Europe’s top 10 dribblers, 2018-19: Boufal, Ben Arfa, Januzaj, Neymar…

Quick Reads

With the season coming to an end, the final standings for the best dribblers in European football have started to take shape…

With just over two months of the season left to play the title races in France, Italy and Spain seem to be over, and the spotlight is on England and Germany.

Here are the players to have played a minimum of 1000 minutes who’ve completed the most dribbles per 90 minutes in Europe’s top five leagues so far…

Sofiane Boufal – 6.4

A very surprise leader of the board for some, but Southampton fans know all about what he is capable of.

Best known in the Premier League for that wonder goal at home to West Brom, Boufal joined Celta Vigo on loan for the 2018-2019 season.

He started life in Spain brightly, scoring two goals in his first six games for the club – and has since been completing six of every 10 dribbles attempted in La Liga.

Hatem Ben Arfa – 5.4

There isn’t a single Premier League representative on the list, but former Newcastle United winger Hatem Ben Arfa comes in at second with his impressive successful dribble rate of 5.4 out of 9.5.

Another scorer of an iconic Premier League goal against Bolton in 2012, It’s been a rollercoaster of a few years for Ben Arfa, having struggled to establish himself at PSG and leaving in the summer of 2018.

However, the Frenchman has revitalised his form this season, having played 1,475 minutes for his new club Rennes, and has managed to haul seven goals and three assists in all competitions.

Adnan Januzaj 5.1

Another La Liga entry coming in at third place, Januzaj has had a brilliant first couple of seasons for Real Sociedad since his move from Manchester United in 2017.

One of the bright sparks during David Moyes’ United reign, the Belgian has taken that potential and literally ran with it – as his successful dribbles clearly indicate.

Still only 23 years old, he has completed over half of the dribbles he has taken on this campaign.

Can he add more goals to his game?

Neymar – 5

Absolutely no surprises here that Brazil’s main man comes in our top four.

Neymar has featured only 23 times this season due to injury. The former Barcelona star boasts a brilliant tally of 13 goals in as many appearances in Ligue 1, as well as providing six assists.

French defences just can’t contain him…

Allan Saint-Maximin – 4.5

Boasting a low centre of gravity and quick feet, Saint-Maximin has an abundance of potential.

He finished in our top 10 dribblers last campaign and has since set the bar even higher.

The 21-year-old has improved his successful take-on rate and has managed to score six goals and gain three assists so far this season.

Nice signed the France under-21 international for just £9million from Monaco in 2017, and what a bargain he is proving to be…

Jadon Sancho – 4.1

The young Englishman has been the talk of Europe this season, lighting up the Bundesliga and impressing abroad like no Brit has done for some time.

Sancho’s headline-grabbing isn’t masked by his numbers either – since becoming a mainstay in this impressive Dortmund side, the former Man City winger has contributed nine goals and 13 assists so far this season.

Now with an estimated market price of over £80million Dortmund could be in with a tasty profit if they decide to cash in on their free transfer in the summer…

READ: Jadon Sancho has already mastered the important art of breaking spirits

Lionel Messi – 4.1

Were you starting to think that Lionel Messi wasn’t on the list?

Messi’s inclusion on this list is always a given – and as always, he’s offering far more than just dribbles.

Messi boasts a staggering 39 goals and 21 assists in just 37 games for Barcelona this season.

The 31-year-old has upped his campaign and has cemented his place as La Liga’s most prolific player this campaign.

Wow.

Youcef Atal – 4

Another young star scrapes into this list at number eight, and only costing Nice £2.7million, he appears to be yet another bargain for the French outfit.

The 22-year-old has already been called one of the most promising full-backs in the world – and with an appearance on our list, Atal shows absolutely no sign of slowing down…

Marcus Thuram 3.7

The penultimate name on the list is the son of France’s most capped player of all-time, Lilian Thuram. The youngster has a lot to live up to but is already a better dribbler than his father.

The 21-year-old wide-man has accumulated a very impressive 11 goals and one assist in 29 appearances for Guingamp this term.

Defenders are evidently struggling with his pace and power…

Ousmane Dembele – 3.6

One of the hottest young talents in world football right now, Ousmane Dembele conjures magic on the ball most of his counterparts can only dream of.

The Frenchman has been one of the shining stars in this Barcelona team alongside more high-profile names and is now finally living up to his £120million price tag.

We are starting to see more regular glimpses of the form he consistently produced in Germany…


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