The battle to be crowned European Assists King for the 2021/22 season has begun, and the frontrunners have already started making strides.
Thomas Müller has been the man to beat over recent years, impressively being named the continent’s top creative player for two straight season 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 are 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 likely 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 held on to his spot at the top of the European Assist king table for a third straight week but is certainly facing tough competitions from England and France.
The Bayern Munich forward was once again on hand to set up a goal for his team mate Leroy Sane as the Bavarian giants claimed a narrow 1-0 win over Arminia Bielefeld.
In close pursuit behind the Germany International are Paris Saint-Germain striker Kylian Mbappe and Mohamed Salah of Liverpool, who bagged further assists against St Etienne and Southampton respectively at the weekend.
Another Liverpool player who is making gains is right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold, who has now picked up two assists in two weeks. The Anfield star is now level on assists with Karim Benzema and Paul Pogba, as well as Oscar Trejo and Andrej Kramaric.
Below that group of players are three stars in the form of Florian Wirtz, Moses Simon and Jonathan Clauss, who all sit on six assists for their respective teams this season.
2021/22 European Assist Kings
|Karim Benzema||Real Madrid||7|
|Paul Pogba||Man Utd||7|
|Oscar Trejo||Rayo Vallecano||7|
|Florian Wirtz||Bayer Leverkusen||6|
|Gabriel Jesus||Man City||5|
|Filip Kostic||Eintracht Frankfurt||5|
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.