Clever exchanges of passes and perfect through balls are capable of disrupting even the strongest of defences. As such, teams are now more often built on passers who control the play. Down are five passing maestros in the Premier League at the moment.
5. Granit Xhaka (Arsenal)
— AS English (@English_AS) November 17, 2018
The Switzerland International seems to have found a new lease of life under Unai Emery this season. Granit Xhaka has 2 goals from 12 appearances in the Premier League and has been in the starting eleven for all of those games for Arsenal.
Last season, Xhaka had just 1 goal from 38 appearances in the Premier League. He averaged 82 passes per game and had completed 3116 passes, the most in the Premier League. This season, though, Xhaka averages a slightly lower 80.5 passes per game and has already completed 966 passes. As such, the Swiss has been consistent with his performances but has greater competition this season.
4. David Luiz (Chelsea)
— The Sun Football ⚽ (@TheSunFootball) November 21, 2018
Before the arrival of Maurizio Sarri, there were questions about whether David Luiz would be able to survive in the Italian’s 4 man defence. The Brazilian did look a little uncomfortable at the start of the season but has adapted brilliantly to Sarri ball. He has played every minute of the 12 games in the Premier League and has been solid at the back
Last season, Luiz spent much of the time on the sidelines with injury, missing 30 games in the process. This season, the Brazilian is making up for those missed opportunities and has already completed 984 passes, with an average of 82 passes per game.
3. Antonio Rudiger (Chelsea)
Antonio Rüdiger: Has won possession in the defensive third more times (23) than any other player in Europe's top five leagues this season
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) September 4, 2018
The German stopper might look like the odd man out in this list, but Rudiger is one of the main reasons why Maurizio Sarri’s tactics have flourished at Stamford Bridge. With Rüdiger’s quality, Sarri has the luxury of two ball playing defenders at his disposal.
Las season, Rudiger had 2 goals from 27 games and averaged 63 passes per game. He completed 1079 passes and as such, did not even make the top 20 passers in the Premier League. However, this season, the German already has completed 986 passes in 12 games, averaging above 82 passes per match.