Progressive passers are essential to the game plan of any Premier League manager, boasting both the vision and execution to move the ball accurately through lines.
Crucial to the build up, these five players lead the league when it comes to progressive passes per 90 minutes in the Premier League this season. Opta define a progressive pass as ‘completed open-play passes in the attacking two-thirds of the pitch that move the ball at least 25% closer to the goal’.
We look at the five players to have made the most progressive passes per 90 minutes this season, of those to have made a minimum of four starts.
The Premier League players with the most progressive passes per 90:
Pervis Estupinan – Brighton (6.4)
Pervis Estupinan has been a big hit at Brighton since his arrival from Villarreal last season, with the Ecuadorian emerging as one of the most productive full-backs in the Premier League.
Estupinan has scored once and provided three assists in six Premier League games for the Seagulls this season, a continuation from an excellent debut campaign at the Amex Stadium.
The 25-year-old’s recent absence through injury has been a blow to Brighton, with Estupinan ranking in the 88th percentile (or higher) of full-backs in Europe’s top leagues for progressive passes, progressive carries, assists, expected assists and touches in the opposition penalty area across the last 12 months.
Leaders in Chances Created, not counting set-pieces, per 90 from TheOther14 in the #PL season so far. @Other14The @PervisEstupinan at the top.#BHAFC #AVFC #NUFC #EFC #NFFC #Wolves #twitterclarets #LTFC #CPFC #FFC #BrentfordFC pic.twitter.com/TCJ7tIiLun
— TheOther14 (@Other14The) October 26, 2023
This season Estupinan has averaged 2.36 open-play chances created per game for Brighton, the highest number of any player outside the Premier League’s ‘Big Six’ clubs. A reminder – he’s a left-back.
Billy Gilmour – Brighton (6.4)
Billy Gilmour has taken his chance in the Brighton team this season after the club’s midfield was raided during the summer. The departures of Alexis Mac Allister and Moises Caicedo for big fees has provided Gilmour with a chance in the side and the Scotland international has repaid that faith.
Gilmour has excelled as a conduit of Roberto De Zerbi’s possession dominant side, averaging 6.4 progressive passes per 90 this season. Only Manchester City midfielder Rodri (94.3%) can better his pass accuracy (93.5%) among midfielders.
James Maddison – Tottenham (6.4)
James Maddison has proven to be a perfect fit for Ange-Ball at Tottenham, with the summer signing quickly cementing his place as integral to the new manager’s plans.
Maddison has been one of the Premier League’s best performers over the season’s opening weeks, excelling in a central role behind Son Heung-min.
The 26-year-old has scored three goals and laid on five assists for Spurs this season, and leads the league for shot-creating actions (78) by a considerable margin.
Kieran Trippier – Newcastle (8.0)
Kieran Trippier remains irreplaceable to Newcastle and the club’s chief source of creativity under Eddie Howe. The right-back’s arrival from Atletico Madrid helped kickstart an upturn at Newcastle that saw the Magpies secure Champions League football last season, with Trippier among the most effective – and consistent – creative players in the Premier League.
The England international has already recorded six assists in the Premier League this season, offering excellent service from both open play and set-piece situations.
🏹 Kieran Trippier has the best open play cross accuracy (41.3%) in the Premier League this season (15+ crosses) pic.twitter.com/FOl5FAKMeJ
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) November 1, 2023
No defender can better his numbers for assists or progressive passes per 90 mins.
Cole Palmer – Chelsea (8.3)
Eyebrows were raised when Chelsea spent £42.5m to sign Cole Palmer last summer, a significant sum for a forward who had made just three Premier League starts for Manchester City.
Palmer has proven he was ready for a more regular role however, following an impressive start to his spell at Stamford Bridge. The 21-year-old has scored twice and provided an assist in four Premier League starts for Chelsea, while no player has averaged more progressive passes (8.3) than the England u-21 international.
Palmer’s best position remains unclear with the versatile forward having operated across the frontline, but he has the invention to be a key part of Mauricio Pochettino’s plan. After struggling to break into the Manchester City team, he’s one of the first names on the team sheet for Chelsea right now.
On current form, a senior England call might not be far away.