Is This Chelsea Star The Best In The League?

We’re well into the opening stages of the Premier League and the table is beginning to take shape. This season has seen creative players excel at the expensive of defenders and ignited much debate around who is top of these silky attackers. In this piece we’ll examine who is the best passer to see if there is a decisive pass-master so far in the Premier League.

We’ll start with the statistic of key passes per game. There is one surprising name in the top 5 – Stewart Downing. Not only is he in the top 5, but he actually leads the way with 3.1 key passes per game, joint top with Cesc Fabregas. Whether he can continue this fine form only time will tell but it’s a magnificent start from the West Ham man. Manchester United’s summer signing di Maria is only marginally behind these two in third with an average of 3 key passes per game. James Milner and Leighton Baines make up the top 5 with a joint 4th position. Not many defenders are as influential offensively as Leighton Baines.

Key Passes Per Game 

1st – Cesc Fabregas 3.1

1st – Stewart Downing 3.1

3rd – Angel di Maria 3

4th – James Milner 2.8

4th – Leighton Baines 2.8

The above players may be brilliant at finding key passes, and that’s all well and good, but how many times do they directly assist a goal? Well, Chelsea’s Cesc Fabregas once again leads the way with 7 and he’s playing for a side who are scoring at will. Again he is only joint top as Dusan Tadic climbs the assist charts during Southampton’s 8-0 thrashing of Sunderland. The 25-year-old Serbian has been one of the signings of the season along with Fabregas, and there’s more assists to come from both of them no doubt. Gylfi Sigurdsson has been another summer signing who has been in fine form and he has 6 assists to his name thus far. Leighton Baines and Angel Di Maria appear once again in the top 5.

Assists

1st – Cesc Fabregas 7

1st – Dusan Tadic 7

3rd – Gylfi Sigurdsson 6

4th – Leighton Baines 5

5th – Angel Di Maria 4

A true pass-master has to be very good at retaining possession, as well as causing trouble, and one of the statistics which displays this ability is the average amount of passes per game. Yaya Toure leads the way with over 90 passes per game on average and Cesc Fabregas is a close 2nd. There’s then a reasonable gap before Gareth Barry, Aaron Ramsey and Nemanja Matic appear. To make a high amount of passes per game you’ve got to play in a central position and also to play for a side who regularly dominate possession – that isn’t always the case for players who are excellent passers.

Average passes per game

1st – Yaya Toure 90.1

2nd – Cesc Fabregas 87

3rd – Gareth Barry 77.1

4th – Aaron Ramsey 71.4

5th – Nemanja Matic 70

As mentioned above, just because you make a high amount of passes doesn’t necessarily mean you are the most clinical. For that you have to look at who completes the highest percentage of successful passes from all of their attempted passes. It’s a very tight top 5 which is made up from players who make the majority of their passes unchallenged by an opponent (as you would expect). Arsenal’s centre defensive partnership of Mertesacker and Koscielny make up the top 2 and teammate Flamini is in third – not exactly a shock when Arsenal notoriously favour possession football. Everton’s Phil Jagielka and Man City’s Fernando make up the top 5 with the majority of their passes being short and simple.

Pass success rate (%)

1st – Per Mertesacker 93.5

2nd – Laurent Koscielny 93.1

3rd – Mathieu Flamini 92.6

4th – Phil Jagielka 92.5

5th – Fernando 92

From all these statistics, there is one player who stands out above the rest, and that player is Cesc Fabregas. The Spaniard is incredibly clinical, and although he is matched in both key passes and assists by Downing and Tadic respectively, his class will show through the entire season without doubt. Leighton Baines is not to be undervalued as he is the only defender in the Premier League to have more than 2 assists and he’s been doing it consistently for many seasons.

So there you have it – Cesc Fabregas is the Premier League’s pass-master.