Thomas Müller continued a remarkable run of assists for Bayern at the weekend, taking another step towards finishing with the most assists in Europe’s top five leagues for a second straight season.
Bayern won a thrilling Bundesliga clash at Wolfsburg 3-2 on Saturday, a match in which Muller set up a goal for Jamal Musiala for the second consecutive week.
The experienced forward recorded his 17th assist of the Bundesliga season.
Every assist at this stage of the campaign sees Muller strengthen his position to be named European Assists King yet again.
READ MORE: Champions League all-time top scorers
What is now a run of eight assists in his last eight league matches (seven starts) in the 2020/21 campaign have seen him catch, pass and build a comfortable lead over Harry Kane.
Muller is now the 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.
READ MORE: European Golden Shoe standings
Since then he has played 14 matches and only registered two assists – both in the same game against Crystal Palace on March 7.
Muller leads him by four and Tottenham only have six league games left to play.
And it does not look like Muller has to worry about Kevin De Bruyne – who was also a contender for much of the campaign – mounting a late surge to catch him.
De Bruyne suffered what Man City fear is a serious injury against Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final, which they lost.
Even before his injury, the Belgium midfielder had not registered an assist since the February 27 win over West Ham – so he is now in a group sitting six adrift of the pace being set by Muller.
READ MORE: Which team has had the most penalties in Europe this season?
Bruno Fernandes, De Bruyne, Filip Kostic and Jonas Hofmann – who got an assist for Gladbach as they thrashed Frankfurt – are all on 11 in a tie for third place in the European Assists King race.
Fernandes only has one assist in his last seven Premier League games.
After Hofmann improved his total, there are now four players on 10 in our list of the most creative players in Europe.
Jack Grealish, Joshua Kimmich, Iago Aspas and Daichi Kamada are in that group.
Aspas tops the charts for most assists in La Liga for 2020/21.
Former Man Utd winger Memphis Depay, who has impressed this season for Lyon, and Lille star Jonathan Bamba were the highest Ligue 1 representatives with nine assists going into the weekend.
They have now been joined by PSG star Angel Di Maria on that figure.
READ MORE: Premier League top scorers – who will win the Golden Boot?
Alvaro Morata, Sergej Milinković-Savić and Romelu Lukaku share the lead in Serie A, with nine also enough to sit top of the charts in that league.
Inter and Belgium striker Lukaku has produced best-ever assists return in a league season, though it was Milinković-Savić who created a goal this weekend in Lazio’s thrilling 5-3 win over Benevento.
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 is on the brink of victory.
MOST ASSISTS, TOP FIVE LEAGUES 2020/21
2020/21 European Assist Kings
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