Europe’s top 10 chance creators, 2018-19: Messi, Willian, Maddison, Depay…

Quick Reads

A mixture of European and South American players make up the list of Europe’s top 10 chance creators so far this season.

There are two Premier League representatives, but Serie A leads the way with three players inside the top 10.

Across Europe’s big five leagues, here are the players who’ve spent at least 1,000 minutes on the pitch and completed the most key passes per 90 minutes.

10. Lionel Messi – 3.2

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has shown no signs of slowing down this season, scoring 33 goals and providing 12 assists in La Liga.

No player in Europe’s top five leagues can match Messi’s figure for combined goals and assists. The Argentine keeps breaking all the records. Long may it continue.

 

9. Lorenzo Pellegrini – 3.3

Roma starlet Pellegrini has conjured up four goals and six assists from midfield in 31 appearances this season.

The youngster is tipped to be the long-term replacement for Daniele De Rossi. If he can sustain his rapid development over recent years, he should cement a place in the side for years to come.

 

8. James Maddison – 3.3

Leicester City’s summer signing has been their bright spark this campaign with seven goals and six assists in his debut season in the Premier League.

The 22-year-old has bags of potential and is a vital player for Brendan Rodgers’ side. The former Norwich City man’s range of passing and goalscoring touch have made his £20million transfer fee look a bargain.

 

7. Willian – 3.4

Although the Brazilian winger has been in and out of Sarri’s side this campaign, he has added creative flare when given minutes on the pitch.

His total of eight goals and 14 assists in all competitions is a decent return, although the former Shakhtar man will no doubt be looking to nail down a regular starting spot.

However, competing with Callum Hudson-Odoi for a starting berth is only going to become increasingly difficult for the 30-year-old.

 

6. Luis Alberto – 3.4

Since leaving Liverpool, Alberto has started to show what he is capable of for Lazio.

He has scored and assisted five goals this season but, considering he has been laying on more than three chances per game, that figure could be much higher.

5. Alejandro Gomez – 3.5

The Argentine has had an integral role in Atalanta’s push for a European place, scoring six goals and assisting a further nine in Serie A this term.

It’s a stark contrast to when he signed for the Italian club in 2014, when he helped them narrowly avoid relegation to Serie B.

4. Kerem Demirbay – 3.6

Coming in at number four, the German midfielder has been in scintillating form this season for Hoffenheim.

Demirbay conducts the flow of his side with a never-ending work ethic and outstanding passing range.

His impressive form in Bundesliga has reportedly caught the attention of Liverpool, who were linked with the 25-year-old earlier this season.

3. Memphis Depay – 3.7

The former Manchester United man’s mojo has returned since his move to Lyon.

Depay has rediscovered his sharpness in front of goal as well as acquiring an eye for a pass, already providing 13 goals and 12 assists this campaign.

READ: A forensic analysis of Memphis Depay’s freestyle rap on Instagram

2. James Rodriguez – 4

The Colombian has been in and out of the Bayern Munich team this season but has still managed to provide seven goals and three assists in 19 Bundesliga outings.

Will the 27-year-old ever score a better goal than this?

 

1. Dimitri Payet – 4.2

The former West Ham man comes in at number one as the only player creating more than four chances per 90 minutes in Europe’s major leagues.

After injury kept him out of France’s 2018 World Cup triumph, the attacking midfielder clearly returned hungrier than ever to provide goals for his team-mates.

Marseille’s talisman will need to keep up his creative spark in order to help his side qualify for next season’s Champions League.


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