Arsenal have announced an Emirates Cup lineup of Benfica, Sevilla, and RB Leipzig, and the last team on that list certainly caught my attention.
- Games will take place on July 29 & 30
- Arsenal will play Benfica and Sevilla
- Arsenal have recently been linked with a £20m move for their winger, Emil Forsberg
- Arsenal have also been scouting heavily at Benfica this season
Arsenal have history of tying Emirates Cup appearances in with transfer deals, so it would not be beyond the realms to imagine it happening here. I’m probably just getting a bit ahead of myself, but let’s see what Arsenal would be getting if they did indeed land Forsberg.
Emil Forsberg is a Swedish international, currently playing for Red Bull Leipzig.
The 25-year-old is valued at €15 million by Tranfermarkt, and has contract with Red Bull Leipzig until 2022 so they would expect to get considerably more for him than that.
His most natural position is a left sided winger, but this season the RB Leipzig manager has used him as an attacking midfielder, responsible for creating chances, and waiting for his opportunity to strike.
This season he’s made 27 appearances, 26 of those in Bundesliga, and has scored eight goals. More importantly, he made 15 assists and is currently leading the league table of assists with four more than Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund.
Forsberg’s main characteristics in play are beating his opponent and cutting inside behind central forward.
The young Swede has plenty of traits which make him one of the best attacking players in Bundesliga.
His ability to find teammates in dangerous positions is really remarkable.
He makes an average of 2.17 key passes per game and almost a quarter of those passes get converted into goals as he set’s up a goal once in every two games.
Another strength of his is dribbling, and he is very capable of catching his opponents on their bad foot as he surges forward, mostly by cutting inside.
Forsberg is also great at crossing and taking set-pieces, often sending long and hard balls across penalty box in dangerous areas where his teammates can make the most of them.
Even though he’s quite a dribbler, he isn’t one of physically strongest players and is easily dispossessed by a more robust player.
With 179 cm of height he certainly isn’t one of the shortest players around but still doesn’t have much of an ability to present an aerial threat for the opposition, winning only 30% of all aerial duels this season.
When looking at his number of assists and his ability to make chances, one wouldn’t think that Forsberg would have much trouble passing, but that could also be looked at as one of his weaknesses. Having made only 77% of all passes, for a play-maker of his quality and technique, that is pretty poor result.
What can he bring to Arsenal?
Emile Forsberg still has the time and potential to grow as a player. At 25-years-of-age, he’s slowly coming to his peak footballing years where he has enough experience and strength to show the world what he’s made off.
The only problem with his integration into the squad would be the position in which he could play week in and out.
Alexis Sanchez is the only obvious first choice on the left wing, and Mesut Ozil in the attacking midfielder position would have a place in any team.
One of the possibilities is to try him on the right wing, a position that could use a boost with a player of his qualities. The only problem with that position would be his right foot preference, as he’d be unable to cut inside, something he does best.
If Arsene Wenger wishes to bring young Swede to the Emirates, it is being reported that a fee of at least £20 million would be necessary for Leipzig to even consider selling him.
And, maybe, an appearance at the Emirates Cup?
Emirates Cup 2017 match schedule:
Saturday, July 29, 2017
RB Leipzig v Sevilla FC – 2pm kick off
Arsenal v SL Benfica – 4.20pm kick off
Sunday, July 30, 2017
RB Leipzig v SL Benfica – 2pm kick off
Arsenal v Sevilla FC – 4.20pm kick off