With the summer transfer window fast approaching, The Celtic Way’s Ryan McGinlay spoke to Brondby publication VilfortPark’s founder and editor Toke Theilade to find out more about the attacker, who will no doubt be linked with a move to Celtic once again this summer if previous windows are anything to go by…

‘Mathias Kvistgaarden’ has been a name that's been doing the rounds in Celtic-shaped circles for the best part of a year now.

The 22-year-old Brondby forward - first linked in 2023 during the summer transfer window – has been a target for the Scottish club throughout the season, with rumours of solid interest taking place in January, also. Indeed, it was reported that two bids were lodged by Brendan Rodgers’ side in August before contact was made yet again in the winter window for the player’s services. He is someone that the club admire, judging by their renewed interest in the talented player.

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Kvistgaarden – a Denmark youth international – has been in fine form this season, scoring 10 goals and assisting a further seven in 28 appearances this season. The season prior, he managed similar stats in 37 games, as Brondby deployed him through the middle and on both wings.

Theilade’s passion and knowledge for his beloved football club came through in the phone call I had with the Danish writer. With his side challenging for the Superliga in his native Denmark, he spoke at length concerning the type of player Kvistgaarden was for his team. Despite having a good season this year, Theilade was adamant that this was not a ‘breakout’ campaign for the young player. He said: “I think he had already made that breakthrough last season.

“He was pretty well-established in what he could do in the team. His real ‘breakthrough’ was last spring. Admittedly, here at Brondby, we have not been able to see the season where he has completely exploded onto the scene because of his latest injury at the start of spring. If he had not picked up this injury, then he would have probably finished on 15 goals and established himself as one of the biggest and best profiles in the league. Because of this latest injury, we are still waiting to see him put it together over a full season.

“We are missing him a lot at the moment. I think part of the reason why Brondby’s form has dropped recently is that they don’t have his impact on the field.”

It’s clear to see Kvistgaarden’s importance to his boyhood team. As mentioned previously, his 17 goal involvements in all competitions this season point to a player who is heavily involved in the attacking elements of Brondby’s play, both in scoring and providing for his side. The question is: what player does he remind Theilade of? The answer may surprise you. He said: “He reminds me of a faster version of Teemu Pukki!

“He is not a very big guy, but he’s incredibly athletic, fast and strong. When you watch him, you can see he is not easy to push around, despite his frame. He can also jump really high, which makes him dangerous in the air if he is given the chance and service.

“Technically, he is very good. He can easily dribble past opponents, which is why he is often deployed on the wings as well, but he is best when played through the middle. He has operated as a second striker, playing deeper alongside a bigger striker for Brondby, though he is a good finisher himself. I must say this, he is better when he does not have a lot of time to think about shooting. When he overthinks what he is about to do in front of the goal, he makes bad decisions from time to time. For him, it is all about trusting his instincts, because he is a good finisher and his record shows that.

“Another reason why I liken him to Pukki is that he is a really hard worker, so he fits perfectly in a team that likes to press high up the pitch and is aggressive because he is constantly moving around, closing gaps and annoying the defenders.

“He is the kind of player that you love as a fan because of this.”

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With on-loan Norwich striker Adam Idah having plied his trade in Glasgow and Bojan Miovski doing similar for Aberdeen further north, Celtic’s summer targets currently in Scotland have perhaps overshadowed Kvistgaarden concerning media attention, with both players being heavily linked with a move to Rodgers’ side in pre-season. Despite this, Theilade believes his countryman would be an excellent fit for Celtic. He said: “I believe he would fit very well into Scottish and British football in general.”

“I think Celtic would be a really good club for him to move to. It's a great level and a great club, and I think it would be a perfect place for Kvistgaarden to take the next step in his career. If I’m being honest, I do not think he will reach the level of Manchester City or the like, but I reckon he will score a ton of goals for Celtic, before potentially moving to an English Premier League mid-table team in a couple of years.

“He has some of those attributes that are important to have in modern football, such as stamina, physical strength and pace on the attack."

As things currently stand, Celtic have lodged a total of two bids for the Denmark youth international, with both bids being rejected last summer in Rodgers’ first few months back at the club. With reports of Celtic being quoted a minimum of £5 million for Idah and even more for Miovski, it potentially opens the door to another enquiry being made for Kvistgaarden.

With the versatile forward contracted to his first professional club until the summer of 2027, how much will it take for Celtic to potentially bring this player across the North Sea to Scottish shores? Theilade reckons they’ll have to up their bid, though not by much. He said: “With Kvistgaarden’s knee injury, it is difficult to say what he is currently worth.

“When Brondby turned down the two offers from Celtic, it was hoped that he would have an incredible spring and help Brondby qualify for European football, which would have meant the club could have used him next season or sold him on for a bigger fee. Because he has been out injured for most of this time, he has not had a chance to increase his market value on the park.

“If I were to make an estimate, then I would say Celtic will need to spend around £5-6 million to interest Brondby. The other interesting factor is that the club have new owners and Kvistgaarden is on a long contract himself, so there is no pressure to sell the player and their patience is pretty high regarding this situation, as Brondby are challenging for the Superliga title this year currently. In short, the club are not in a situation where they have to sell Kvistgaarden unless the right offer comes in for the individual.

“That right offer will be between £5-7 million, with additional sell-on clauses and potential performance bonuses down the line, which Danish clubs are heavy on in transfer deals.”

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Of course, dealing with the pressures of playing for a massive global side like Celtic is a hurdle that every player joining the club has to overcome. Though perhaps not in the same ballpark as the Scottish champions, Brondby are a team that have a vocal and expectant support whenever the club take to the field, given both their past and recent history in Denmark’s top-flight league and in European competition. Theilade admits this could stand Kvistgaarden in very good stead for the potential adjustment he will face if he makes the move to Celtic. He said: “In Denmark, Brondby are arguably the biggest club with the most supporters.”

“Even though the club has not – until this season – been competitive, there is still pressure on the club to succeed. There is a marked difference between buying players from Nordsjaelland or Midtjylland because there are not as many fans at these clubs and there are not the same expectations or pressures compared to buying players from Brondby or Copenhagen. Players from these teams are used to playing with more spectators in the stadium and meeting the fans in the street.

“They are also used to more intense media coverage, where publications write about every single thing they do. Those players are usually more ready to move abroad and typically take less time to get adjusted to their new surroundings. They have a much higher success rate and don’t normally ‘bust’ abroad before moving back to Denmark so soon after leaving, which has been an issue for so many other Danish clubs. This is because the culture of these clubs is cosier and player-friendly, so these players can go under the radar when developing their game. This is not possible in teams like Brondby and Copenhagen.

“In the case of Kvistgaarden, I believe he will have a much better chance of being a success and will require much less time to settle in and adapt, thanks to his experiences at Brondby. It could be a brilliant match of cultures if he does make the move to Celtic."

With all of that being said, does Theilade think that Kvistgaarden will make the switch to Scotland and Celtic this summer? His reply puts the ball firmly in the interested party’s court. He said: “This move happening depends mostly on Celtic.

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“My gut feeling is that it will happen because Celtic have been following the player for such a long time. They have been interested in him for two consecutive transfer windows, making pretty serious bids in the process. Unless they are very scared of Kvistgaarden’s injury – though this is unrealistic because it isn’t a bad injury per se – then I think they will rekindle their interest in him this summer.

“Too much time has passed for them not to make a serious offer for the player. I think they will get him.”

Indeed, time will tell if Rodgers and his recruitment team attempt to entice the forward over to Scotland once again this summer. One thing is certain: this story is one to keep an eye on in the weeks and months ahead.