Football fans may demand slick and silky football when it comes to attacking play, but the old-fashioned art of the cross is amongst the most effective avenues to goal and arguably the service that centre-forwards truly relish.
We’ve decided to look at the sides to have produced the most deliveries from wide this season, here are the five Premier League teams to put the most crosses in during the 2020/21 campaign:
Arsenal – 410 crosses
Arsenal’s style of play has so often been associated with fluid football and passing sequences in recent campaigns, but the north Londoners have delivered 410 crosses from wide positions this season to rank fifth in the Premier League.
Bukayo Saka leads the way for the Gunners with the teenager having starred during the current campaign, his 92 crosses comfortably more than both Kieran Tierney (80) and Willian (72).
Arsenal’s prolific number of crosses has not always correlated to attacking success, however, managing just three successful crosses from a huge 35 attempted during the defeat to Wolves in December.
Leeds – 431 crosses
No side in the bottom half have scored more than Leeds’ 32 goals so far this season, with a staple of the newly-promoted side’s attacking play having been a huge number of crosses.
Leeds’ 431 crosses this season are the fourth-highest in the division with Marcelo Bielsa placing great emphasis on the contributions of his wide players, the likes of Jack Harrison and Raphinha leading the way for the Whites.
Bielsa’s side often stretch the pitch with their wingers close to the touchline, with a key part of their play finding the likes of Harrison one-against-one with his full-back and loading the opposition box with forward runners.
West Ham – 436 crosses
West Ham have won plenty of plaudits for their improvement this season with the Hammers currently pushing towards a place in Europe, David Moyes having done an excellent job in harnessing the best from his squad at the London Stadium.
Amongst the strengths of this West Ham side have been their threat from set-piece situations, with Aaron Cresswell’s deliveries having provided five assists this season – the joint-most of any defender in the division.
Cresswell leads West Ham for crosses this season and has a number of strong targets to aim for, with the Hammers ranking behind only Burnley for aerial duels won during the 2020/21 campaign.
No player in the division has won more aerial duels than midfielder Tomas Soucek, West Ham’s leading scorer having won a huge 20 of those duels inside the opposition’s penalty area.
Chelsea – 443 crosses
Ranking second for crosses this season are Chelsea who have made 443 for the campaign so far, the west London side having often chosen an imposing centre-forward target in Olivier Giroud and Tammy Abraham.
Reece James is the Blues’ leading crosser this season with 91 for the campaign, one more than the ever-improving Mason Mount who has shouldered the responsibility of much of Chelsea’s creativity this season.
Mount, however, has a more successful rate when it comes to crosses with only Andy Robertson, Pedro Neto and Aaron Cresswell having completed more crosses in 2020/21.
Liverpool – 461 crosses
Liverpool are the league leaders when it comes to crosses so far this season, with much of the Reds’ forward play having been channelled through flying full-back duo Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson.
The duo have starred in recent seasons with their forward forays and dangerous deliveries from wide, racking up double figures for assists in each of the past two campaigns and combining for a huge 67.25% of the Reds’ crosses this season.
Somewhat unsurprisingly, it is that pairing who lead the crossing statistics for all Premier League players, Alexander-Arnold having registered 136 this season with Robertson leading the way having attempted a staggering 174 crosses.