The stats that show why Emil Forsberg is perfect for Manchester United

Emil Forsberg of Sweden during the FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier Play-Off: First Leg between Sweden and Italy at Friends arena on November 10, 2017 in Solna, Sweden.

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho watched Sweden beat Italy 1-0 on Friday and many suspect he was scouting Emil Forsberg.

Emil Forsberg of Sweden during the FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier Play-Off: First Leg between Sweden and Italy at Friends arena on November 10, 2017 in Solna, Sweden.

United are having a pretty good season so far. They're top of their Champions League group and sit second in the Premier League. Things appear to be going perfectly, but you know what they say about appearances don't you?

It's clear that United are would benefit from a dramatic boost of quality in creative areas. Someone besides Paul Pogba who can create things out of nothing (since it's now clear that Henrikh Mkhitaryan only thrives when Pogba plays) and provide Romelu Lukaku with the ammunition he needs to gun down opponents.

Romelu Lukaku of Manchester United celebrates scoring his sides second goal with Paul Pogba of Manchester United  during the Premier League match between Stoke City and Manchester United...

And yeah, sure, the Red Devils have scored a lot of goals so far this season (only league leaders Manchester City have more than their 23) but the vast majority of those have come in late game flourishes against weaker opponents. Against top sides like Chelsea, Spurs and Liverpool it's a whole different matter; they've struggled.

United have scored just 1 goal and created 12 chances in the 3 matches against those sides (averaging out at 4 chances a game); compared to 96 chances in the other 7 matches played this season (13.7 chances a game on average). They are vastly less potent in big games and part of the reason why is Mourinho's tactics place an emphasis on attacking individuality. To that end; United are lacking a genuinely creative wing wizard.

Someone like Emil Forsberg.

Danilo Pereira of FC Porto competes for the ball with Emil Forsberg of RB Leipzig during the UEFA Champions League group G match between FC Porto and RB Leipzig at Estadio do Dragao on...

Since the start of last season, no player in the Bundesliga has created more chances than the Swede. Forsberg has laid on 115 chances for his team-mates. In comparison, over the same period, no United player has managed more than 70. Pogba's 66 chances is the highest but even he is some way short of Forsberg.

The Swede is a devastating creator of chances, and that is exactly what United should be after. He's quality with the ball too, winning 58% of his 140 dribble attempts since the start of last season. He is almost exactly what Manchester United need right now, a ceaselessly creative winger who can create intricate attacks but also sling crosses into the box.

Leipzig's Swedish forward Emil Forsberg takes a corner kick during the German football Cup DFB Pokal second round match between RB Leipzig and FC Bayern Munich in Leipzig eastern Germany,...

Forsberg has connected with 59 of 163 crosses since the start of last season; that's nearly double the next highest United winger (Juan Mata's 35) and it's most definitely a number that matters given Romelu Lukaku's proficiency in the air. The Belgian has won 169 aerial duels since 2016/17 began, he's the most aerially dominant top-class striker in England by far and needs crosses.

Whether or not Emil Forsberg fits with José Mourinho and his fetish for tall players is up for debate, but there is no doubt that he is statistically perfect for Manchester United.

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