Rotherham's ex-Leicester City goalkeeper Viktor Johansson surprised at progress

Rotherham goalkeeper Viktor Johansson has been surprised by how well he has done in his first year at the club.

By Jonathan Veal
Wednesday, 31st March 2021, 11:55 am

The 22-year-old signed last summer after a successful trial, having been released by Leicester at the end of last season.

He took his time to get going as he started the campaign playing second fiddle to loanee Jamal Blackman, but has gone on to oust the Chelsea stopper and play 13 times.

The Swede has earned cult status among the fans for his fearless style and has been donned 'The Viking' because of his Scandanavian roots.

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Johansson had not played a senior game until his Millers debut in November, but his performances have surprised him.

“I’ve done better than I thought I would in my first year, definitely,” he said, “It’s hard to explain without sounding cocky.

“I knew I had to believe in myself. I wouldn’t be in the team if the staff didn’t think I was good enough.”

Having left Leicester, Johansson was back in his homeland pondering his future when a call came in asking whether he wanted to train with the Millers.

It was a quick decision, and worth quarantining in a hotel for.

“I didn’t have a club because of Covid,” he added. “I had some options but I wanted to wait.

“Then Rotherham called, my agent said ‘Do you want to go?’ and I said, ‘Yeah’.

“It was two weeks of quarantine in a hotel first, then I had a few training sessions and they liked me.

“The gaffer says I made a good first impression on him and he also made one on me. Everyone did, to be fair: all the players, all the staff.

“The very first day I came in, there were so many positive things. Everyone was smiling and greeting me. It was my first senior dressing room as well.

“I’d trained with Leicester’s first team so I found the step up from under-23s football okay. I knew the tempo was going to be higher, but everyone was so positive and helpful that I adapted quickly.

“It’s very different playing games for the first team than it is for the Under-23s. It’s a lot tougher. You get roughed up and that. I enjoy that part.”