Premier League most assists: Contenders for Playmaker of the Season after Pogba makes huge statement

FT Desk
  • FT Desk
  • Updated: August 15, 2021, 10:37 CEST
  • 4 min read
The Leeds game was an incredible outing for Paul Pogba

The Leeds game was an incredible outing for Paul Pogba

Paul Pogba produced an unbelievable performance for Manchester United against Leeds on Saturday.

The World Cup winner became the first United player in history to record four assists in a Premier League match as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men thrashed their rivals 5-1 at Old Trafford.

It was a huge statement from the midfielder, who is entering the final year of his United contract with no immediate resolution on his future appearing to be in sight.

Pogba had more assists in his 75-minute outing against Leeds than he managed in his whole 2020/21 season, where he registered just three in 26 matches.

He has, though, been a prolific creator in past Premier League campaigns, registering 19 in the space of two seasons between 2017 and 2019.

The amazing opener from Pogba means he is already well clear in the race to be the Premier League Playmaker of the Season, but who are the other contenders?

Salah also makes fast start

Liverpool earned a comfortable 3-0 win at promoted Norwich City, with Mohamed Salah registering two assists – albeit one was slightly fortuitous – as well as a goal.

While he looks more likely to challenge for the Golden Boot, he sits second to Pogba in the early standings after creating the goals for Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino.

Salah only had five assists last season but has twice reached double figures for Liverpool before.

Mohamed Salah also made a strong start

Mohamed Salah also made a strong start

Prolific seasons for assists can come from nowhere, as shown by the Pogba statistic and the recent record of Harry Kane.

Kane was the Premier League Playmaker of the Season last year with 14 but had only produced eight in the THREE seasons combined before that.

There are some players who are more regularly near the top of the creative charts.

Kevin De Bruyne, if he can stay injury free, will hope to come close to his record 20-assist season in 2019/20, while he also topped the assists standings in 2016/17 and 2017/18.

Bruno Fernandes scored a hat-trick against Leeds and had 12 assists last season for United, while De Bruyne’s new team-mate Jack Grealish also hit double figures with 10 at Aston Villa.

That was the same total of Son Heung-min for Tottenham, while Raphinha (nine for Leeds last season) also figures to be a candidate.

Jadon Sancho joined United from Borussia Dortmund, where he was a prolific creator, while Emiliano Buendia and Leon Bailey will look to fill the creative void left by Grealish for Villa.

Timo Werner and Mason Mount will hope Romelu Lukaku’s arrival for Chelsea boosts their assist numbers, while Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson, Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez are other candidates from Liverpool and Man City.

Who will have the most PL assists this season?

1931 votes

A surprise winner could emerge as it did with Kane last year, but Pogba – fresh from some fine displays for France at Euro 2020 – has emerged as the early man to beat.

Who has the most Premier League assists of all time?

Manchester United great Ryan Giggs has the most assists in Premier League history with 162 to his name.

He is one of four players to have reached three figures for creating goals.

The others are Arsenal and Chelsea great Cesc Fabregas (111), former United star Wayne Rooney (103) and Stamford Bridge icon Frank Lampard (102).

Of the players currently playing in the Premier League, James Milner has the highest tally with 85, which puts him in eighth place overall.

He is ahead of De Bruyne, who has 78 to put him in 10th place.

Dennis Bergkamp, David Silva, Steven Gerrard and David Beckham are the other members of the top 10.