Although out-and-out wingers are becoming extinct in the Premier League, crossing isn’t going out of fashion. Football evolves as the years go by, but it’s still a very popular tactic to put balls into the box from out wide.
Gone are the days of looped crosses from deep for a target man to head home, however, as clubs now opt for whipped balls or low drives to be tapped in from close range.
David Beckham was arguably the most famous crosser of the 90s and 00s, putting in hundreds of balls for strikers to convert, but who are the best in the modern game?
We take a look at the league’s best distributors this season. Stats from WhoScored.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
No surprises here. The 24-year-old right-back has outstanding accuracy from range, whipping in two accurate crosses per game (43 crosses from 157 attempts). He’s made two assists from 22 games but has created 25 of his 41 chances from crosses (60.9%).
Alexander-Arnold averages 7.2 crosses a game and finds a teammate 27.77% of the time, so he’s statistically Liverpool’s best option from out wide. He’s fourth in the Premier League table for most crosses made this season.
James Ward-Prowse (Southampton)
Ward-Prowse is known for being a terrific free-kick taker but is a fantastic distributor overall, be that from dead-ball situations or from open play when out wide.
The 28-year-old midfielder has whipped in 2.1 accurate crosses per game which equates to 48 in total. He’s made two assists from 23 games and has created 34 of his 49 chances from balls into the box (69%).
Ward-Prowse averages 7.4 crosses a game and finds a teammate 28.37% of the time. He’s third in the Premier League table for most crosses made this season (169) and is fourth for most accurate corners (32).
Is James Ward-Prowse the best free kick taker in PL history? 🔥 pic.twitter.com/OrVttF9fNJ
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) February 18, 2023
Andreas Pereira (Fulham)
The 27-year-old midfielder is probably a surprise name on the list for anyone other than Fulham supporters, but he is fantastic at distributing the ball. Pereira has averaged 2.4 accurate crosses per game (58 in total this season). He’s made six assists from 24 games and has created 38 of his 53 chances from balls into the box (71.7%).
Pereira averages 6.2 crosses a game and finds a teammate 38.7% of the time, so he’s far more efficient than Alexander-Arnold and Ward-Prowse.
Kevin De Bruyne (Man City)
The 31-year-old midfielder has shown a real penchant for putting balls into the box this season. De Bruyne has averaged 2.4 accurate crosses per game (56 in total this season). He’s made 12 assists from 23 games and has created 31 of his 75 chances from balls into the box (41.3%).
De Bruyne averages 7.7 crosses a game and finds a teammate 31.1% of the time. The 31-year-old is second in the Premier League table for most crosses (177) and third for most accurate corners this season (34).
Kieran Trippier (Newcastle)
The 32-year-old right-back has by far been the best distributor from out in the Premier League this season, averaging four accurate crosses per game (92 in total). He’s made four assists from 23 games and has created 54 of his 70 chances from balls into the box.
📊Most chances created since the World Cup:
🏴 Kieran Trippier: 36
🇵🇹 Bruno Fernandes: 34
🇧🇪 Kevin De Bruyne: 28
🇳🇴 Martin Ødegaard: 26
🏴 Bukayo Saka: 21
🏴 James Ward-Prowse: 19
🇧🇷 Andreas Pereira: 18 pic.twitter.com/uXqtzOo9ti
— Football Talk (@FootballTalkHQ) February 22, 2023
Tripper averages 10.2 crosses a game and finds a teammate 39.2% of the time. The 32-year-old is first in the Premier League table for most crosses (234) and first for most accurate corners (69).
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