Jul 28, 2017
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Who is Manchester United’s Ivan Perisic alternative, RB Leipzig’s Emil Forsberg?

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The latest twist in one of Manchester United’s ongoing transfer sagas this summer comes from Italian source Calciomercato, who say that Manchester United may drop their interest in Inter Milan’s Ivan Perisic. They instead say that the Red Devils will turn their attention to Red Bull Leipzig winger Emil Forsberg in a potential €50 million (£44.6 million) bid.

Who is he?

A 25-year-old winger, Forsberg usually plays on the left flank, whether as part of a four or five man midfield or as part of a front three. He can also play as a central attacking midfielder, where he played for much of the 2016/17 season for Leipzig, excelling with six goals and 17 assists from 22 games in that role. He also has 25 Sweden caps to his name.

Where has he been?

Forsberg has shot to fame this season, having moved to Leipzig in 2015 and helping them to promotion from the second tier in Germany. This season has been his first in the Bundesliga and he has made an immediate impact.

Before that, Forsberg had not left Sweden. Initially, he played for local team GIF Sundsvall, making his debut in 2009 at the age of 18 and rapidly established himself, playing every game of their 2009/10 campaign.

However, he failed to save them from relegation in 2012 and moved on to Malmo, the club where Zlatan Ibrahimovic made his name. His superb form there, with 25 goals in 84 games, including in the Champions League, caught the eye and earned him that move to Germany only three years later.

What’s his style of play?

Forsberg is a traditional winger when played wide, in that he loves to dribble down the wing and put crosses into the box. That will suit Jose Mourinho’s style, particularly with Romelu Lukaku in the middle waiting to pounce on any service coming his way.

If deployed more centrally, Forsberg maintains that desire to dribble but often uses twists and turns before finding a killer through ball to split defences. Skillful on the ball, and a hard worker off it, he could fit in well in either role at Old Trafford.

What would his arrival mean for Manchester United?

It would clearly show that Jose Mourinho and co. had dropped their pursuit of Ivan Perisic. It is also likely to be far from a positive sign for the future of Anthony Martial, who would likely be competing with him on the left flank.

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Manchester United · RB Leipzig · Transfers

Sam is a Southend United fan and student based in the South-West. He has previously worked for various publications, including FourFourTwo magazine and ITV. Sam also has an extensive knowledge of Spanish football and has previously lived and worked in Spain. Find Sam on Twitter at @samleveridge.

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