his current deal.
After his exit, the experienced midfielder spoke to the club’s media team to explain to fans that there were no ill feelings behind the decision:
“There is no bad blood at all, I have had conversations with the club and I think it’s time to move on.
“It suits all parties that I am leaving now. I have had a great time but do wish that I could have achieved what I came here to do, which was promotion to the Premier League.”
Johansen has been a free agent since June and certainly won’t be match fit, but the Eliteserien season is not set to start until April, leaving him plenty of time to get up to speed.
“I’m in OK physical shape. There are five or six weeks until the start of the series, and it is the longest preseason I have had in many years. There is plenty of time.
“I have already met part of the physical team and it seems that we have a good plan,” he told Sarpsborg.
Johansen quickly became a fan favourite at Queens Park Rangers during his loan stint almost four years ago and it seemed written in the stars when he eventually captained the club. Many supporters will have fond memories of the midfielder who put in some excellent performances during a difficult spell for Rangers.
Nevertheless, having turned 33 in January, it’s not surprising that he has decided to return home to Norway and will possibly stay there for the remainder of his career.