Ranking the five players with most successful ‘take-ons’ in Europes big leagues this season

Football’s finest dribblers are among the few talents who can get fans regularly on the edge of their seat.

An ability to beat players one-against-one can be invaluable to teams, with those capable of beating a press and taking out opponents able to break open games for their side. Both exciting and important, we’ve paid homage to Europe’s best dribblers so far this season.

Here are the five players with most successful ‘take-ons’ in Europes big leagues this season.

Armand Lauriente – 72

Armand Lauriente ranks fifth in Europe’s top five leagues for take-ons after a fine first season at Sassuolo.

The 24-year-old began the campaign in France with Lorient and played three Ligue 1 games, before completing a €12m move to Sassuolo late in the summer window. Lauriente has emerged as a gem in a Sassuolo side that lost Gianluca Scamacca, Jeremie Boga and Giacomo Raspadori last summer, replacing that loss of attacking talent with an impressive individual campaign.

The winger has scored seven league goals and laid on six assists in 24 appearances, while he leads Serie A for take-ons completed and progressive carries – and ranks fifth for shot-creating actions.

Outperforming the likes of Napoli’s Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and AC Milan’s Rafael Leao for dribbling metrics is no easy feat, but Lauriente’s ability to blitz past defenders has seem him do so.

Jude Bellingham – 78

Jude Bellingham will head into this summer’s transfer window as arguably the most coveted talent in European football.

The race for his signature has been a continued source of speculation, as Europe’s top clubs compete for a midfielder who seems to have it all. Bellingham ranks fourth in Europe’s top-five leagues for take-ons completed this season, while the completeness to his skillset is evident when assessing his numbers this season.

Bellingham ranks among the Bundesliga’s leaders for take-ons (2nd), progressive passes (2nd), passes into the final third (3rd), shot-creating actions (6th) and tackles won (6th). It is the sort of box-to-box influence that has placed the teenager in such high demand, with clubs prepared to break the bank to land Bellingham this summer.

Jeremie Frimpong – 81

Jeremie Frimpong edges Bellingham as the Bundesliga’s leading dribbler so far this season, having completed 81 take-ons during an excellent season at Bayer Leverkusen.

Frimpong has emerged as one of the most effective wing-backs in Europe’s top five leagues this season, with nine goals and nine assists in all competitions this season.

The 22-year-old’s explosive runs forward have been a feature of Xabi Alonso’s improving side, who are eight unbeaten in the Bundesliga and into the Europa League semi-finals.

Manchester United have been credited with a summer interest in Frimpong, who began his career in the youth system at Manchester City before a move to Celtic in 2019. His ball-carrying brilliance could offer the attacking impetus that has been lacking from full-back at Old Trafford.

Player Profile: Exciting Dutch right-back and Man United target Jeremie Frimpong

Lionel Messi – 88

Lionel Messi continues to rank near the top of these metrics, with the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner remaining magical to watch with the ball at his feet.

Messi’s 88 take-ons are a league-leading total in Ligue 1 this season, ahead of Nantes’ Ludovic Blas (67) and Lyon’s Rayan Cherki (62).

It’s been an impressive domestic campaign for Messi despite PSG’s early exit in the Champions League, with the 35-year-old leading the division for goal involvements (30), assists (15), through balls (51) and shot-creating actions (167).

Messi’s form has been a central factor in PSG’s rise to the top of the division with the Parisians eight points clear of Marseille and closing in on a record-breaking 11th league title.

Vinicius Junior – 100

Vinicius Junior leads the way in Europe’s top five leagues and is the first player to break a century of take-ons during the 2022/23 campaign.

The Brazilian completed eight successful dribbles during Real Madrid’s defeat at Girona on Tuesday evening, moving him past 100 for the campaign.

Carlo Ancelotti has called Vinicius ‘the best player in the world’ and the 22-year-old has emerged as one of the most decisive players in world football. He has 22 goals and 19 assists in all competitions this season and will be targeting back-to-back successes in the Champions League.

Real Madrid will face Manchester City in the semi-finals of the competition, where Vinicius will look to torment more English opposition after giving the likes of Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold and Chelsea’s Reece James a torrid time earlier in the tournament.

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