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Scott Sutter – Coming to a Premier League club near you soon

If things had happened differently in the January transfer window, Scott Sutter may well have been playing at right back for Blackburn Rovers against Manchester United on Monday evening.

As the mid-season window drew to a close, Sutter was poised to become a Rovers player. Steve Kean even told him as much on transfer deadline day, on the basis that Bradley Orr – Kean’s main target to join as the side’s new right back – did not look likely to make the switch from QPR.

Sutter had his fingers crossed but then QPR and Blackburn agreed a deal, Orr joined Rovers and Sutter was left pondering what might have been.

The 25-year-old is an interesting character as players go. Born in London to a Swiss father and English mother, Sutter played for Millwall, Barnet, Aston Villa and Charlton as a junior.

But his family links with Switzerland got him curious about a move there and after visiting his father’s homeland as a schoolboy, he took the plunge and moved there at the age of 16.

Ready for a move back to England

Sutter, who was a pretty handy tennis player at that stage, opted for a move overseas to broaden his horizons. Now, as he approaches 10 years of life as a Swiss resident, he is ready for a move back to England.

The Enfield-born defender has enjoyed spells at Grasshopper and Young Boys during his time in Switzerland and has been capped twice by his adopted nation. He is currently on loan at FC Zurich.

His interest in playing football in Switzerland began when he was 13. “My dad is Swiss and moved to England after he met my mum,” said Sutter. “When I was 13, I went over to Switzerland and trained with Grasshopper and was very impressed with everything about the club, the set-up there, the club’s ambitions, everything.

“I went back a year later and saw how much the players had progressed in a year and I thought it would be a great place to learn my trade. I thought it would be a good adventure for me so at 16 I decided to move there.”

Sutter, already a good technical player, quickly learned the Swiss way of playing and the Swiss way of life. He said: “When I joined Grasshopper they had two Dutch guys in charge of coaching. Everything was very technique based, sometimes even a bit too much so.”

UEFA Cup appearances

Sutter stayed at Grasshopper for five years. He went on to make more than 80 first team appearances, including UEFA Cup appearances, before signing for Young Boys in 2009. He lined up for Young Boys in last season’s Champions League and played against Tottenham.

“The whole experience has helped me as a player and has also helped me grow up as a person. I have experienced a different culture and learned a new language.”

Sutter admits that he thought he was about to realise an ambition in January. “I had a trial at Blackburn in January and it went very well. Steve Kean told me that they were trying to sign Bradley Orr but he didn’t think it was going to go ahead and if it didn’t they would take me on. But QPR accepted their offer so it didn’t happen for me.

“It was heartbreaking. Four days later Bradley Orr made his debut for Blackburn at Arsenal. It was really disappointing for me.”

Even though Sutter is ready for a new challenge back in England, he has nothing but good things to say about his adopted nation. “Switzerland is a lovely place to live. I do want to come back to England but I will miss Switzerland.”


Although Sutter considers himself to be English through and through, an injury prompted his decision to play for Switzerland.

“I played for Switzerland at Under 17s, 18s, 19s and Under 21s but there came a point where I had to decide if I wanted to lose my chance to play for England. At the time I still fancied my chances with England so I decided that I didn’t want to take the next step with Switzerland. I felt English and supported England.

“I always had the aim of playing in the Premier League and wanted to make my boyhood dream come true and play for England, so I decided to keep my options open. But then I had two years of injury problems and things changed for me. At one point I didn’t think I would play again. So, when I had an opportunity to play for Switzerland again, I decided to take it.”

Sutter made his debut for the Swiss national side in 2010 in a friendly against Australia, but he was left out of the squad to face England. However, his chance for his first cap in a competitive game arrived when he was selected to play for Switzerland in a European Championships clash away to Montenegro.

He will finish this season on loan at FC Zurich – and says he is determined to secure a move to a Premier League or Championship club in the summer.

“I’m at a point in my life now where I am looking for a change. I will have been living in Switzerland for 10 years in the summer and I want to move back to England.”

By Mark Roach (Exclusive interview for Total Football)

Follow me on Twitter: @TotalFootballEd

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