The Norwegian with a left foot so sweet he would often shoot from corners.
Premier League fullbacks knew they were in for a tough afternoon when they saw the highlighted hair of Morten Gamst Pederson lining up on the left of the Blackburn midfield. A left foot as cultured as it was powerful, Pederson really could strike a ball and for a period was one of the best players outside the traditional top clubs.
He was linked with numerous clubs during his time in the Premier League, but Chelsea in particular were rumoured to be keen on Pederson’s signature on more than one occasion. However, the Norwegian opted to stay at Blackburn for nine years, thus securing himself legend status at the club. His career highlight was undoubtedly scoring a brace at Old Trafford to secure a 2-1 victory for Blackburn over United in September 2005.
Interestingly, Pederson was naturally right-footed as a child but his father, who was a professional footballer in his homeland, encouraged Pederson to use his left foot all the time as a child. His reasoning was that as there were less left-sided players he would have more chance of forging a career for himself if he could play on the left. As such, Pederson’s left foot became his dominant foot and now the first thought when discussing the ex-Blackburn winger is his precise left foot. Nothing illustrated this more than his 40 yard free kick goal against Wigan in 2010.
Pederson ended his Blackburn career in 2013 with 34 goals and 39 assists in his 260 top flight appearances, with the last season spent in the Championship. He also accumulated an impressive 84 caps for Norway, scoring 17 times. A true Premier League cult hero, who epitomised wing-play in the 2000’s. He was associated with a number of controversial moments in his spell in the Premier League, including being punched by Joey Barton in a game against Newcastle and gauged in the eye by current Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, who reacted angrily to a Pederson tackle on him. His love for the game was always clear to see and this is further evidenced by the fact that he recently dropped down to Norway’s third division to continue playing at the age of 39, where he is no doubt still putting his left foot to good use.