The best assist-scorer combos in Europe’s big leagues
While goalscorers receive most of the plaudits after finding the back of the net, they still need someone to create the opportunity in the first place.
Several clubs have already shown that if a creator and a goalscorer develop good chemistry on the pitch, there’s little that defences can do to stop them.
We’ve looked at the players who have combined to score the most goals in Europe’s big five leagues so far this season. Duos from La Liga, Ligue 1 and Serie A all miss out, with only the combinations that have registered five goals or more included.
=3. Assist: Son Heung-min, Goal: Harry Kane
Son has taken his game up another level this season.
There’s plenty of the race still to be run, and he’s already just one goal short of his career-best tally of 14 goals in a league campaign, while he also needs to register one more assist to match last term’s best-ever tally of 10.
It must help having a No.9 who is as lethal at finishing the chances he creates as Kane, who has scored five goals assisted by the South Korean. It’s also fair to say the striker doesn’t mind returning the favour…
=3. Assist: Filip Kostic, Goal: Andre Silva
Eintracht Frankfurt forward Silva has been on fire since the turn of the year, scoring 10 goals in his last 10 Bundesliga appearances to take his total tally to 19 for the season.
The Portuguese forward is the main reason Frankfurt are challenging for a Champions League spot, but he’s not the only one, with a strong supporting cast.
Serbia international Kostic has also been in fine form in 2021, with eight assists and three goals in his last nine Bundesliga appearances. He’s set up five of Silva’s goals so far this season.
=3. Assist: Jack Grealish, Goal: Ollie Watkins
After Watkins arrived at Villa Park for a club-record £33million over the summer, Grealish spoke warmly of the former Brentford striker.
The England international told the Birmingham Mail: “He deserves that price tag for a reason. You’ve only got to look at his stats from last season. We’ve been working with him now and I’m not even just saying that just because people want to hear it. It’s genuine.
“I’ve had training sessions, finishing sessions with him and there’s no surprise to me why he ended up getting so many goals last season.”
These words have translated into goal returns. To date, Grealish has supplied half of Watkins’ 10 Premier League goals, including this counter-attacking beauty at Arsenal.
Martinez ➡️ Grealish ➡️ Watkins
This Aston Villa counter-attack tore Arsenal to shreds ⚡️pic.twitter.com/aWXboVKcsB
— Goal (@goal) November 9, 2020
=2. Assist: Thomas Muller, Goal: Robert Lewandowski
Last season, Muller topped the Bundesliga assists chart with 21, and Lewandowski finished as top scorer with 34 league goals as Bayern Munich won an eighth successive league title.
They haven’t slowed down at all in 2020-21, either. Only Kane has more assists than Muller (11) in Europe’s top five leagues this season, while at the time of writing Lewandowski is up to 31 Bundesliga goals – 11 more than any other player in the major leagues.
The two have been combining well as ever, with Muller assisting six of those 31 goals.
=2. Assist: Jadon Sancho, Goal: Erling Haaland
Tied with their Bundesliga rivals, Borussia Dortmund’s Sancho has set up six of Haaland’s 19 league goals this season.
We’re sure the Norwegian wonderkid would light up even an abject team of no-hopers, but it helps having a player as good as Sancho providing creativity.
1. Assist: Harry Kane, Goal: Son Heung-min
As well as being an incredible goalscorer, Kane has shown a different side to his game in 2020-21 by also creating chances for his team-mates. Son, and more recently Gareth Bale, have benefited from Kane’s creativity.
Nine of Son’s 13 Premier League goals this season have been assisted by the England captain.
Kane provided the assist for all four of Son’s goals against Southampton and also put the 28-year-old clean through to clip a shot past David de Gea in their 6-1 win over Manchester United. They haven’t been quite as prolific in the months since, but they’re still proving a lethal combo.
“When I’ve dropped deeper this season the wide players have been running in behind and that has given me space to get my head up and play those passes through,” Kane told Sky Sports in October 2020. “Maybe we haven’t been doing that in recent years.
“The confidence is high, and everyone knows if I get that ball and turn, they have a chance of getting through on goal.”