Premier League creators are perhaps now being given more credit than ever before, with the inception of the division’s Playmaker award two years ago providing long overdue recognition for the league’s leading assist provider.
For every great goal is a man who created the chance, and we’ve decided to look back at some of most prolific chance creators in the history of the Premier League.
Here are the five Premier League players with the most chances created in a single calendar month:
Dimitri Payet – West Ham (26 chances created, December 2016)
Dimitri Payet was simply sensational during a brief but brilliant spell in the Premier League at West Ham, the Frenchman establishing himself as a firm fans’ favourite in the East End before an acrimonious return to former side Marseille.
Payet lit up English football during a stunning debut season with the Hammers to be named on the shortlist of the PFA Player of the Year, with only Mesut Ozil and Riyad Mahrez carving out more big chances throughout the entire division.
Payet’s most productive month came during the following season, however, creating 26 chances for his West Ham teammates during December 2016, a spell which included three consecutive victories over the festive period.
That would prove to be the final glimpses of the mercurial talent in the Claret and Blue, Payet throwing the proverbial toys out the pram and demanding a return to France the following month.
Cesc Fabreas – Arsenal (26 chances created, April 2007)
Only Manchester United icon Ryan Giggs has ever provided more Premier League assists than Cesc Fabregas, whilst no player amongst the leading assist providers can better the Spaniard’s assist-per-game ratio.
The former Spain international was amongst the finest passers in the division during impressive spells with both Arsenal and Chelsea, with his most prolific month for chances created coming during his emergence with the former.
Fabregas carved out 26 opportunities during a fine April in 2007 – in addition to scoring goals in wins over Bolton and Manchester City – helping the Gunners to a five-game unbeaten run as Arsene Wenger’s side secured a fourth-placed finish and Champions League qualification.
He finished the season as the Premier League’s leading assist provider, one of two successive seasons Fabregas led the division.
Florent Malouda – Chelsea (26 chances created, November 2010)
Chelsea’s free-scoring side secured a domestic double during Carlo Ancelotti’s debut season in English football, with Florent Malouda amongst the club’s chief attacking threats during the Italian’s two-year spell at Stamford Bridge.
The west London side were unable to retain their crown the following year despite the best efforts of the French winger, who finished as the club’s leading goalscorer during their Premier League campaign.
Malouda’s creativity and goal threat were evident during a fine individual November 2010, the former France international providing 26 opportunities for his teammates.
Steven Gerrard – Liverpool (26 chances created, December 2007)
Steven Gerrard was often the centre-piece of the Liverpool side for much of his illustrious career, and the midfielder enjoyed his most creative month during the 2007/08 season under Rafael Benitez.
December saw the Reds’ captain create 26 chances for his teammates, in addition to scoring three times during a hectic festive schedule for the Merseyside club who would eventually finish third.
That campaign also saw Gerrard strike up an understanding with prolific summer signing Fernando Torres, the duo playing arguably the best football of their careers working in telepathic tandem at Anfield.
Emi Buendia – Norwich (27 chances created, December 2019)
Norwich may have endured a season of struggle thus far but the club’s attacking style has largely won plaudits, with Emi Buendia having quietly established himself as one of the most effective creative talents in the Premier League.
The diminutive Argentine set a new Premier League landmark for most chances created in a single calendar month in December, providing 27 opportunities for his grateful teammates despite finding himself out of Daniel Farke’s side at the beginning of the month.
Buendia also joined Eden Hazard as the only player to record 8+ for both chances created and take-ons in a single Premier League fixture since 2003/04, following a brilliant individual display against Wolves.
Only Kevin De Bruyne and Trent Alexander-Arnold have created more chances this season than the 23-year-old, whilst only the former has provided more chances per ninety minutes. The division’s bigger sides are likely to have taken note of the midfielder’s displays, with Norwich facing a losing fight to stay up at present.