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

Quick Reads

With the 2018-19 season coming to a close, the standings for the best dribblers in European football are close to being finalised.

With the title races in France, Italy and Spain all but over, the spotlight is on England and Germany to produce some late drama.

Here are the top 10 players to have played a minimum of 1000 minutes who have completed the most dribbles per 90 minutes in Europe’s top five leagues so far…

Sofiane Boufal – 6.5

A surprise leader of the board for some, Southampton fans will be all too aware of 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.

Despite his impressive dribbling skills, he has only registered two goals and assists for a club hovering above the relegation zone in La Liga this season.

Hatem Ben Arfa – 5.6

Former Newcastle United winger Hatem Ben Arfa comes in second with his impressive successful dribble rate of 5.6 out of 9.7.

Another scorer of an iconic Premier League goal against Bolton in 2012, it has been a rollercoaster few years for the Frenchman.

However, the midfielder has found some form once more at mid-table Rennes, bagging nine goals and two assists in all competitions this season.

Jeremie Boga – 5.4 

Another Frenchman in the top 10, Sassuolo’s Jeremie Boga has come a long way since his first-team debut for Chelsea in 2017.

Having come through the Blues’ academy, the Ivorian had loan spells at Rennes, Granada and Birmingham City prior to his permanent transfer to Sassuolo for around £3.5million in 2018.

Despite his impressive dribble rate, the versatile attacker has only contributed two goals and a solitary assist this season for the Italian club.

Neymar – 5

No surprises here, Brazil’s captain makes the top 10.

Despite a long spell out through 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…

Adnan Januzaj – 4.7

Former Manchester United midfielder Adnan Januzaj is quietly fulfilling the potential he showed during his time in the Premier League for Real Sociedad.

In 2018-19, he has successfully completed 4.7 of the 7.7 dribbles he has attempted per 90 minutes played.

However, there remain areas for improvement, with the Belgium international having provided only one goal and three assists for the mid-table Spanish outfit this season.

 

Allan Saint-Maximin – 4.6

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 France Under 21-year international has improved his successful take-on rate and has managed to score six goals and produce three assists this season.

Lionel Messi – 4.5 

Of course the five-time Ballon d’Or winner makes the list.

Once again, the Argentine is tearing up La Liga, producing a staggering 45 goals and 17 assists so far this season.

Is there anything the 31-year-old can’t do?

Youcef Atal – 4.2 

Another Ligue 1 player to make the top 10, Youcef Atal is successful in more than half of the dribbles he attempts.

The 22-year-old Algeria international has registered three goals in Ligue 1 this season.

Not bad for a full-back learning his trade. He is certainly one to watch.

 

Eden Hazard – 4 

Any worries of burnout following Belgium’s run to the World Cup final were quickly dispelled early into this season.

The Belgian captain averages a successful dribble rate of four for every six attempted.

At 28 years old, there are no signs of him slowing down any time soon.

Jadon Sancho – 3.9

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 the Dortmund side, the former Manchester City winger has contributed 11 goals and 14 assists so far this season.

Now with an estimated market price of over £80million and a list of suitors as long as your arm, Dortmund could be in for a tasty profit if they decide to cash in on their free transfer this summer.


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