Tottenham Hotspur Women announced the signing of 26-year-old Finnish midfielder Olga Ahtinen running until 2025. Ahtinen, who is particularly known for her progressive passing and ball carrying, is a great pickup for a Vilahamn side that may emphasize possession more than in past years.
“I give a lot to football, so I’m really happy to be here”— Tottenham Hotspur Women (@SpursWomen) August 16, 2023
Ahtinen is ready to get started pic.twitter.com/Py6mbulmf1
If you’re like me, you’ve never heard of her before, and that’s alright. Ahtinen has played entirely in Scandinavia–Finland, Denmark, and most recently Sweden, and I admittedly don’t have time to watch those leagues. She did take a (very) limited part in Finland’s unmemorable Euro, but well, the less that’s said about that the better. She was named most valuable player of the Swedish league in 2022, so I’m just going to assume that, much like me, the Finnish national team doesn’t know ball.
So, what is Olga Ahtinen all about? Unlike me, Spurs head coach Vilahamn will be familiar with her playing style, as he would’ve come up against her with his Swedish side, Häcken. Ahtinen seems a real box-to-box midfielder with a set of talents diverse across all parts of the game. Excellent tweeter and analyst Yash points out her prodigious passing locker in possession, and her tackling abilities out.
Oh wow, I likey this move.— Yash (@Odriozolite) August 16, 2023
Ahtinen's development has been fantastic and I feel she has been ready for about a season now to take the next step. A very tidy box-to-box midfielder, good on and off the ball. https://t.co/EHZN4Wn4UR pic.twitter.com/eq9ik2Cwl1
We desperately, desperately need to bring in plus passers, and Ahtinen certainly seems to be that. But otherwise, I wasn’t initially sure if she filled our squad’s needs. We already have a ton of midfielders, not least Eveliina Summanen, who is literally also a Finnish box-to-box midfielder in her mid-twenties. But last season proved no combination of Spurs existing midfielders could actually, you know, control a midfield. Every combo left the defense exposed, and the attack disconnected. Ahtinen’s passing range, ball carrying skills, and defensive brain should help shore things up, and provide much needed fluidity.
I’m not going to sit here and pretend like I’m not dying of jealousy watching Chelsea and United bring in Cat Macario, Mia Fishel, Geyse, and maybe Kerolin soon too. But Ahtinen seems like a super fun sleeper pick who was totally off my (limited) radar. I’m thrilled to see what she can bring to the team!