Who’s created the most chances so far?

As we work through the penultimate international break of 2012, here is a quick look at the Premier League players who have created the most chances for their team mates to start the 2012/13 season.

Leighton Baines (Everton) – 30 Chances Created/2 Assists

Don’t expect too many left backs to feature in this list throughout the season, but Leighton Baines has created the most chances in the Premier League through gameweek 7.  The Everton full back is relying on set pieces to top the leader board with 16 opportunities he’s set up coming from dead ball situations.  He’s a consistent performer in David Moyes’ side for a number of seasons and is as close to displacing Ashley Cole at left back in the England side as he has ever been.

Santi Cazorla (Arsenal) – 26 Chances Created/2 Assists

Arguably the signing of the summer coming into the Premier League.  At least to this point.  Santi Cazorla is certainly making the Arsenal side tick; the playmaker in the middle of the pitch, playing further up field than his fellow Spaniard, Mikel Arteta.  An elegant player to watch, Cazorla can seemingly make any pass on the pitch and as the stats show, he is created numerous chances for the Gunners already.  Olivier Giroud has been guilty of wasting good chances set up by the Spaniard that would have improved the assists column.  No player has created more chances from open play to this point.

David Silva (Manchester City) – 21 Chances Created/1 Assist

David Silva lead the Premier League in chances created and assists last season.  I’m not convinced we’ve seen the best of Silva so far this season but the Spaniard has already created 21 chances for the reigning Premier League champions in only 5 starts.  He has played more than 100 minutes less than anyone in this top 10.

Steven Gerrard (Liverpool) – 21 Chances Created/1 Assist

The Liverpool captain has played every single minute so far this season in which Brendan Rodgers’ side have managed just a single victory.  Steven Gerrard has done his part for the side in creating 21 chances despite only 1 turning into a goal.  That being a set piece.  Jonjo Shelvey is breaking into the Liverpool side playing behind the striker, but Gerrard remains a vital part of the Reds midfield.

Steven Pienaar (Everton) – 20 Chances Created/3 Assists

Despite paying 50% more to Tottenham than what they sold him for 18 months previous, David Moyes did good business in bringing Steven Pienaar back for £4.5 million over the summer.  The recently retired South African captain has teamed up superbly with Leighton Baines down the left wing to start the season, contributing 3 assists to the team.  2 of those from open play.

Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur) – 20 Chances Created/1 Assist

The Welsh winger has been in the headlines for his diving recently, but Gareth Bale has created a number of opportunities for team mates down that left wing for Tottenham.  He’s also taking more set pieces these days following the departure of both Luka Modric and Rafael van der Vaart who took the majority for Spurs last season.

Aaron Lennon (Tottenham Hotspur) – 20 Chances Created/1 Assist

Whilst Gareth Bale is creating chances from the left, Aaron Lennon is helping him create chances for Spurs down the right wing.  The pacey winger teams up well with both Kyle Walker and Jermain Defoe and after a couple of relatively quiet seasons at White Hart Lane, Lennon has looked refreshed to start this season.

Luis Suarez (Liverpool) – 18 Chances Created/2 Assists

The controversial Uruguayan forward has been at the helm of most of what has been good for Liverpool to start this season.  There hasn’t been too much to speak of, but 5 goals and 2 assists to start the season is good production regardless of which team you play for.  That means Suarez has been involved in 7 of the 9 goals for Liverpool this season.  Suarez does cause havoc to opposing defences but hasn’t won over any friends in England with his persistent diving and general attitude.

Eden Hazard (Chelsea) – 16 Chances Created/4 Assists/2 Penalties Won

The biggest signing over the summer by any Premier League side, Eden Hazard made an instant impact by setting up a goal and winning a penalty inside 6 minutes on his debut.  The Belgian has gone on to setup 3 more goals and win another penalty as well as scoring 2 goals himself.  The gifted midfielder has spent a lot of his time on the dirt with opponents liking to foul the playmaker.  Apart of a talented bunch of midfielders, Hazard will have plenty of opportunities to take a break if need be.

Yaya Toure (Manchester City) – 16 Chances Created/1 Assist

One of Manchester City’s stars during their title-winning season and certainly the year before en route to winning the FA Cup, Yaya Toure has strode through the centre of midfield to create 16 chances for team mates so far this season.  On top of his 1 assist, the Ivorian already has 2 goals to his name.

Written by Barrie.

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