RB Leipzig's Emil Forsberg has the best goals and assists per minute ratio of any winger in the Bundesliga this season. - © © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA
RB Leipzig's Emil Forsberg has the best goals and assists per minute ratio of any winger in the Bundesliga this season. - © © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA

RB Leipzig's Emil Forsberg: Europe's best winger

With eight goals and 14 assists, Emil Forsberg is one of the driving forces behind RB Leipzig's whirlwind debut season in the Bundesliga and now Europe's top assist provider - but what's his secret?

"Constant hard work - in training and in every game," the 25-year-old told former Borussia Dortmund defender Patrick Owomoyela in the February edition of Owo Meets.

"And we just enjoying playing together. It's the full package. The coach gets us fired up before games, and you go out there just wanting to win it."

Sign Forsberg to your Official Fantasy Bundesliga in time for Leipzig's showdown with Freiburg here!

Watch: Meet Europe's assist king Emil Forsberg:

Forsberg's trademark cut and thrust was conspicuous by its suspension-enforced absence in games against Eintracht Frankfurt, Hoffenheim and Dortmund at the beginning of the Rückrunde. Since registering a goal and an assist in the 2-1 win at Borussia Mönchengladbach on Matchday 21, however, the Sweden international has been virtually unplayable, adding a further two goals and six assists to his impressive season tally to help Leipzig consolidate their position in second place behind Bayern Munich.

"His goal [against Mönchengladbach on Matchday 21] was like a release for him," Leipzig head coach Ralph Hasenhüttl said of Forsberg's strike against the Foals. "From that moment on, it was the Emil we've all came to know during the first half of the season."

What a player that is. Averaging a goal or assist every 82 minutes, Forsberg ranks as the current Bundesliga campaign's most efficient wide man, ahead of Dortmund newcomer Ousmane Dembele (104 minutes) and Bayern Munich old-timer Arjen Robben (104 minutes).

Moreover, 13 of the 14 games in which Forsberg has registered a goal or assist have resulted in wins, including Saturday's last-gasp victory over Bayer Leverkusen, in which he set up Yussuf Poulsen for the game's only goal in second-half stoppage time.

"Emil is a massively important player and hugely popular figure at RB Leipzig," explained Leipzig sporting director Ralf Rangnick, after tying his game-changing Sundsvall youth product down to an improved deal through to summer 2022 earlier this month.

"He's having a fantastic season and feels at home at the club and in the city. The deal we've penned ahead of schedule is further confirmation of the path we've forged together and of the direction we want to take in the coming years."

Watch: Forsberg's Top 5 assists!

Leipzig have already enjoyed an accelerated and spectacular rise to prominence in their short, eight-year existence as a professional club. And while they continue to make waves in 2016/17 as defending champions Bayern's closest pursuers, the best is almost certainly yet to come.

Bumps in the road are a given, but with string-puller extraordinaire Forsberg in it for the long haul, the Red Bulls have a player capable of sustaining the charge and cementing their place on the Bundesliga podium for years to come.

Chris Mayer-Lodge

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