Europe’s top 10 creators of 2017-18: Hazard, Payet, Ozil, De Bruyne

Quick Reads

Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City players all find themselves among the top creators in Europe’s big five leagues this season.

Despite their disappointing season, Chelsea have three representatives among the top 10 players to create the most chances per 90 minutes this term.

With a minimum of 1,000 minutes played, we’ve taken a look at the 10 players who most regularly set up a team-mate for a shot – and there’s one man way out in front.

10. Willian – 3.0

In an underwhelming season at Stamford Bridge, Willian has stood out with his forward drive and creativity.

The 29-year-old has scored six goals and provided a further seven assists in the Premier League this season, creating a chance for a team-mate every 30 minutes on average.

9. Eden Hazard – 3.1

The third best dribbler in Europe, Hazard also finds himself among the top creators, averaging 3.1 per 90 minutes of Premier League action.

He has only managed four assists in his 34 league appearances this term, but the Belgium international has often found himself leading a solo mission going forward amid Alvaro Morata’s struggles.

8. Kevin De Bruyne – 3.1

Hazard’s fellow countryman De Bruyne was beaten to a host of individual awards by the goalscoring heroics of Mohamed Salah despite an outstanding season as Manchester City romped to the title.

The midfielder was awarded the inaugural Playmaker of the Year award for the most assists in the Premier League after he set up Gabriel Jesus’ stoppage-time winner at Southampton, pipping team-mate Leroy Sane with 16 assists.

7. Alejandro Gomez – 3.1

Gomez’s six goals and 10 assists for Atalanta this season weren’t enough to force his way into contention for Argentina’s World Cup squad, despite finishing as Serie A’s top chance creator.

The diminutive attacker made four appearances for his national team in 2017 but, after revealing he was wanted by the Italian side, he said: “There are great Argentine players in Italy who are not called-up, it’s all very strange.”

6. Mathieu Dossevi – 3.2

One of only five Ligue 1 players to make it into double figures for assists, the achievement is even better for Dossevi considering his Metz side finished bottom of France’s top tier.

He has spent the season on loan in France from Belgian club Standard Liege, though Metz will not be taking up the option to sign him permanently after their relegation.

5. Neymar – 3.47

Despite not playing since fracturing his metatarsal in February, Neymar’s 19 goals and 13 assists propelled PSG to the Ligue 1 title, while they also claimed a cup Double.

The forward, who is also Europe’s best dribbler, set up team-mates for a shot 69 times in his 20 appearances.

READ: Europe’s top 10 dribblers of 2017-18: Hazard, Messi, Neymar, Zaha…

4. Mesut Ozil – 3.49

It will come as no surprise to find Ozil on this list. The Arsenal playmaker recorded eight assists from 24 starts in the Premier League this season, and supporters will be delighted he committed his future to the club.

3. James Rodriguez – 3.54

Rodriguez has enjoyed an impressive season on loan at Bayern Munich from Real Madrid after making just 30 La Liga appearances across two years at the Bernabeu.

He has scored seven goals and assisted a further 11 in the Bundesliga, finishing behind only team-mate Thomas Muller and Augsburg’s Phillip Max in the assists chart.

2. Cesc Fabregas – 3.55

Fabregas joined an exclusive club this season, becoming just the fourth player to pass 50 goals and 100 assists in the Premier League.

The midfielder has, however, recorded his lowest-ever assists tally this term with four, but finds himself as the Premier League’s chief creator, averaging 3.55 chances created per 90 minutes.

1. Dimitri Payet – 4.6

Way out in front when it comes to creating chances is Payet, who has created an impressive 156 chances across Ligue 1 and the Europa League for Marseille this term.

His efforts in the league have seen him record 13 assists, the joint most alongside Neymar and Memphis Depay.

The former West Ham man was left in tears though as injury forced him off in the first half of the Europa League final, and he was left out of France’s World Cup squad for this summer.

READ: Dimitri Payet is fighting football’s seriousness with fun – and it’s working

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