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Premier League Playmaker Award – Who is leading the race?

Who has the most assists in the Premier League so far this season?

The Premier League Playmaker of the Season was introduced in the 2017/18 campaign to recognise the most creative player in England’s top tier. For decades the leading scorer had been awarded the Golden Boot, but now the chance creators – and not just takers – have their own award to shoot for.

Kevin De Bruyne won the award last season for a record-extending third time, but who is in the frame to claim the prize in 2023/24?

Premier League Playmaker Award – Who is leading the race?

=4. Cole Palmer, Mohamed Salah, Son Heung-min, Bukayo Saka, Pedro Neto, Julian Alvarez and Leon Bailey – 9 assists

Incredibly, there’s a seven-way tie for fourth place in the running, a septet of stars each tied on nine assists. Cole Palmer sits among the group and the Chelsea forward is also the joint-leader in the race for the Premier League’s Golden Boot.

The 21-year-old’s stunning breakout season could end in Palmer becoming only the fifth player to top the Premier League for goals and assists in the same season, after Andy Cole (1993/94), Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (1998/99), Harry Kane (2020/21) and Mohamed Salah (2021/22). The latter also has an outside chance of winning both awards this season.

Wolves’ Pedro Neto has averaged the most assists per 90 minutes (0.54) in the Premier League this season, having reached nine in just 18 league starts.

 

=2. Pascal Gross – 10 assists

Pascal Gross continues to sprinkle creative quality on the Brighton midfield with the German one of the most under-appreciated footballers in the division, outside the Amex Stadium.

The 32-year-old has now recorded 8+ assists in three consecutive campaigns for the Seagulls, with his 10 goals created this season the best return of his career on the south coast.

Offering elite service from open-play or set-pieces, Gross ranks third in the Premier League for chances created, behind Bruno Fernandes and Martin Odegaard.

=2. Kieran Trippier – 10 assists

Kieran Trippier’s recent absence with a calf problem has voided Newcastle of their most creative outlet, with the England right-back raiding forward to set up chances for his teammates.

Trippier has produced the best football of his career since signing for Newcastle from Atletico Madrid, and his 10 assists in the Premier League this season is the first time the 33-year-old has reached double figures in a top-flight league campaign.

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The defender is understood to be nearing a return to training and will hope to feature across Newcastle’s final five fixtures. Trippier could become the first defender to win the Playmaker Award, while he will be targeting Trent Alexander-Arnold’s single-season record for a Premier League defender (13).

 

1. Ollie Watkins – 12 assists

Ollie Watkins has evolved into one of the most effective and well-rounded centre-forwards in the Premier League under Unai Emery.

The 28-year-old has been in sensational form this season to fire Aston Villa’s push for Champions League qualification, scoring 19 league goals and providing a league-leading 12 assists.

Each are career-best numbers for the England international, who is in strong contention for both the Premier League’s Golden Boot, one behind Erling Haaland and Cole Palmer, and the Playmaker of the Season award.


His prolific form should earn Watkins a place with England for Euro 2024 this summer, while he will be in Player of the Season contention if Aston Villa secure a top-four finish and Europa Conference League success.

Read – Four Premier League loanees who should be given a chance next season

See more – The longest unbeaten runs in Europe’s top five leagues in all competitions

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