The battle to be crowned European Assists King for the 2021/22 season is nearing its conclusion 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.
Müller therefore headed into this season as one of the top candidates to produce the most assists in Europe.
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 Müller faces a nervous wait in the race to be crowned the most creative player in Europe after Kylian Mbappe drew level with his assists total in the standings.
The 32-year-old’s numbers slowed in the second half of the Bundesliga campaign but he did add one more potentially decisive assist to his total as champions Bayern finished the year with a 2-2 draw against Wolfsburg.
Experienced attacker Müller has led the standings for much of the season but his closest rivals chipped away at the gap during his slump.
And Bayern are now finished for the year due to the shorter top-flight season in Germany.
He broke that streak when he recorded an assist as Bayern beat rivals Dortmund 3-1 to clinch Bundesliga title on April 23 and the goal created against Wolfsburg on May 14 at least kept him in with a chance.
But the slowing pace of Müller has allowed in-form PSG forward Mbappe to eliminate the gap.
With 18 assists in Ligue 1, World Cup winner Mbappe has already more than doubled his total for last season and registered the best tally of his career to date.
World Cup winner Mbappe had two assists, as well as a goal, when PSG thrashed Montpellier 4-0 last time out, bouncing back from the 2-2 draw with Troyes, which was a rare outing without a goal involvement.
Messi is near the top of the standings after he sensationally set up three of the six PSG goals scored at Clermont Foot on April 9.
While he has struggled to score goals at a prolific rate in France, Messi has continued his career trend of being a superb creator.
But the former Barcelona star has not created a goal in five appearances since, despite playing the full 90 minutes on each occasion, though he has scored three times in that span.
In-form RB Leipzig star Nkunku is level with Messi after creating a goal in the 1-0 win at Leverkusen on April 17. He racked up four assists last month.
He is top of the English top-flight standings for both goals (22) and assists (13) after an impressive campaign, though his momentum has slowed during the final weeks of the season.
Domenico Berardi has the most assists in Serie A so far this season and has added three assists in his last four games to finish the season strongly for Sassuolo.
Alexander-Arnold, Moussa Diaby, Karim Benzema and Benjamin Bourigeaud all sit on 12 assists.
Salah’s Liverpool colleague Andrew Robertson and Vinicius Jr. are among a growing group of 12 players who have reached 10 assists in 2021/22.
2021/22 European Assist Kings
|Moussa Diaby||Bayer Leverkusen||12|
|Karim Benzema||Real Madrid||12|
|Benjamin Bourigeaud||Stade Rennais||12|
|Florian Wirtz||Bayer Leverkusen||10|
|Hamari Traoré||Stade Rennais||10|
|Jarrod Bowen||West Ham||10|
|Iker Muniain||Athletic Club||10|
|Vinicius Jr||Real Madrid||10|
|Paul Pogba||Man Utd||9|
|Oscar Trejo||Rayo Vallecano||9|
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.