10 Most Creative Players in the Premier League

Willie Gannon@https://twitter.com/WillieGannonSenior Writer IMarch 19, 2013

10 Most Creative Players in the Premier League

0 of 10

    Creativity is one of the most important factors in modern football, and when combined with great skill and power, the player in question can become almost unstoppable.

    We can all think of the blunt instruments, the guys who are water-carriers before footballers. They have their place in the game, but the players we want to see are the ones blessed with cleverness, intelligence and guile.

    Who are men who have incorporated technique, vision, dribbling-ability and passing-ability into their game in equal measures to become the most creative players in the Premier League?

    A trial, or a competition in the mould of Superstars, would definitely be the best and easiest way to measure footballers' creativity and technique. But as incidents like this can happen and videos like this can be photo-shopped, we'll have to come up with a system ourselves.

    Read on to see who are the 10 most creative athletes in the Premier League.

Methodology

1 of 10

    All football teams rely on one aspect of creativity or another.

    Be it from creating chances from set-pieces, the employment of wingers or through slick tiki-taka style passing teams, there are a multitude of philosophies on how to win a football match.

    In truth, there is no one, single way to win a football match. Wise managers and coaches will factor in every single way to score a goal and then some.

    Behind it all is the creative player. Each team has one although they might not be obvious to the untrained eye. Some players' creative skills rest in dragging opponents away from the more skilled shooting experts. Some use their pace to roast defenders before applying the final pass. And some are blessed with a God-like vision to see passes and through-balls where others see only brick walls. 

    There has been a move in the modern game to quantify creativity. This flawed approach has centered around assists where the player who makes the final pass, before the goal, is credited with an assist and with being the creative genius on the pitch.

    This, of course, is not true. The first pass is as important as the last, because that is where the move started. Without it, there would be no goal. In many cases, the final pass also supersedes the real creative pass of the move. 

    What makes a player creative?

    Creativity in football is a combination of  technique, vision, dribbling-ability, passing-ability and off the ball movement.

    Without any of these elements, the player becomes less effective, and he/she drifts towards becoming an athlete who plays football rather than an footballer.

    Read on to see who have made the top 10 and why...

Eden Hazard: 38/50

2 of 10

    Technique: 8

    Vision: 8

    Dribbling: 8

    Passing: 7

    Off the Ball: 7

    Creativity: 38/50

    Eden Hazard is another player to make the list who is enjoying his debut season. Like his Chelsea teammate, Juan Mata, the 22-year-old is one of the stars of the future stars of football.

    In 27 games, he has scored eight goals, has contributed eight assists and has attempted 1,231 passes. He creates 1.9 goalscoring opportunities per game, 52 in total, has attempted 95 crosses and just seven through-balls.

    Like van Persie and Bale before him, Hazard makes teams commit markers, and this term has seen him make 54 shots on goal, 48 dribbles and be fouled 65 times.

David Silva: 38/50

3 of 10

    Technique: 8

    Vision: 8

    Dribbling: 7

    Passing: 8

    Off the Ball: 7

    Creativity: 38/50

    David Silva has been the creative force behind Manchester City's rise to being regarded as Premier League contenders. The 27-year-old Spanish international is one of the few players in English football who is comfortable on either flank or through the middle.

    His best position, though, is at the top of the diamond in a 4-4-2 or as the central attacking player in a 4-2-3-1. Here, his non-stop work rate comes into play and when combined with his creativity, he is easily one of the most dangerous players in the league.

Juan Mata: 39/50

4 of 10

    Technique: 8

    Vision: 9

    Dribbling: 7

    Passing: 8

    Off the Ball: 7

    Creativity: 39/50

    Twenty-four year old Juan Mata is one of the growing powers in the world game. The third Spanish international on the list is, like David Silva and Santi Cazorla, most comfortable just behind the striker.

    This season has seen him wade in with a superb 10 goals and 10 assists in the Premier League, but it is his vision and playmaking ability that makes him stand out most. Like Cazorla, he has also created 72 goalscoring chances but has a slightly lower pass completion rate of 85 percent from 1,442 passes.

    He is at ease whether he is playing in a direct style or in the Spanish international team. 

Gareth Bale: 39/50

5 of 10

    Technique: 8

    Vision: 8

    Dribbling: 9

    Passing: 7

    Off the Ball: 7

    Creativity: 39/50

    Is there a better sight in Premier League football than Tottenham Hotspur's Gareth Bale in full flight? At this moment in time, Bale is probably the most complete athlete in the Premier League if not world football. As such, the Welshman is probably the most complete footballer in England.

