A pair of recent interviews in the Swedish press have clarified the situation of American player Romain Gall, who has been conspicuously absent from Malmö’s action since returning to the club from a recent loan.
The Paris-born attacker spent the first half of the Swedish season, which begins in spring and ends in early-December, on-loan at fellow Allsvenskan competitors Örebro, where he was a regular starter.
He came back to Malmö in early-August after Örebro opted to not continue the loan due to several new long-term arrivals, and has not been seen in any squads for the reigning Swedish champions, in domestic or European play, since.
Both Gall and Malmö sporting director Daniel Andersson recently spoke to the Swedish media about the situation in frank interviews, and painted a rather pessimistic picture about his current position with the team.
In a detailed statements on the situation published by the Swedish news outlet Kvällsposten, Andersson notably pinpointed the tactical setup preferred by head coach Jon Dahl Tomasson as one major culprit, summarizing “He fell victim to a system change where we went over to 3-5-2 that did not suit him in the same way. He was recruited as an outside forward.”
Andersson also touched upon matters of morale, describing Gall as a player that fell into the “vicious circle” of losing confidence due to a lack of playing time starting in the 2019 season, eventually necessitating his departure on a series of loans beginning in early-2020.
Andersson’s full comments to Kvällsposten, which include some reflection on Gall’s first impression at Malmö, can be read at the link above.
Gall himself also addressed the media in recent days, with in-depth remarks following a training session published by Swedish sports outlet Sportbladet.
In his conversation with Sportbladet reporter Johan Flinck, Gall expressed clear frustration over the situation, also recognizing that the appointment of Tomasson as coach in January, 2020, as the key turning point.
While heaping compliments on the club, its fans and his teammates, he made it clear that his predicament of being completely on the outside is a confusing one. “I do not know, to be honest,” he stated. “I feel that I am good enough and that when I have played for this club, I have shown it too. So I do not know what the cause is. I can definitely play in this system. I am sure of that.”
Nevertheless, he did state several times that he doesn’t feel as though he has been disrespected by the club throughout the situation, and bears no animus towards the coach, despite the frustration of being passed over for a spot each week.
While unable to clearly say how he envisioned his long-term future with the club to turn out – his current contract still runs through the end of the 2022 season – he was adamant that his goal is to continue playing in Europe.
Gall’s full statements to Sportbladet can be read by following the link above.
The Paris-born Gall was a prolific scorer for the US youth national teams, most notably netting 13 goals in 25 appearances for the U-20s between 2014 and 2015. This success didn’t transfer into long-term staying power with the senior team, as he only managed a single cap as substitute against Italy in late-2018.
Nevertheless, he built up a strong enough of a resume to eventually land in the Swedish top-flight, where he initially found success with GIF Sundsvall, and transferred to Allsvenskan powerhouse Malmö in mid-2018.
A lack of consistent playing time in 2019 led to Gall to embark on a series of loans in the northern countries, first to Norwegians Stabæk for several months in 2020, then eventually to fellow Allsvenskan competitors Örebro for the remainder of the 2020 season and the first half of the 2021 term.
Malmö are nearing the end of their 2021 schedule, with two more games left in domestic play, where they are still barely on top in the race for another Allsvenskan title, and one more Champions League group-stage game on December 8 at Weston McKennie’s Juventus.
Perhaps Gall’s fortunes will finally turn around in one of these three final contests.