Football Features

Andy Robertson is now above De Bruyne and Di Maria for most assists in Europe’s top five leagues since 2018/19

By Ben Green

Published: 13:26, 25 January 2022

Andy Robertson has provided seven assists in the Premier League this season, a stat bettered only by Liverpool teammates Mohamed Salah (nine) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (10).

The Scotland international recently put two on a plate for Virgil van Dijk and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain at the weekend in Liverpool’s 3-1 win over Crystal Palace, which moves him ahead of Kevin De Bruyne and Angel Di Maria for most assists provided in Europe’s top five leagues since 2018/19.

In fact, his 38 assists across the last four seasons currently puts him sixth for most provided across the continent, with only two defenders currently placing ahead of him in the top 10. One of those is of course Alexander-Arnold, but who is the second? Read on for the full top 10 below…

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1. Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich)

Games: 117

Assists: 64

Chances created: 305

Minutes per assists: 140.33

Minutes per chance created: 29.45

An unparalleled provider, Thomas Muller’s unique ability to identify and manipulate space has seen him rack up the assists at an alarming rate. The self-proclaimed “space interpreter” is currently averaging an assist every 140.33 minutes and creating a chance every 29.45 minutes. Ridiculous!

2. Lionel Messi (Barcelona/PSG)

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Games: 114

Assists: 48

Chances created: 284

Minutes per assists: 198.02

Minutes per chance created: 33.47

Lionel Messi’s phenomenal strike rate is well-documented, but his selfless tendencies may go somewhat under the radar. A preternatural playmaker instinct, the Parisian poster boy is as deft at breaching the net as he is at teeing up his teammates.

For those interested in the Cristiano Ronaldo comparison, Messi creates a chance every 33.47 minutes in that aforementioned timeframe. Ronaldo creates one every 66 minutes.

3. Filip Kostic (Eintracht Frankfurt)

Games: 115

Assists: 42

Chances created: 267

Minutes per assists: 237.93

Minutes per chance created: 37.43

Frankfurt’s wicked wing-back has provided the most assists of any defender since 2018/19, amassing an absurd tally of 42. With a chance created every 37.43 minutes, the German club boast a terrific wide option to fizz balls and launch laser-guided missiles into the box.

4. Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)

Games: 123

Assists: 42

Chances created: 270

Minutes per assists: 248.76

Minutes per chance created: 38.7

“He can take the position of right-back position to another level. I think we’ve started changing the narrative, the way people view full backs.”

That was a quote from someone who has already taken the “right-back position to another level”, and his name is Cafu.

The Brazilian immortal is perhaps not wrong in his assessment. TAA is a prodigious playmaker masquerading as a No. 2.

5. Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund/Man Utd)

Games: 109

Assists: 41

Chances created: 221

Minutes per assists: 189.22

Minutes per chance created: 35.1

It hasn’t worked out at Old Trafford thus far, but the fact Jadon Sancho remains fifth on this list despite not providing a single assist for Man Utd in the Premier League shows just how good he was for Dortmund.

6. Andy Robertson (Liverpool)

Games: 126

Assists: 38

Chances created: 209

Minutes per assists: 292.47

Minutes per chance created: 53.18

With Alexander-Arnold on the right and Robertson on the left, Jurgen Klopp has a full-back partnership that has shifted the perception of how we view full-backs. With his famous Gegenpress in full motion, Robertson has carte blanche to gallop forward and function, effectively, as a quasi-winger — and to devastating effect it would seem.

7. Angel Di Maria (PSG)

Games: 98

Assists: 37

Chances created: 238

Minutes per assists: 197.16

Minutes per chance created: 30.65

A man with magic in his boots, Angel Di Maria averages a chance created every 30.65 minutes in the last four seasons, a frightening output. The Argentine stole the headlines after his match-winning goal in the Copa America final over the summer, but for PSG he is the main provider, and then some!

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8. Kevin De Bruyne (Man City)

Games: 96

Assists: 36

Chances created: 293

Minutes per assists: 190.83

Minutes per chance created: 23.45

I mean, 23.45 minutes-per-chance-created is just a bit silly, almost Football Manager-esque. De Bruyne’s robotic capacity to unlock doors would make Houdini proud. He is a wizard going forward and an assist kingpin when fit and firing on all cylinders.

9. Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich)

Games: 108

Assists: 35

Chances created: 265

Minutes per assists: 266.31

Minutes per chance created: 35.17

The versatile Bavarian has a pinpoint delivery and a world-class frontline to pick out. It’s a marriage that just works, as Muller would also attest to.

10. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)

Games: 129

Assists: 32

Chances created: 227

Minutes per assists: 343.81

Minutes per chance created: 48.47

A bit like Messi, Salah is a goalscoring phenom but he may not be as selfish as some people may think. With nine assists this season alone, the Egyptian superstar is second behind only TAA for the Premier League’s Playmaker Award.