Midfielders capable of providing goals with regularity are worth their weight in gold to leading sides, whether that be registering on the score sheet themselves or providing a cutting pass to lay on an assist.
Each team requires a creative hub and there are currently several playmakers thriving across the continent, with some of the finest footballers in Europe the key component of their side’s attacking play.
We’ve decided to profile some of the very best attacking midfielders in world football at present, here are the five midfielders with the most goal involvements across Europe’s top six leagues:
Luis Alberto – Lazio (21 goal involvements)
Liverpool fans failed to see the best of Luis Alberto during his fleeting time in England several seasons ago, the midfielder struggling to adapt to the demands of the Premier League and making just nine league appearances before being allowed to depart.
Loans to Malaga and Deportivo La Coruna were followed by a permanent switch to Lazio four years ago, where the midfielder has flourished into one of the most effective midfielders in Italian football.
.@10_luisalberto in Serie A this season
🔑 Key Passes – 106 🥇
🎯 Big Chances Created – 21 🥇
👀 Accurate Through Balls – 16 🥇
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) August 2, 2020
Alberto registered 25 goal involvements during the 2017/18 Serie A season before a dip in output last term, but the 27-year-old has returned to his finest form this season to sit amongst the division’s leading assist providers.
The Spaniard has scored six times and provided a career-best of 15 assists, second only to Atalanta forward Alejandro Gomez amongst the whole of Italy’s top tier. Alberto’s move to Merseyside came too soon for the talented playmaker, but he now ranks amongst the classiest customers in world football and sprinkles a touch of stardust on an ever-improving Lazio and their midfield.
Thomas Muller – Bayern Munich (29 goal involvements)
It’s been some renaissance for Thomas Muller at Bayern Munich, the veteran bouncing back in style after seemingly seeing his career heading to a crossroads a little over a year ago.
Muller’s hugely impressive career had begun to falter as he was exiled by Germany and failed to make an impression under former manager Niko Kovac, before being reborn under the guidance of replacement Hansi Flick this season – setting a new Bundesliga record of 21 assists as the German returned to his devastating best.
The Raumdeter has thrived in a floating midfield role to wreak havoc as Bayern secured an eighth successive Bundesliga title, his record-breaking assist tally added to by eight league goals as the Bavarians once again assumed their position as Germany’s dominant force.
Muller may never be the most aesthetically pleasing player to watch but the freedom Flick has given his Bayern side has seen the 30-year-old flourish, breaking forward from midfield to join the prolific Robert Lewandowski in one of Europe’s most exciting sides to watch.
He may be awkward and a little ungainly, but this season was the seventh campaign Muller has reached double figures for assists in the Bundesliga – a testament to his evergreen effectiveness.
Bruno Fernandes – Sporting Lisbon/Manchester United (30 goal involvements)
Arguably the signing of the season amongst Premier League sides despite his winter window arrival, Bruno Fernandes proved the catalyst behind Manchester United‘s surge towards a top four finish and Champions League qualification.
The Portugal international had long been linked with a move to English football following his incredible statistical output for Sporting Lisbon, Fernandes 2018/19 campaign delivering 20 goals and 13 assists in just 33 league appearances for the capital club.
No Sporting CP player provided more league assists than Bruno Fernandes this season.
No Man Utd player provided more league assists than Bruno Fernandes this season. pic.twitter.com/ZcuiMbEAI0
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 2, 2020
Fernandes continued where he left off over the first half of the season in Lisbon, registering 15 goal involvements in just 17 Primeira Liga outings to persuade Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to splash out an initial £47m to secure his signing.
That fee has proven to be a bargain following an incredible impact since arriving at Old Trafford, Fernandes scoring eight times and providing seven assists in 15 league appearances, sparking a 19-game unbeaten run in all competitions for the Red Devils to help secure the club’s place amongst Europe’s elite next season.
The Portuguese’s performances have seen him shoulder responsibility as United’s chief attacking threat, the 25-year-old having a transformative impact upon his new side’s fortunes to establish himself as a star of the Premier League.
Pizzi – Benfica (32 goal involvements)
Benfica may have ultimately surrendered their status as Portuguese champions to Porto, but there is no doubting who the finest footballer in the Primeira Liga was this season.
Thriving on the right-hand side of a midfield four for much of the campaign, Pizzi enjoyed the best season of his career date, finishing the campaign as the joint-leading goalscorer and leading assist provider in Portugal’s top flight.
The 30-year-old scored 18 league goals and provided a further 14 assists for The Eagles, adding a further 12 goals in cup and continental competition to take his season’s haul to an impressive 30 goals.
It was the second successive season in which the midfielder has registered more than 30 goal involvements, having scored 13 goals and registered 18 assists as Benfica were crowned as champions last season.
Kevin De Bruyne – Manchester City (33 goal involvements)
Kevin De Bruyne’s sensational individual season saw the Manchester City star equal Thierry Henry’s all-time single season record of 20 Premier League assists, the Belgian having now set the record for most assists in two of Europe’s major leagues having previously set a new Bundesliga landmark at Wolfsburg (since eclipsed by Thomas Muller in 2019/20).
The 28-year-old has starred as the creative fulcrum of a fine Man City side under Pep Guardiola, his repertoire of passes including trademark whipped deliveries from wide and perfectly weighted balls behind split defences.
100 – Kevin De Bruyne's most recent assist, against Watford, was his 100th in Europe's top five leagues since leaving Genk prior to the 2012-13 season. In this time, he is surpassed only by Lionel Messi (112). Warlock. pic.twitter.com/L2Ipk6OW0o
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) July 26, 2020
Regarded by many as the best player in the Premier League at present, De Bruyne has also enjoyed the best goalscoring season of his career to date, scoring 13 league goals and taking on added responsibility as City’s chief penalty taker for much of the campaign.
De Bruyne’s class sees him shine as the star amongst stars at the Etihad, whilst simultaneously improving the performances of those around him. If City are to end their wait for a maiden Champions League success this season, the performances of Europe’s chief creator will be key to their hopes.