The evolution of football over the last ten years has seen midfielders have to adapt and become box-to-box players that are equally capable at both ends of the pitch.
The emergence of tika-taka has also meant that midfielders must be able to pass like no other player.
The Premier League has some of the finest stars in the world that occupy this specialist role, with devastating effect. Let’s take a look at the top five this season.
5. Gylfi Sigurdsson, Swansea City
This will come as a surprise inclusion to many of you. Currently enjoying his second spell with the Swans, after a tough time at Tottenham. This season has seen him take his game to a whole new level.
Sigurdsson has linked well with Wilfred Bony at the start of this season. He currently has the second most assists in the Premier League, only Cesc Fabregas has more. Many still believe there is much more to come from the Iceman and maybe a move to a big club will not be too far away.
Article continues below
4. Angel Di Maria, Manchester United
His mega money move, did not see his form stall and has hit the ground running at United. Capable of scoring and creating goals, Di Maria is a massive asset to Louis van Gaal’s plans.
He brings great pace from midfield and with the ability to either play inside or on the wing, just adds to his game. Recently, he has seemingly slightly gone off the boil, but it will not be long until he is back to his best.
3. Eden Hazard, Chelsea
From such a young age, everyone was talking about this youngster who played in France that had the ability to compete with Messi and Ronaldo. Although when Hazard moved over to England he did not set the world alight, he has grown.
This season Hazard has taken his game up another level, or two. Jose Mourinho has instilled into him that he must work not just for himself, but the team, with him offering great protection to his defence. At times this season watching Hazard has been mesmerising as he easily glides past players, but you just feel as though there is still more to come.
2. David Silva, Manchester City
Silva has the ability and technical skills to compete with anyone in the world on his day. He has an eye for a pass and can easily beat players on his own.
However, Silva can be plagued by injuries which have stopped him from getting a consistent run out. And when he does Manuel Pellegrini’s 4-4-2 system does not really allow Silva to get into that classic number 10 area and start working his magic.
1. Cesc Fabregas, Chelsea
Arsene Wenger must be wondering what he was thinking, not to sign back his former captain. After a not so perfect time in Barcelona, Fabregas has returned back to England and it looks as though he has never been better.
Another Mourinho master stroke, to sign the Spanish wizard and give him a free role to go and create. Fabregas currently tops the assist charts in the league and is hunting down Thierry Henry’s record of 20 in a season.