The battle to be crowned European Assists King for the 2021/22 season is over the halfway mark now and there is a familiar face at the top of the leaderboard.
Thomas Müller has been the man to beat over recent years, impressively being named the continent’s top creative player for two straight seasons despite the Bundesliga having only 34 games rather than the 38 of many other major leagues.
So, he headed into this season as one of the top candidates to produce the most assists in Europe.
Former winner Kevin De Bruyne and his new Manchester City team-mate Jack Grealish were also among those expected to feature near the top in our list of the most creative players in Europe, while Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes are two of the Manchester United contingent who were expected to be involved in the discussion.
Lionel Messi and Harry Kane have also fared well in the creative charts in recent seasons, though the winner could well be unexpected, with player totals for assists typically less stable than goals on an annual basis.
There are no coefficients or scales used for these leagues - just ranking the most goals created by each player in the top-five leagues condensed into a single table.
We will also track the players who produce the most assists in each of those five divisions individually, so stay tuned to this page for the latest standings throughout the campaign.
MOST ASSISTS IN EUROPE 2021/22
Thomas Muller has started to pull clear at the top of the European Assist king table and is now on an incredible 16 assists for the season.
The Bayern Munich forward has been in superb form for the German giants in 2021-22, showing no signs of ageing at all as he continues to provide assists for Robert Lewandowski & Co.
In joint-second place, Liverpool's Trent-Alexander Arnold and Paris Saint-Germain striker Kylian Mbappe are on 10 assists each in what has been a comeback season for the right-back.
In pursuit of the top three are Liverpool's Mohamed Salah, Bayer Leveruksen's Florian Wirtz, Lens' Jonathan Clauss and Rayo Vallecano veteran Oscar Trejo, who all sit on nine assists each for the season.
There are four players in Europe's top five leagues on eight assists; Sassuolo's Domenico Berardi, Lazio's Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Marseille's Dimitri Payet and another Liverpool player in Andrew Robertson.
There are a whole host of players on seven assists, including Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema, Manchester United playmaker Paul Pogba, Man City's Gabriel Jesus and Inter duo Hakan Calhanoglu and Nicolo Barella.
Also on seven assists are Bayern's Leroy Sane, Hoffenheim's Andrej Kramaric, Leipzig's Christopher Nkunku, Frankfurt's Filip Kostic, Jarrod Bowen of West Ham and Ludovic Ajorque of Strasbourg and Amine Gouiri of Nice.
2021/22 European Assist Kings
|Oscar Trejo||Rayo Vallecano||9|
|Florian Wirtz||Bayer Leverkusen||9|
|Paul Pogba||Man Utd||7|
|Gabriel Jesus||Man City||7|
|Jarrod Bowen||West Ham||7|
|Karim Benzema||Real Madrid||7|
Who had the most assists in previous seasons?
2018/19: Eden Hazard, Chelsea (15 assists)
2017/18: Kevin De Bruyne, Man City (16 assists)
Muller’s first crown came when he had 21 assists to only just beat Lionel Messi, who had 20 in La Liga 2019/20 for Barcelona. Kevin De Bruyne was another to narrowly miss out after he also set up 20 goals and topped the Premier League charts.
The award 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.