Premier League 2018/19: Picking the top 5 passmasters
It's Christmas time and the first half of the new season is already coming to a conclusion. Fair to say that in these six months, the world had witnessed football of top quality. Mesmerising dribbles, sublime finishes, crunching tackles, electric screamers, towering headers and inconceivable saves together make up the most part of the post-match highlight and reasonably so because people want to see these kinds of things.
But in the middle of all this, unfortunately, we have developed a tradition of undervaluing the other major aspects of the game which are not as flashy as their counterparts. One victim of this tradition is the type of player who we like to refer to as the passmaster.
These are the players who influence the rhythm of the game, act as the conductor between their teammates, recycles the ball across the field and probably the least flashy player on the field. As the game is slowly upgrading towards a more tactical version of itself day by day and the players are almost at the peak of their physical potential, the importance of these type of players is increasing day by day.
So keeping this in mind, this list is going to introduce you to the top 5 passmasters of the English Premier League who had attempted the most number of passes in the last six months.
5. Fernandinho (Manchester City)
Passes attempted - 1280
Minutes played - 1503
Passes per 90 minutes - 77
The Brazilian international and the Manchester City linchpin is absolutely fundamental to the Guardiola's dream of dominating England and Europe. In a team that is oozing with world-class attacking force, it is the responsibility of Fernandinho to provide that essential defensive balance to the team, and the fact that Guardiola trusts him shows that he is doing is job excellently.
4. Granit Xhaka (Arsenal)
Passes attempted - 1303
Minutes played - 1376
Passes per 90 minutes - 85
The 26-year-old Swiss international is a constant presence in Unai Emery's side. Despite Arsenal's underwhelming performance in the past two seasons, Xhaka is one of the few green marks on the London side's report card and considering his age, he can be the backbone of the club for few more seasons.
3. Antonio Rudiger (Chelsea)
Passes attempted - 1383
Minutes played - 1509
Passes per 90 minutes - 82
A surprising presence in this list. The 25-year-old German has proved that he is worthy enough to be a part of Sarri's future plan. Not only he acts as a wall between the opposition and the goal but he is also responsible to connect the play between the midfield and the defence.
2. Jorginho (Chelsea)
Passes attempted - 1445
Minutes played - 1392
Passes per 90 minutes - 93
Another one from Sarri's side, the former Napoli man is absolutely irreplaceable in Chelsea's midfield engine. Known for his quick thinking and accurate passes, he is probably the first player who Sarri demanded after coming to London and the Italy international had answered his coach faith in him by following him to Stamford Bridge.
1. Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City)
Passes attempted - 1456
Minutes played - 1441
Passes per 90 minutes - 91
The 24-year-old Frenchman is one of the fundamental players of Guardiola's Man City. The Manchester-based club had spent a reported fee of £57 million on him during the previous winter transfer window and Guardiola showed his belief in him by letting him play for full 90 minutes in the next match.