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

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A mixture of European and South American players make up the list of Europe’s top 10 chance creators so far this season, with the competition for best footballing architects seemingly at an all-time high.

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

Across Europe’s big five leagues, here are the players who’ve spent at least 900 minutes on the pitch and completed the most key passes per 90 minutes.

10. Lorenzo Pellegrini 3.1

Starting off the list is Roma starlet Pellegrini, who has conjured up two goals and three assists from midfield in only 15 appearances. And he’d have even more if team-mates were taking their chances.

The youngster is tipped to be the long-term replacement for Daniele De Rossi, and his creative spark could help him cement a place in the side for years to come.

9. Lionel Messi 3.3

Surprisingly the Argentine isn’t at the business end of proceedings, although this does not take away from the fact that he has 29 goals and 12 assists in 24 outings in La Liga this season.

The Barcelona man, in fact, has the most goals and assists combined in Europe. Unlike Pellegrini, his team-mates generally make the most of his service.


8. Willian 3.4

The Brazilian wide-man has been in and out of Sarri’s Chelsea team this campaign, but he has added creative flare while on the pitch.

His total of three goals and five assists in 22 appearances is a decent return, although the former Shakhtar man will no doubt be looking to nail down a regular starting spot.

7. James Maddison 3.4

Leicester City’s summer signing has been their bright spark this campaign with six 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 in Leicester’s English spine including Harry Maguire and Jamie Vardy.

The former Norwich City man’s range of passing and goalscoring touch have made his £20million transfer fee look like a snip.

6. Luis Alberto 3.4

Since leaving Liverpool, Alberto has started to show what he is capable of in Italy for Lazio and is on course for his best season thus far.

He has created three goals and assisted a further three himself, but considering he has been laying on more than three chances per game, that figure could be much higher.

If Alberto continues this run of form he could be the catalyst for a Champions League push in Serie A.

5. Alejandro Gomez 3.4

The Argentine has commanded his integral role in the Atalanta side this season more than any other.

When he signed for the Italian club in 2014, he helped them narrowly avoid relegation to Serie B.

Now, he’s spearheading their Europa League chase – grabbing six goals and seven assists this campaign.


4. Kerem Demirbay 3.6

Coming in at number four, the German midfielder has been in scintillating form this season for 1899 Hoffenheim and has been linked with a move to Liverpool as a result.

Likened to a Concert Master, the head of an orchestra, Demirbay conducts the flow of his side with a never-ending work ethic and outstanding passing range.

3. Memphis Depay

The former Manchester United man’s gloss has come back since his move to Lyon.

The Dutch winger has rediscovered his sharpness in front of goal along with acquiring an eye for a pass.

Depay has provided eight goals and six assists this campaign.

Should he stick to football or is there a career in music for Memphis?

2. James Rodriguez 3.8

The Colombian has been in and out of the Bayern Munich team this season but has still provided seven goals and three assists in 12 Bundesliga outings.

But will he 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 teammates.

And Marseille’s talisman will need to keep up his creative spark in order to help his side qualify for next season’s Champions League. They currently sit six points behind third-placed Lyon.

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