Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold continued to demonstrate his creative abilities with an individual display of the highest order against Leicester on Boxing Day, the full-back providing another pair of pinpoint deliveries to boost his ever-growing assist tally.
The England international broke the Premier League‘s assist record for a defender last season and continued in similar fashion in the current campaign, but where does he rank amongst 2019’s finest creators in European football?
Here are the five players with the most assists in Europe’s top five leagues this year…
Angel Di Maria – 20 assists
Angel Di Maria’s time in the Premier League and at Manchester United may have proved a major disappointment, but he has long been regarded as one of the finest wingers in Europe when plying his trade on the continent.
Currently starring for French champions Paris Saint-Germain, Di Maria has been at his creative best over the calendar year and has provided 20 assists in all competitions, the 31-year-old averaging almost an assist every other game and supplying a constant line of ammunition to the likes of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.
The Ligue 1 champions will hope the former Real Madrid star can continue firing in the new year, where they will face Borussia Dortmund in the last-16 as they chase an elusive first Champions League title.
Jadon Sancho – 21 assists
Jadon Sancho’s burgeoning reputation continues to be enhanced with each star performance, the England international amongst the finest creative talents in German football and key to Borussia Dortmund’s hopes of success.
The 19-year-old has scored nine times and provided nine assists for Dortmund so far this season, his tally standing at an impressive 21 assists in all competitions during 2019.
That total has come from just 42 appearances, Sancho averaging 0.5 assists per game and his increasingly influential displays have attracted interest from Europe’s leading sides. Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool have all been linked with a move for a player likely to continue starring for many seasons to come.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 22 assists
The second young England international to feature on this list is the aforementioned Alexander-Arnold, who continues to shine as arguably the best attacking right-back in world football at present.
The 21-year-old’s ability is a key factor in Liverpool’s almost flawless recent form, the academy graduate acting as a playmaker from deep and the only player in this list not to be classed as a midfielder or forward.
Alexander-Arnold’s pinpoint delivery from both open play and set-pieces make him invaluable to Jurgen Klopp’s side, and the youngster’s creativity has provided 22 assists in 43 appearances in all competitions over the calendar year.
His creativity will be a key factor for Liverpool going forward, as the Merseyside club look to add to their 2019 Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup success in the new year.
Kevin De Bruyne – 23 assists
The Premier League’s assist king continued to live up to his reputation in 2019, despite last season not being his finest campaign on a personal level.
This season he has been injury free and at his very best, however, registering 11 assists in the Premier League already and looking well placed to break Thierry Henry’s long standing record of 20 in a single season.
Few can match De Bruyne’s vision and versatility in his passing range, the Belgian often the heartbeat of City’s best performances and their go-to man for creating chances.
His tally of assists has come from just 42 appearances, the 28-year-old averaging an assist every 127 minutes in 2019.
Thomas Muller – 23 assists
Remarkably the most prolific goal provider in Europe has been Bayern Munich’s Thomas Muller, despite the forward being deemed not good enough for the German national side and struggling to secure an automatic starting place for his club.
Muller has made just 11 league starts for the Bundesliga champions over the opening months of the campaign, though that was enough to see him become the first player in the league’s history to register 11 assists before the halfway stage.
The 30-year-old may be struggling to prove he deserves regular inclusion, but after averaging an assist every 120 minutes over 44 appearances, has proven he still has plenty left to offer.