European Assists King

European Assists King 2020/21: Muller extends lead, Kroos nears his best total

The Bayern forward moved further ahead in our overall standings but the Real Madrid star also had an impressive weekend.

Real Madrid star Toni Kroos was superb against Sevilla Real Madrid star Toni Kroos was superb against Sevilla
 
7:36pm on Monday 10th May 2021
By
Martin Macdonald

Thomas Müller is poised to finish with the most assists in Europe's top five leagues for a second straight season, while Toni Kroos has hit double figures and is nearing his best-ever creative campaign.

Bayern forward Muller moved up to 18 assists for the Bundesliga season in a fine performance against Gladbach.

As his side celebrated the Bundesliga title, Muller scored a goal and set up another in a 6-0 victory.

That development all but assures Muller will be named European Assists King again as it has been quite some time since any of his main rivals made an impact.

An extraordinary run of eight assists in eight league matches (seven starts) towards the end of the 2020/21 campaign saw him catch, pass and build a comfortable lead over Harry Kane.

And the advantage looks insurmountable now that he ended a brief run of two matches without an assist by adding another to his total against Gladbach.

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Muller is the strong favourite to come out on top when for the first two-thirds of the campaign it was looking like the winner would come from the Premier League.

Tottenham star Kane had been leading for the majority of the season, but is paying the price for slowing down of late as a creator.

He had taken himself to 11 assists at the start of January in a match against Leeds.

Since then he has played 16 matches and only registered two assists – both in the same game against Crystal Palace on March 7.

Muller leads him by five and Tottenham only have three league games left to play, Kane having not had a goal involvement against Sheffield United or Leeds in his last two outings.

Filip Kostic is third in our list of the most creative players in Europe, reaching 12 for the campaign when Frankfurt beat Augsburg last month.

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Kevin De Bruyne – who was also a contender for much of the campaign – does not look like mounting a late surge to catch Muller.

The Belgium midfielder returned from injury in the Carabao Cup final and assisted the headed winner by Aymeric Laporte, though that did not count in these league-based standings.

De Bruyne has not registered a league assist since the February 27 win over West Ham - so he is in a group sitting seven adrift of the pace being set by Muller.

Along with De Bruyne, Bruno Fernandes, Daichi Kamada, Iago Aspas, Moussa Diaby and Jonas Hofmann are all on 11 in a tie for fourth place in the European Assists King race.

Man Utd star Fernandes only has one assist in his last nine Premier League games, although he did recently produce an impressive display against Roma in the Europa League and ended his wait for a top-flight goal with a penalty against Aston Villa.

Kroos has now joined the likes of Memphis Depay, Romelu Lukaku and Son Heung-min in the group of players who have 10 assists which now stands at 12 stars, with Jack Grealish and Joshua Kimmich also among them.

READ MORE: Which team has had the most penalties in Europe this season?

It is Aspas - who set up a goal as Celta beat Levante 2-0 in his last outing - who tops the charts for most assists in La Liga for 2020/21.

Marcos Llorente (10 assists), Kroos (10) and Lionel Messi (nine) are close behind. Five of the assists for Barcelona forward Messi have come in a flurry since March 6.

With one more assist, the Barcelona star will reach double figures for a fourth straight league campaign.

Kroos, meanwhile, had two assists in an inspired display for Real Madrid as they drew 2-2 with Sevilla in a thrilling Primera Division contest. He is one away from his best campaign for assists, which came in 2016/17.

Two players - former Man Utd winger Depay and Zinedine Ferhat - are tied in the race to be the highest Ligue 1 representative with 10 assists each.

READ MORE: Premier League top scorers - who will win the Golden Boot?

After getting four assists for Juventus in the month of April, Juan Cuadrado has the lead in Serie A along with Atalanta's Ruslan Malinovskyi and Lukaku.

That group became a quartet on Sunday, though, as Mkhitaryan had two assists when Roma thumped Crotone 5-0.

Lukaku has spent most of the season featuring prominently in the creative charts.

The Inter and Belgium striker has produced best-ever assists return in a league season, reaching double figures against Crotone on the weekend where his side won the Italian top flight, though he was ruled out against Sampdoria most recently.

The winner will almost certainly come from a battle between Muller and Kane that is becoming increasingly one-sided.

It is Muller who continues to set the European Assists King pace and he is on the brink of victory yet again.

MOST ASSISTS, TOP FIVE LEAGUES 2020/21

2020/21 European Assist Kings

PlayerTeamAssists
Thomas MullerBayern18
Harry KaneTottenham13
Filip KosticFrankfurt12
Kevin De BruyneMan City11
Bruno FernandesMan Utd11
Jonas HofmannGladbach11
Daichi KamadaFrankfurt11
Moussa DiabyLeverkusen11
Iago AspasCelta11
Jack GrealishAston Villa10
Joshua KimmichBayern10
Raphael GuerreiroDortmund10
Marcos LlorenteAtletico Madrid10
Juan CuadradoJuventus10
Ruslan MalinovskiyAtalanta10
Memphis DepayLyon10
Zinedine FerhatNimes10
Romelu LukakuInter10
Son Heung-minTottenham10
Toni KroosReal Madrid10
Henrikh MkhitaryanRoma10
Lionel MessiBarcelona9
Alvaro MorataJuventus9
Kingsley ComanBayern9
Jadon SanchoDortmund9
Leroy SaneBayern9
Jonathan BambaLille9
Borna SosaStuttgart9
Angel Di MariaPSG9
Dani OlmoRB Leipzig9
Dimitri PayetMarseille9
Andy DelortMontpellier9
Sergej Milinković-SavićLazio9

To calculate the 2020/21 European Assist King, we will focus on the top-five leagues to keep things simple and track which players have provided the most assists in each respective league.

There are no coefficients or scales used - just ranking the most goals created by each player in the top-five leagues condensed into a single table.

Who had the most assists in previous seasons?

2019/20: Thomas Müller, Bayern (21 assists)

2018/19: Eden Hazard, Chelsea (15 assists)

2017/18: Kevin De Bruyne, Man City (16 assists)

Thomas Müller was the European Assists King in 2019/20, as he recorded 21 assists in the Bundesliga.

The Bayern forward only just beat Lionel Messi, who had 20 La Liga assists for Barcelona. Kevin De Bruyne was another to narrowly miss out after he also set up 20 goals and topped the Premier League charts.

Alejandro Gómez – then playing for Atalanta - was top for Serie A with 16, while Angel Di Maria had 14 for PSG in Ligue 1.

The crown for most creative player in Europe in 2018/19 went to Eden Hazard. He had 15 assists for Chelsea, meaning he narrowly beat Jadon Sancho (14) and Ryan Fraser (14) to the award.

De Bruyne had the most assists in Europe during 2017/18. He created 16 goals for his Man City team-mates. Leroy Sane (15), Dimitri Payet (14) and Luis Alberto (14) all narrowly missed out.

What is an assist?

An assist in football is usually credited to the player who plays the final pass or cross before a goal is scored. A player may receive recognition for creating a goal by being awarded an assist even if the pass or touch they have made to set up the goalscorer is unintentional.

There can be slight differences in how assists are recorded and allocated depending on the criteria of each official competition. For example, if a player’s pass towards a goalscorer takes a deflection on its way to the intended target, an assist is often not credited. A player who wins a penalty that is then scored does not usually get an assist either.

As well as a recognised official statistic, assists are often important in fantasy football games and betting markets.

Premier League assists + full stats

Serie A assists + full stats

La Liga assists + full stats

Ligue 1 assists + full stats

Bundesliga assists + full stats

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