It is perhaps the most important position on a football pitch. Every manager wants one but not ever player can do it; in fact it takes a special type of footballer with exceptional vision and creativity to be the main man.
The playmaker. The man who all the play goes through. Without him, your team’s attacking thrusts would carry all the threat of a dozing kitten.
The position appears to be in fashion at the moment thanks to the likes of Andres Iniesta and Mesut Ozil, and luckily the Premier League is blessed with more than it’s fair share of creative players.
But which one is the best at what he does? Who lays on the most goals, who keeps possession ticking along nicely and who can tear defences apart with one incisive pass?
Well, GMF is on hand to compare five of the very best playmakers in the Premier League so you can see once and for all just who is the best playmaker in the Premier League. All stats courtesy of WhoScored.com.
Santi Cazorla, Arsenal
Key Passes: 2.8
Pass success: 88.3%
Ave. Passes: 69.6
There’s little doubting that Santi Cazorla has taken to life in the Premier League like a duck to water, and the stats back that up.
He’s the joint-leading scorer of all the playmakers, has completed the most dribbles, and has by far the highest average pass-per-game total, while his success rate is second to only Mousa Dembele.
Cazorla is the man that embodies the Arsenal style best; his interplay and high passing rate is exactly what the Gunner are about. It is also interesting to note how often he carries the ball compared to his rivals.
Juan Mata, Chelsea
Key Passes: 2.6
Pass success: 86.8%
Ave. Passes: 54.6
Despite all of Chelsea’s expensive summer signings, it is Mata who has proved himself to be the most creative player at Stamford Bridge so far this term.
His contribution of goals makes him Chelsea’s joint-leading league scorer this term, and he appears to pass well while still being direct, which is a rare quality. His six assists put him in 2nd place in our playmakers list.
David Silva, Manchester City
Key Passes: 3
Pass success: 84.5%
Ave. Passes: 55.3
David Silva has struggled to reach the heights he reached in the first half of last term, and his contribution of goals and assists is fairly low considering his role as Manchester City’s main playmaker.
The Spaniard does seem to make great use of the ball when he has it though, his three key passes a game do prove that he can pick a pass that leads to a goal or a shot more often than his rivals.
Wayne Rooney, Manchester United
Key Passes: 1.8
Pass success: 83.6%
Ave. Passes: 48.7
Wayne Rooney isn’t a playmaker in the truest sense like Cazorla or Silva but he is Manchester United’s most creative player this season, and has the most assists out of all five contenders.
Rooney’s all-round game is demonstrated perfectly in these stats, his pass success rate is high (even if his average passes are a little down) while his goals and assist tally is superb.
Mousa Dembele, Tottenham
Key Passes: 1.4
Pass success: 89.1%
Ave. Passes: 49.7
The man who bears most of Tottenham’s creative burden has had his season hampered by injury, but Mousa Dembele is slowly getting back to his best. His average pass rate is well down on the others but his successful dribbles is high while his pass success rate is the best of all five players, which sums up his game nicely.
The former Fulham man carries the ball well and looks for the killer pass, and three assists and an average of 1.4 key passes a game isn’t too shabby for a man who has plaid considerably less games than his rivals.