Europe’s 10 best dribblers in 2022-23: Messi, Sane, Chukwueze…
Watching a talented player complete a dribble is one of the most thrilling sites in football – but which players have got fans off their seats most often this season?
The likes of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe are surprisingly absent from the top 10 dribblers in Europe’s major leagues (Premier League, Ligue 1, La Liga, Bundesliga and Serie A) but there is one world-famous name among some of the lesser-known lights in 2022-23 so far.
Without further ado, here are the top 10 dribblers in Europe this season, sorted in order of their successful dribbles per 90 minutes (players with a minimum of 500 minutes only).
=9. Leroy Sane – 2.6 per 90
Sane has gone under the radar slightly since leaving Manchester City for Bayern in 2020 but he’s been in top form for the German champions this season.
The winger has completed 24 successful dribbles in the Bundesliga and will likely have another medal to show for his efforts at the end of the season.
=9. Yan Couto – 2.6 per 90
“Several big clubs in France, Germany and Portugal made inquiries and wanted to sign him,” Couto’s agent Marcelo Robalinho told ESPN Brazil.
“But City didn’t want him to leave the group. Guardiola spoke to him in pre-season and is monitoring Yan’s development.”
You’d imagine that Pep will be pretty impressed with how the 20-year-old Brazilian right-back is faring at feeder club Girona. Couto is a full-back that isn’t afraid to carry the ball forward.
⬇️ Yan Couto
⬆️ Riquelme pic.twitter.com/rvrBAb4W6L
— Girona FC (@GironaFC) October 30, 2022
8. Georginio Rutter – 2.9 per 90
A name you’re likely to hear more about in the coming years, France Under-21 international Rutter is developing nicely at Hoffenheim.
He’s only 20 years old but has nailed down a spot in the Bundesliga club’s starting XI. The centre-forward isn’t afraid to dig deep and contribute defensively, is an adept dribbler, and has a respectable goalscoring record, with 11 goals from 64 appearances in the German top flight to date.
This assist from Georginio Rutter for Hoffenheim in extra-time is rude 🇩🇪
He’s only 20 and there’s clearly a lot of natural talent there 👀pic.twitter.com/3puC0ImHoh
— The Set Pieces (@thesetpieces) August 1, 2022
7. Azzedine Ounahi – 3.0 per 90
One of the breakout starts of the World Cup, Ounahi will be in demand after his excellent performances for semi-finalists Morocco.
The midfielder starts week in week out for Angers in Ligue 1, and while he’s yet to notch a goal or assist in the French top flight, he’s been a useful player in progressing the ball into the final third.
6. Samuel Chukwueze – 3.1 per 90
One of the more eye-catching players in Villarreal’s against-the-odds run to the Europa League semi-finals last season, it’s difficult not to get excited when Chukwueze gets fed the ball in a dangerous area with an opportunity of terrorising his opposite number.
Only three players averaged more dribbles than the Nigerian winger in Europe’s top five leagues last term, and in 2022-23 he’s continuing to deliver. La Liga’s top dribbler this season.
5. Adam Ounas – 3.2 per 90
Algerian winger Oumas joined Lille in the summer, having been a peripheral squad player at Napoli, constantly loaned away.
He isn’t a guaranteed starter, but is enjoying more regular minutes and is showing he’s a wizard with the ball at his feet.
4. Evann Guessand – 3.3 per 90
One to watch in Ligue 1 this season, the 21-year-old forward has risen through the French youth ranks and is now on loan at Nantes from boyhood club Nice.
Guessand has featured in a variety of positions across Nantes’ forward line this season, and has gained European experience, helping the French club qualify from their Europa League group. He gives opposition defenders something to think about when he gets the ball onto his right boot.
3. Sofiane Boufal – 3.4 per 90
Premier League audiences may remember Boufal at Southampton as a talented attacker that didn’t quite deliver, as five goals and five assists in 84 appearances for Saints testify.
Two years after leaving St. Mary’s, the 29-year-old is still taking on players and driving at defences – but now he’s added end product. Boufal has three goals and three assists for Angers in Ligue 1 this term, averaging a direct contribution to goal every 120 minutes.
After impressing during Morocco’s magical World Cup run, Boufal will be aiming for a strong second half of the season.
READ: A ridiculously good XI of players sold by Southampton in recent years
2. Chidera Ejuke – 3.5 per 90
The Nigerian winger suspended his contract at CSKA Moscow following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and has since joined Hertha Berlin.
Hertha are currently struggling in the Bundesliga, looking as though they’re mired in a relegation battle. But Ejuke is proving an asset, having notched assists in three consecutive draws against Bayer Leverkusen, Mainz and Hoffenheim earlier in the campaign.
1. Lionel Messi – 3.7 per 90
You only need to look at Messi’s end product to see that he’s back to his best.
As well as notching up lots of goals and assists, the Argentinian is a menace with the ball at his feet once again. He was always near the top of Europe’s best dribblers during his prime years, but didn’t feature anywhere near the top 10 last season.
Form is temporary, class is permanent. Messi is averaging considerably more successful dribbles than in 2021-22 and is already two-thirds of the way to beating his total tally from last term.
And we wouldn’t bet against the World Cup winner topping this at the end of the current season.
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