The Premier League's Top Ten Creators

We're not talking set-piece specialists so there's no room for Juan Mata or Steven Gerrard. Top of the list is Luis Suarez but you might be shocked at who's at no 3)...

Last Updated: 27/02/13 at 13:51 Post Comment

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A look at the chief creators in the Premier League isn't always as simple as it seems. For example, none of the three leaders in terms of assists - Mata, Gerrard and Podolski (all nine) - rank among the top 10 for key passes per game from open play. While the former duo are both afforded set-piece responsibilities, the German's tally has come from just 30 chances created in total - the 44th most in the top flight.

Everton's Leighton Baines has created the most chances in the league this season (89) but again, set-piece duties account for a large majority, with the left-back ranking just outside the top 10 (12th) for key passes per game from open play. It is that leaderboard that WhoScored.com will be looking at in this piece, with a rundown from tenth to first.


10) Jack Wilshere (Arsenal)
Many felt that Wilshere would need time to bed back into the Arsenal side after facing over a year on the sidelines but since returning to fitness this season he has been a mainstay in the starting XI and a key player for the Gunners once again. Despite playing deeper alongside Mikel Arteta for much of the campaign the England international has still managed to average 1.76 key passes from open play per game. He has three assists and ranks among the top five in the league for accurate through balls per game (0.4).


9) James Morrison (West Brom)
West Brom's playmaker proved to be one of the most underrated players in the league last season after an excellent campaign for the Baggies. While Morrison hasn't been quite as instrumental this time around he has still impressed and continues to be the side's most creative outlet, averaging 1.8 key passes from open play per game. The Scotland international's modest tally of four assists is perhaps less than he has merited, with seven of the chances he has created representing clear-cut opportunities for teammates.


8) Adel Taarabt (QPR)
Much has been made of the fact that QPR just haven't been creating enough chances this season but Adel Taarabt has certainly played his part. The Moroccan has made 1.83 key passes from open play per game and, like Morrison, his tally of just four assists could be attributed to profligacy from his teammates. This is particularly apparent when considering the playmaker has created ten clear-cut chances for teammates this season, with his total of nine accurate through balls only bettered by three players in the league.


7) Aaron Lennon (Tottenham)
The England winger has been criticised for much of his career for lacking an end product but such a judgement is now harsh. He leads Spurs in terms of assists, with six, and it's unsurprising given his appearance on this leaderboard. The former Leeds graduate has averaged 1.85 key passes from open play per game and considering the fact that he has only averaged 23.6 accurate passes a match, he has been effective in possession from a creative viewpoint. The wide man is another here to have reached double figures (10) for big chances created over the course of the season.


6) Santi Cazorla (Arsenal)
Cazorla has been Wenger's chief playmaker this season, registering six assists thus far and creating 1.85 chances from open play per game. Indeed, he ranks head and shoulders above any other player in the league for accurate through balls, with his tally of 22 a full ten more than David Silva in second. It's worth bearing in mind that the 28-year-old does see more of the ball than any other player in our top ten, averaging 57.7 accurate passes per game, but his ability to unlock a defence is unquestionable.


5) Mousa Dembele (Tottenham)
The impact of Mousa Dembele at White Hart Lane has been well received this season but while he is often picked out for winning possession and keeping hold of the ball, the Belgian's creative side is sometimes overlooked. Playing from a deep role in midfield for much of the season, Dembele has still averaged 1.91 key passes from open play game, with a meagre tally of three assists surprisingly low. The fact that only two of his key passes have been clear-cut opportunities for teammates will, however, have something to do with it.


4) Steven Pienaar (Everton)
While Baines gets much of the credit for Everton's overall creativity, his partnership with Pienaar is the key and the South African's role on the left is perhaps even more instrumental in general play. He has averaged more key passes from open play per game than the full-back (1.92) and despite the defender's set-piece duties, Pienaar has matched his teammate's modest figure of four assists this season.


3) Rickie Lambert (Southampton)
The Saints' talismanic striker has made the step up to top-flight football this season with the same ease that he has made progress through the lower leagues. As well as being Southampton's main goal threat the 31 year old has averaged 1.96 key passes from open play per game, always looking to drop back and link up play. He's unsurprisingly averaged the fewest accurate passes per game of the top ten here (21), showing that when is in possession he is regularly making things happen for his team.


2) David Silva (Manchester City)
One of only two players to average over two key passes from open play per game (2.04), it is no surprise to see that David Silva ranks top among this ten in terms of assists (7). The fact that 12 of the chances he has created have been clear-cut opportunities for teammates this season suggests that he could easily have had more and, as mentioned previously, only Cazorla has completed more accurate through balls than his compatriot's 12.


1) Luis Suarez (Liverpool)
A huge distance ahead of the rest here - testament to the marvellous season he is having - Luis Suarez has averaged 2.65 key passes from open play per game. The fact that he only makes 28.2 accurate passes per match means that almost 10% (9.4) of his overall passes from open play create chances for teammates. His total of just four assists is incredibly unjust, with the Uruguayan having created 12 clear-cut chances, with poor finishing from teammates to blame for such a modest tally.

All stats courtesy of WhoScored.com. Follow Martin Laurence on Twitter at @martinlaurence7.

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