Jon Dahl Tomasson will be hoping his second spell in English football is significantly better than his first.

The Danish football legend has been appointed head coach of Blackburn Rovers on a deal until 2025, with his brief at Ewood Park being to become a sustainable Premier League outfit once again.

Tomasson will be hoping to use his experience as one of Europe’s top young stars in his new role with Blackburn

AFP

Tomasson will be hoping to use his experience as one of Europe’s top young stars in his new role with Blackburn

More importantly, he will be tasked with developing the club’s young stars and ensure that they get their career off to the best possible start,as they look to carve out a career at the highest level.

There aren’t many who are better qualified for that task than Tomasson, who will kick off his tenure in charge against Queens Park Rangers on the opening day of the season on July 30 – with the full fixture list released on Thursday.

A star is born

The striker made his senior debut for local club Koge BK where he helped the club to back-to-back promotions to reach the Danish first Division, before completing a move to Heerenveen in the Dutch Eredivisie at the age of 18.

After a year bedding into life with the Dutch side, Tomasson was Heerenveen’s top scorer in his two full seasons at first team level, scoring a total of 41 goals and beating Boudewijn Zenden and Patrick Kluivert to the Best Dutch Football Talent of 1996 award.

He was even awarded his first senior cap for Denmark before earning a high-profile move to the Premier League with Newcastle United in the summer of 1997.

Tomasson Spent one season on Tyneside under Kenny Dalglish in 1997

Tomasson Spent one season on Tyneside under Kenny Dalglish in 1997

Talk of the Toon

Aged just 20 when he moved to St James’ Park, Tomasson was hoping to come in and learn from one of the best that English football had to offer in Alan Shearer and Les Ferdinand.

However, with Ferdinand being sold to Tottenham and Shearer suffering a career-threatening injury, the Danish wonderkid was thrust into the role of being one of Newcastle’s main man.

Typically used to playing as a No. 10, Shearer’s injury meant that Tomasson was tasked with adapting to life as a lone striker for Kenny Dalglish’s side, something that he admitted to finding difficult.

Speaking in The Big Interview with Graham Hunter, he said: “At that time Newcastle was a tough challenge.

Tomasson should have been able to learn from one of the best in Shearer

Getty

Tomasson should have been able to learn from one of the best in Shearer

“It’s a great, great club and in terms of mentality, the way of thinking and the passion, I think it was similar to Feyenoord.

“We were playing Champions League that year and had a really difficult time.”

Asked about playing as a No. 9 for Newcastle: “It was the only solution at the time, but I was not ready to play as a nine at that time, not at all.

“In the years since I played as a nine and played as a ten, but at that time I was not ready to play as a lonely striker, not with the way that we played as well.

“But during the years since I adapted to that.”

In a campaign where Newcastle finished 13th in the table after reaching the lofty heights of second the previous year, Tomasson’s confidence was rock-bottom.

Tomasson’s year in Newcastle was a real learning curve for the player

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Tomasson’s year in Newcastle was a real learning curve for the player

“I learned a lot because it’s a tough experience for a youngster,” he told Hunter.

“It’s a very tough experience because you want to do well and you want to prove yourself to the world and to the English fans that you’re really good.

“I didn’t get that. I didn’t do that well, so that was tough for a youngster.”

However such a struggle at such a young age proved to be the making of Tomasson.

Joint 21. Feyenoord's top Champions League goal scorer is Jon Dahl Tomasson with seven goals

Tomasson recaptured his glorious best after completing a move to Feyenoord

Rebirth

Securing a move back to the Eredivisie with Feyenoord, Tomasson reverted to his role as a No. 10, winning the Dutch title in his first year back.

Scoring goals for fun alongside Pierre van Hooijdonk, Tomasson helped Feyenoord to four consecutive top three finishes, as well as beating Borussia Dortmund 3-2 in the 2002 UEFA Cup final.

Getting himself on the scoresheet and winning the man of the match award, it was clear that Tomasson was starting to fulfill his potential.

10. Denmark at Euro 2004

Tomasson really shone for Denmark at the World Cup in 2002

‘Tomaldo’ – Denmark’s goal machine

Tomasson’s fine form for Feyenoord not only earned him a move to AC Milan that summer, but also the chance to lead Denmark’s attack at the 2002 World Cup in Japan and Korea.

Scoring a brace in Denmark’s opening 2-1 win over Uruguay, Tommason was nicknamed ‘Tomaldo’ after the Brazilian goal machine, going on to score four goals in four matches for his country.

Hailed by Denmark coach Morten Olsen as ‘the ultimate team player’, Tomasson would go on to score a total of 52 goals in 112 games, becoming his country’s joint-highest-ever goalscorer.

Tomasson attracted the nickname ‘Tomaldo’ for his goalscoring similarity to Ronaldo

Tomasson attracted the nickname ‘Tomaldo’ for his goalscoring similarity to Ronaldo

European elite

In his first season at the San Siro, Tomasson helped AC Milan to Champions League glory over Juventus in 2003, a match that he would miss due to injury despite scoring three goals in the club’s journey to the showpiece event.

One of those efforts was among the cheekiest of all, as Filippo Inzaghi lofted the ball over the goalkeeper and towards goal against Ajax, only for Tomasson to tap into an empty net on the goalline to secure a 3-2 win for Milan.

Winning the Serie A title in 2004, the forward struggled to earn a regular spot in the starting XI in 2004/05 but did appear for the club in their Champions League final clash with Liverpool in Istanbul, scoring his penalty in a shootout that would ultimately see the Premier League side come out on top in of the tournament’s great finals.

Jon Dahl Tomasson (Denmark) - 11 Champions League goals

Tomasson had a successful three-year spell with Italian giants AC Milan where he won the Champions League

Stuttgart, Villarreal and a return to Feyenoord

After seeing his game time reduced with Milan, Tommason spent the next three years between Stuttgart and Villarreal where he bagged 24 goals in 91 appearances.

However, in the summer of 2008 he secured a return to the club where he’d showed his finest form in Feyenoord.

After an injury-hit three years at the club, Tomasson hung up his boots in the summer of 2011 and focused on coaching where he held roles with Excelsior, Roda JC, Vitesse Arnhem and Denmark.

Tomasson finished his playing career due to injury and turned his attention to coaching

Getty

Tomasson finished his playing career due to injury and turned his attention to coaching

He’ll now be hoping to make a big impression after moving to Ewood Park with Blackburn

Getty

He’ll now be hoping to make a big impression after moving to Ewood Park with Blackburn

Malmo and a return to England

Appointed as head coach of the Swedish side in January 2020, Tomasson guided Malmo to back-to-back league titles before resigning in December 2021.

Taking time to assess his options before deciding his next step, the Danish legend will start the 2022/23 campaign as Blackburn manager where his hope will no doubt be that he can guide the club’s talented crop of young players to achieve even half the career that he enjoyed.

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