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There's no debating that RB Leipzig's creative Swede, Emil Forsberg, was one of the outstanding performers in the Bundesliga last season.
Playing within Ralf Hasenhüttl's high octane outfit, Forsberg, alongside the likes of Naby Keïta, Timo Werner, Diego Demme and Marcel Sabitzer, was one of the key driving forces behind Leipzig's scintillating start to their first ever Bundesliga season.
The fact he finished the league campaign leading in assists, with 19, and averaged more key passes in the Bundesliga than any other player, 3.1 per 90 minutes, emphatically demonstrate his creative qualities.
Meanwhile, his impressive eight goals and 2.1 successful dribbles per game have undoubtedly amplified his worth. With those statistics, it's no surprise, then, to see that he has emerged as a key Manchester United transfer target.
José Mourinho reportedly spent the international break making preparations for a potential January recruitment drive, with Forsberg at the head of his list of candidates. The Portuguese coach watched him closely as Sweden beat Italy in their World Cup play-off in Stockholm.
Being such a sublime passer of the ball, in combination with his fantastic vision and reading of the game, it is clear to see why Mourinho would be interested. The United boss is currently lacking creativity in his side with Paul Pogba's absence and Henrikh Mkhitaryan's form taking an alarming nosedive.
Forsberg can certainly fix that. If Mourinho is looking for quality service to Romelu Lukaku – who has looked isolated in recent games – he need only look at Leipzig striker Timo Werner. The Liverpool transfer target bagged six of his 21 goals last term directly from the Swede's passes.
Leipzig are experts at manufacturing counter-attacking situations for themselves, courtesy of their supremely well-synchronised pressing, and Forsberg's pace, agility and mesmerising dribbling means he's been a menace to deal with, not only in the Red Bulls' more controlled stages of possession but also in transition.
Adept at playing out wide or in a number 10 role, the 26-year-old's movement has been another essential ingredient to his success.
He has a natural tendency to find unoccupied space to exploit, which he's used to devastating effect so far, and it's a quality Mourinho could certainly use from wide areas at Old Trafford.
Forsberg has continued his creative ways in the Bundesliga this season, with two assists to his name, while he has bagged two goals in the club's maiden Champions League campaign.
From the start of last season, Forsberg has created a total of 115 chances for his team-mates. When you compare that to United's most creative player in the same period – Pogba, with 66 – you get a clear picture of how productive the Swede has been on the wing for Leipzig.
Mourinho will also be attracted to Forsberg's efficiency at crossing the ball, connecting with 59 of his 163 attempts since the beginning of last season, 24 more than United's best player in that category: Juan Mata. With Lukaku an imposing aerial presence, Forsberg's accurate deliveries from the flank could be conducive to upping the Belgian's goal tally.
For the man who's got a hugely strong family connection to the beautiful game, with his father and grandfather both being professionals, plus his wife, who plays for Leipzig's women's team, it seems only right that he’s excelling in what he knows best.
His desire to succeed was clearly fostered well by his family and was one of the key reasons why he wanted to join the intriguing Leipzig project back in 2015.
Although they were still in the 2. Bundesliga back then, he know there was something special about the well thought out, clear direction of the energy drink backed side. His decision to join the much-maligned club has now well and truly been vindicated.
“This club wants to be the best, and I want to be the best. I have developed all the time and have a major role in the club,” said the ambitious maestro. “It's perfect for me, I have much more to give and I want to give it to the club.”
Having signed a new contract at the beginning of the year and recently been crowned the Swedish midfielder of the year, it's only understandable that some of Europe's top clubs have been courting him throughout the summer transfer window.
Now, with Mourinho reportedly giving up on his long-gestating pursuit of Inter Milan's Ivan Perisic, Forsberg seems like the ideal alternative: a brilliantly creative winger who harkens back to United's flying wingers of the 1990s and a player who could prove to be the missing piece in Mourinho's Old Trafford puzzle.