Thomas Müller has extended his advantage in the race to have the most assists in Europe’s top five leagues.
The Bayern forward created the only goal for Leon Goretzka in a crucial Bundesliga win over RB Leipzig that came despite the absence of star striker Robert Lewandowski.
Muller is now in a strong position to be named European Assists King for a second straight season.
A remarkable run of six assists in his last six league matches in the 2020/21 campaign have catapulted him above Harry Kane and into a position where he is now the favourite to come out on top.
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It previously looked like we would have a Premier League winner.
Tottenham star Kane had been leading for the majority of the season, but is paying the price for slowing down of late – at least as a creator, as he continues to score freely.
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He had taken himself to 11 assists at the start of January in a match against Leeds.
Since then he has played 12 matches and only registered two assists – both in the same game against Crystal Palace on March 7.
What of the chasing pack?
Bruno Fernandes has not been scoring much of late but he did assist Marcus Rashford in the win over Brighton to move into a tie for third place in the European Assists King race with 11.
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Kevin De Bruyne has not registered an assist in four Premier League matches – his last coming in the February 27 win over West Ham – so he is now four adrift of the pace being set by Muller
Filip Kostic is the other player on 11, reaching that total by setting up Andre Silva’s winner against Dortmund.
There are four players on 10 in our list of the most creative players in Europe – Jack Grealish, Joshua Kimmich, Jonas Hofmann and Iago Aspas.
Aspas tops the charts for most assists in La Liga for 2020/21, becoming the first player in Spain’s top-flight to reach double figures by getting two assists (as well as a goal) as Celta won 3-1 at Alaves.
Lionel Messi has eight. He registered assists in each of his last two Barcelona games against Huesca and Real Sociedad (as well as scoring four times in those matches). He faces Real Valladolid on Monday.
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Former Man Utd star Memphis Depay, who has impressed this season for Lyon, and Lille star Jonathan Bamba are the highest Ligue 1 representatives with nine assists.
Alvaro Morata has moved into an outright lead in Serie A, with nine also enough to sit top of the charts in that league.
The Juventus forward set up a goal for Juventus in their derby draw with Torino, moving him above Romelu Lukaku, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Sergej Milinković-Savić and Hakan Calhanoglu.
There have been some movers in the standings, though as we move towards the final stages of the season it still looks like the winner will come from the battle between Muller and Kane.
Those two forwards continue to set the European Assists King pace.
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