8 highest assist-makers in Europe's top five leagues this season
- Here are the assist kings of the season so far!
Our unbridled obsession with goals has seen strikers attain almost divine stature in football. The more they score, the more they're worshiped.
Even though there's nothing wrong here as goals are the single-biggest entertainment factor of the beautiful game, this uncanny fetish tends to eclipse many other hard-working players in the team such as the assist-makers.
These are the players who put the meal on the plate for strikers to feast on, but rarely enjoy the same recognition or even appreciation.
So in an ode to those industrious, unselfish stars, let's look at the top eight assist-makers in Europe this season.
#8 Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool) - 12
The Liverpool star knows no stopping. After helping his side to a sixth Champions League title last season, he's now played an instrumental role to all but seal the Premier League crown. Trent Alexander-Arnold's return of 12 assists is the highest for any defender in Europe's top five leagues, and also the second-best in the Premier League.
#7 Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona) - 12
There's little left to be impressed about Lionel Messi now. He missed five games from the opening seven and yet, finds himself atop the scoring as well as assist-making charts in La Liga. The Barcelona ace too has 12 assists, but ranks higher than Alexander-Arnold here by virtue of doing so in fewer games. And here's another fun fact: Messi is one of the few players to have scored a hat-trick of goals as well as assists (in different games) this season!
#6 Luis Alberto (SSC Lazio) - 13
How long before Luis Alberto gets a Spanish call-up again? Lazio's creative chieftain hasn't seen the light of the day in his international career since turning up for 15 minutes in a friendly to Costa Rica in November 2017! After a difficult campaign of injuries and omissions, the 27-year old is right back in stride again, assisting 13 times to equal his personal best tally from 2017/18 season already.
#5 Christopher Nkunku (RB Leipzig) - 14
Discussions of best young players in Europe don't normally see Christopher Nkunku mentioned in the same breath as either Jadon Sancho or Trent Alexander-Arnold, but he's right there amongst the very best. His stats are largely under-rated, and doesn't get enough limelight to shine in due to bigger names in the squad. Yet, that hasn't discouraged him from making 14 assists, a tally that includes four in just one match against Schalke!
#4 Angel Di Maria (PSG) - 14
Another player who's gone under the radar thanks to more glamours team-mates, Angel Di Maria continues to deliver as always for Les Parisians. Even as the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Neymar bang in goals left, right and centre, he's been the chief provider, assisting 14 times from 26 appearances in Ligue 1. He needs just five more to post his best figures, which is easily achievable should the league resume next month.
#3 Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich) - 16
Not long ago, obituaries were being written about the Raumdeuter's football career for his lack of goals. However, he more than makes up for that with a litany of assists. Muller has transformed into more of a creator than a scorer, and developed a penchant to put things on a plate for strikers to score. His tally of 16 assists is the joint-best in the Bundesliga, and needs just one more to post new career-best figures.
#2 Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund) - 16
In just 23 games, Jadon Sancho has already surpassed his previous season's tally by getting involved in 30 goals, which is also the most for a player in the Bundesliga. Sixteen of them have been assists, and that's the highest for any player under-23 in Europe's top five leagues! Sancho has laid more assists than anyone since the start of last season and will be sorely missed by Dortmund if he indeed leaves this summer.
#1 Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) - 17
The Belgian had an injury-ravaged campaign last year, but has bounced back in spectacular fashion this term to make 17 assists in the Premier League. Even as Manchester City have struggled for consistency this season, Kevin De Bruyne has been at the top of his game. He's the only player to make assists in four straight games on two different occasions, and should the season resume next month, will have the opportunity to surpass his career-best tally of 21 assists in a season that he made with Wolfsburg.Published 15 Mar 2020, 00:24 IST