The top 10 assisters in Europe’s major leagues in 2021: TAA, Messi…

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Trent Alexander-Arnold during Liverpool's victory over Atletico Madrid, Anfield, November 2021.

2021 is rapidly drawing to a close and we can finally reveal who has created the most goals across the calendar year.

The list we’ve created is a fascinating one. Established names, exciting young talents and a few surprises all feature in the Top 10 containing players across the Premier League, Serie A, Ligue 1, Bundesliga and La Liga.

And we’ve presented them for you here, in reverse order from number 10 to number one.

6= Vincenzo Grifo

Arguably the most surprising name on our list, Grifo has been in sparkling form for SC Freiburg over the course of 2021.

The 28-year-old winger managed six assists over the second half of the 2020-21 season and has added seven more – alongside four goals – during this campaign.

SC Freiburg have been the surprise package in the Bundesliga this year, sitting 3rd in the league ahead of some illustrious names. They’ll need Grifo to maintain his creative streak if they’re to earn a shock Champions League place.

6= Lionel Messi

Surprise, surprise.

Messi has been a one-man creative whirlwind throughout his entire career and, despite only scoring once in Ligue 1 since moving to PSG, has still managed to provide five assists.

The Argentina captain also set up eight for Barcelona at the start of the year, earning him a deserved place on our shortlist.

6= Nicolo Barella

It’s been a stellar year for Barella, winning Serie A with Internazionale before lifting the European Championship trophy with Italy over the summer.

And the midfielder has proven to be a reliable source of assists for his club, chipping in five during the second half of the title-winning campaign before contributing eight since August.

6= Trent Alexander-Arnold

Widely regarded as one of the best full-backs of his generation, Alexander-Arnold has always been a must-have on Fantasy Football simply for the number of assists he provides in a Liverpool shirt.

And that reputation has been upheld during 2021. The 23-year-old has already chipped in with eight assists for Jurgen Klopp’s side this season, adding to the five he created during the first half of 2021.

Alexander-Arnold has taken 39 games to generate this tally, which neatly adds up to an assist every three matches. Not bad for a right-back.

6= Piotr Zielinski

Zielinksi has served Napoli with distinction since 2016 and provided another stellar contribution to their cause throughout this calendar year.

The Poland international has chipped in with five goals and assists in Serie A this season, adding to the eight he contributed at the back-end of the last campaign.

With Napoli aiming for their first league title since the age of Diego Maradona, Zielinksi’s creative output will be necessary to maintain their challenge.

3= Dimitri Payet

Payet makes his way onto our list, which should surprise nobody. Even in the autumn of his career, the former-West Ham talisman remains an extravagantly gifted footballer.

Playing for a Marseille side that stubbornly remains less than its sum of parts, the 34-year-old has chipped in with seven goals and assists in Ligue 1 – some of which have been outrageous.

When added to the eight he managed during the second half of last season, Payet has created 15 goals for his team-mates from 37 appearances.

3= Marco Reus

Reus has endured a career blighted by injuries but there’s never been any doubt about his enduring class.

Despite Borussia Dortmund finding themselves miles behind Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga table, the 32-year-old Reus has eight assists to his name.

Capable of unlocking defences with the skill of a professional burglar, the Germany international also provided seven assists at the start of the calendar year which seems him nestle in third place here.

3= Moussa Diaby

One of the more surprising names on our list, Diaby has been in sensational form for Bayer Leverkusen over the course of 2021.

The 22-year-old winger has racked up a total of eight assists this season – six of which have come in the Bundesliga – alongside eight goals in all competitions.

Diaby managed to create nine goals for his Leverkusen team-mates between January and May, meaning he finds himself in some very good company in third place on our list.

2. Filip Kostic

Kostic may have only managed six assists this season but an incredible tally of 16 over the second half of last season means the 29-year-old has provided 22 over the calendar year.

The Eintracht Frankfurt and Serbia midfielder isn’t the most heralded of names but his importance to both club and country cannot be overstated.

With Eintracht pushing hard for a Champions League place and Serbia headed for the World Cup finals, 2022 has the potential to be even better for Kostic.

1. Thomas Muller

36 games, 30 assists. Thomas Muller, take a bow. You’ve been excellent.

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