Aston Villa are plotting a late move for Emil Forsberg, according to emerging reports…
German outlet Sport Bild claim that the Villans are leading the race to sign the RB Leipzig maestro ahead of the summer transfer window deadline on September 1st.
The Sweden international has suddenly seen less game time under manager Domenico Tedesco and that has alerted many teams across Europe, including the Midlands outfit.
There are quotes from his agent in the report that seemingly opens the door for Villa to make their move, though it remains to be seen exactly how much it would take to sign the 30-year-old midfielder.
It could be argued that Steven Gerrard lacks another midfield option and one that can provide some further creativity. Indeed, Villa are yet to truly replace the influence of Jack Grealish, who left his boyhood club for champions Manchester City last summer.
In his final two seasons at Villa Park, the England international provided 14 goals and 18 assists in the Premier League. Meanwhile, using last season as an example, no one provided more than six assists and nobody outside of the strikers hit more than six goals either, via WhoScored.
The likes of Leon Bailey, Emi Buendia and Danny Ings, where most of the £100m was spent, have failed to deliver to the same standard in that time.
Forsberg, who has been dubbed an ‘assist king‘ over in Germany, could be the perfect solution has he offered Leipzig 15 goal contributions last campaign alone, making it 58 goals and 60 assists from 262 appearances for the club.
“Emil’s great to play alongside in attack. He creates chances and scores goals,” once claimed his teammate and former Chelsea striker Timo Werner.
As per FBref, the Swede has a statistically similar profile to that of Philippe Coutinho, who has somewhat gone off the boil at Villa in recent appearances, as well as Grealish’s current City teammate Kevin De Bruyne.
And when compared to other midfielders across Europe, Forsberg emerges as a strong option indeed.
Also via FBref, the 30-year-old “playmaker” ranks inside the top 1% for non-penalty expected goals (0.24 per 90), the top 3% for expected assists (0.20 per 90), the top 4% for total shots (2.09 per 90) and the top 14% for shot-creating actions (2.99 per 90), which only goes to show his influence in the attack as he’s providing chances that should be converted into a goal more often than not.
Forsberg – who has “caused total chaos” in Leipzig, according to his agent Hasan Cetinkaya – would be an ideal signing for Villa, and Gerrard, to make before September 1st.
In the Sweden star, the Midlands outfit could finally fill the void left behind by Grealish.