Henrik Larsson won’t be returning to Celtic after being confirmed as the new manager of Swedish side Helsingborg.
The Scottish Sun reported earlier this month that Neil Lennon was looking to Larsson in a bid to complete his back-room team. There were no further reports on negotiations afterward. And, instead, Larsson has joined the club he left back in 2016.
Larsson has, of course, both played and managed Helsingborg in the past. He was born there before playing in two separate spells with his hometown club. He first spent the 1992-93 campaign there, before returning back in 2006 and playing until 2009.
📄✍🏼 | Vi hälsar Henrik Larsson varmt välkommen tillbaka till HIF!
— Helsingborgs IF (@HelsingborgsIF) June 16, 2019
It was a nice return for the King, who helped Helsingborg make a slight mark on Europe with some big goals. But his management career since retiring from playing 10 years ago, hasn’t gone the way he would’ve liked.
So far, Larsson has failed to convince at both Landskrona Bois and Falkenberg. He then managed Helsingborg and took them down a division to the Superettan after a playoff defeat to Halmstad. After the whistle, the Hoops legend was attacked by a minority of his own fans.
A shot at redemption for Henrik, but a big place opens up for Celtic
This is great news for Henrik. A well-deserved chance to finally redeem himself in management. Whilst he’ll perhaps look at Falkenberg and feel he did well to keep them in the division, Larsson has still to stand out in management. His last role was that relegated season with Helsingborg, so he has something to prove.
Helsingborg did manage to win promotion back to the Allsvenskan last year. But, despite that, they’re once again struggling, and currently sit in the relegation playoff place. Larsson will be looking to steer them clear of that between now and the end of the season as his first task.
As for Celtic, this opens up an intriguing question – who does Lennon appoint to complete his backroom team? Gary Parker has been his long-time friend and colleague at Hibs, Bolton Wanderers, and Celtic respectively. Whether he comes back is up for debate.
Johan Mjallby is another who has previously worked with Lennon and would be welcomed back. But Mjallby was last at Celtic as an assistant manager. John Kennedy now has that role, and that would mean Mjallby has to settle for a first-team coach role if he was to come back.
There’s been nothing further on this in recent times, but you have to imagine it’s something Lennon wants to sort out as soon as possible.
At the very least, however, we know it’s not going to be Larsson.