Emil Forsberg, the sensational Swede from Sundsvall has been heavily linked with AC Milan over the past few days. An influential protagonist in RB Leipzig’s recently concluded historic season, Forsberg spearheads the talented pool of players emerging from Sweden, which includes names such as Robin Quaison, Alexander Isak, Victor Lindelof and Oscar Hiljemark.
The 25-year old attacking midfielder boasts of the highest goals and assists per minute ratio of any winger across Europe’s top five leagues this season. Forsberg is not a one season wonder; he has previously been named Swedish midfielder of the year in 2014 and 2016. Nicknamed the ‘assist king of Bundesliga’, Forsberg’s mind-numbing 19-assists in Bundesliga was miles ahead of Dembele (12), Muller (12) and Ribery (11). Forsberg recorded the highest number of key passes per game (3.1) than any other player in the league this term. This statistic becomes all the more spectacular when it’s compared with Neymar (3) and Eden Hazard (2.4).
Armed with intent and impressive dribbling skills, Forsberg enjoys running at defenders with the ball at his feet. He is adept at playing across the front three and as a number 10, the number he wears for Leipzig. His vision and passing ability make him instantly desirable for an AC Milan side that has been bereft of ideas on the pitch for several years. The burden of creativity has largely rested on the shoulders of players like Jack Bonaventura and Suso, with Jose Sosa also throwing in his hat at playmaking last season.
Marco Fassone and Massimo Mirabelli are intelligently building the foundation of this new Milan side, but are also aware that the team needs oodles of imagination on the pitch. The attack will be bolstered over the next few weeks, however, signing explosive strikers will mean little if they aren’t adequately serviced during games. Signing Forsberg provides Vincenzo Montella with a flexible option that could help him change systems mid-way through a game, without having to withdraw a creative outlet. Forsberg also enables Bonaventura to be included in the first team, as part of the midfield trio.
Fassone and Mirabelli don’t seem perturbed by the spending and appear to have been given a blank cheque by YongHong Li. Yet, they are exercising wisdom by avoiding statement signings and building a sturdy squad. Forsberg has surfaced as an alternative to Keita Balde, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. He is closer to his prime, is expected to be less expensive and will provide an immediate impact. Forsberg will be a quantifiable upgrade over Gerard Deulofeu and Lucas Ocampos, a creative attacker who will have the fans on their feet on match days.