    This season has seen the Spurs man develop to where can do almost everything at a world-class level, from short-passing to dribbling to control. His 16 goals from 26 games immediately stand out. However, his creative powers are just as formidable. 

    While he only has two Premier League assists to his name, he has created 64 goalscoring chances, 55 examples of dribbling, has contributed 235 crosses and has a pass completion rate of 78 percent.

    Perhaps Bale's greatest asset is his ability to make opponents commit players to mark him. This then makes space for the rest of his team as he is very often doubled-up upon. 

Steven Gerrard: 39/50

6 of 10

    Technique: 8

    Vision: 8

    Dribbling: 7

    Passing: 9

    Off the Ball: 7

    Creativity: 39/50

    Even in his latter years, Steven Gerrard remains a Premier League force. The 32-year-old Liverpool star has enjoyed a stellar season in a struggling midfield. He has scored eight goals and has contributed nine assists from 30 matches.

    He comes in as the fourth highest pass maker in the EPL with 1,976 passes with an 86 percent pass completion rate. He has created 75 goalscoring chances, 16 of which were through-balls. Gerrard has also attempted 326 long passes with a league high success rate of 8.5 per game.

Santi Cazorla: 39/50

7 of 10

    Technique: 8

    Vision: 9

    Dribbling: 7

    Passing: 8

    Off the Ball: 7

    Creativity: 39/50

    Santi Cazorla may only have been a Premier League player for one season, but he is already one of the best. The creative star was signed from Malaga during the summer for just £18 million. Since then, he has taken up the mantle of being Arsenal's most creative force.

    This season has seen him attempt an astonishing 1,907 passes (of which he has completed 87 percent), 53 through-balls and create 72 goal-scoring chances. 

    His lethal left-foot is like a wand, and he can create chances and opportunities out of thin air.

Robin Van Persie: 41/50

8 of 10

    Technique: 9

    Vision: 8

    Dribbling: 7

    Passing: 9

    Off the Ball: 8

    Creativity: 41/50

    Manchester United have reaped the huge benefits of capturing Robin van Persie from Arsenal. The Dutch superstar has continued his phenomenal goalscoring record and has bagged 19 goals from 29 games.

    Outside goalscoring duties, van Persie is one of the most dangerous men in the league because of his high intelligence, movement and skill. 

    He has eight assists to his name this term from 49 created chances. However, this figure only tells half the story with van Persie's creativity, as his intelligent movement drags opponents all over the pitch. This then creates space for others to expose.

    This makes the Dutchman extremely dangerous both on and off the ball.

Wayne Rooney: 42/50

9 of 10

    Technique: 9

    Vision: 9

    Dribbling: 8

    Passing: 8

    Off the Ball: 8

    Creativity: 42/50

    The most complete footballer in the Premier League is also one of the game's most creative.

    Wayne Rooney can do everything on the pitch, and his versatility is a spin-off from his incredible athleticism as a player. 

    His manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, often plays him wide, behind the striker, as striker or in central midfield. His incredible power as a player provides the very foundations for all his good play, regardless of position.

    It speaks volumes of how much we expect of the Manchester United star that we are disappointed with his return this season. He has contributed 12 goals, nine assists and 41 goalscoring chances from 21 games, with a pass completion rate of 84 percent.

     


Luis Suarez: 43/50

10 of 10

    Technique: 9

    Vision: 9

    Dribbling: 8

    Passing: 8

    Off the Ball: 9

    Creativity: 43/50

    The most creative force in the Premier League is none other than Luis Suarez.

    The Liverpool forward is known to work incredibly hard on his game, as the top players do.

    He is known for going that extra mile, never mind an inch, by training even harder than his teammates. Quite simply, that shows on the football pitch where the Uruguayan never stops moving.

    This season has seen Suarez attempt a league high 5.5 shots per game. He has scored 22 goals in 29 games with four assists to his name. Like the very best players, Suarez makes teams commit to trying to stop him. This then creates space for the likes of Steven Gerrard and Daniel Sturridge to exploit.

    His 77 percent pass completion rate is accompanied by him creating 79 goalscoring chances, 79 dribbles,  47 crosses, 78 long balls and, no surprise considering his position, just 19 through-balls.

    In short, it takes a lot to keep Luis Suarez quiet.