Ranking World Football's Top 10 Wingers on Their Creative Talent
If you were to rank the top 10 wingers/wide attacking midfielders/wide forwards, who would be in your top 10?
The player pool was selected from Europe's top leagues (Bundesliga, Eredivisie, La Liga, Ligue 1, Premier League, Serie A) and they were ranked according to assists in league play.
Should players be tied in assists, they were separated by key passes. In the event the players were tied on key passes, pass completion percentage was used as a tie-breaker.
- Alexis Sanchez, Barcelona RF, Age: 25 | Stat Line: 10 assists, 1.4 key passes per game
- David Silva, Manchester City LW, Age: 28 | Stat Line: 9 assists, 3.5 key passes per game
- Jean-Paul Boetius, Feyenoord LF, Age: 20 | Stat Line: 9 assists, 1.3 key passes per game
- Lucas Piazon, Vitesse LF (Chelsea loanee), Age: 20 | Stat Line: 8 assists, 2.8 key passes per game
- Christian Eriksen, Tottenham Hotspur LW, Age: 22 | Stat Line: 8 assists, 2.7 key passes per game
Statistics via WhoScored.com
10. Lucas Moura, Paris Saint-Germain RF, Age: 21
Stat Line: 10 assists, 1.5 key passes per game
Lucas Moura has been a dynamic presence for Paris Saint-Germain.
While Edinson Cavani has had problems adapting to his wide forward role, Lucas has been excellent in dribbling past opposing players and delivering incisive passes.
9. Gervinho, Roma LF/RF, Age: 26
Stat Line: 10 assists, 1.6 key passes per game
Good riddance was the general sentiment when Arsenal offloaded Gervinho.
So it is testament to how brilliant Rudi Garcia is in turning Gervinho from a no-hoper into a star at Roma.
Garcia, who managed Gervinho at Le Mans and Lille, has instilled hope in the Ivorian, which is a big part in his rejuvenation.
8. Franck Ribery, Bayern Munich LW, Age: 31
Stat Line: 10 assists, 2.7 key passes per game
Prior to playing for Marseille and Galatasaray, Franck Ribery was lost in the shuffle.
He was a late-bloomer who played for Boulogne, Ales, Brest and Metz, yet still developed into a FIFA Ballon d'Or contender.
He is an example to players who get rejected by bigger clubs that you can still rise to the top.
Ribery's key passes per game has slightly decreased by 0.5 compared to last season, but his offensive output is elite (nine goals and 10 assists in 21 Bundesliga games).
7. Carlos Vela, Real Sociedad RAM, Age: 25
Stat Line: 11 assists, 2.1 key passes per game
Arsenal correctly projected Carlos Vela's upside when they signed him from Guadalajara.
Though, a series of injuries, indifferent form and various loan spells meant he never showed what he could do at Arsenal.
Since moving to Real Sociedad, he has been one of the best players in La Liga.
While teammate Antoine Griezmann is on course to be a world-class player, he needs to emulate Vela in being a willing passer, as opposed to forcing a shot.
6. Markel Susaeta, Athletic Bilbao RAM, Age: 26
Stat Line: 11 assists, 2.1 key passes per game
Manchester United were desperately trying to sign Ander Herrera in the summer transfer window, per ESPN.
Yet Ander's teammate Markel Susaeta could have been a difference-maker for Manchester United.
Susaeta has more assists (11) in league play than Juan Mata (four*), Antonio Valencia (two), Ashley Young (one) and Nani (zero) combined (seven).
* has six assists in the Premier League, four for United and two for Chelsea.
5. Marco Reus, Borussia Dortmund LAM, Age: 24
Stat Line: 11 assists, 3.0 key passes per game
In Marco Reus' last season at Borussia Monchengladbach, he started as a deep-lying forward playing behind Mike Hanke, which was a big tactical change from being a No. 11.
Reus scored 18 times and registered nine assists, which led to a move to Borussia Dortmund.
He has been moved back to the wings (he used to be compared to former Gladbach player Marko Marin) and has been sensational.
4. Gareth Bale, Real Madrid RF, Age: 24
Stat Line: 12 assists, 1.4 key passes per game
Last season, Gareth Bale only registered four assists in the Premier League for Tottenham Hotspur.
He has already bettered that output with 12 assists in La Liga for Real Madrid.
Ideally, he needs to be the best wide forward in the world to justify the absurd money spent on him, but his first season foreshadows that he will be a valuable contributor to Real in the years to come.
3. Angel Di Maria, Real Madrid RAM, Age: 26
Stat Line: 12 assists, 2.6 key passes per game
Angel Di Maria has made a seamless transition into a central midfielder yet when asked to play on the right again, he was superb in the Copa del Rey final win over Barcelona.
Di Maria is a high-energy and quick footballer who can take the ball past opposing defenders.
In the past, his wastefulness, inconsistency and a tendency to give up on plays in an attempt to win a free-kick have hindered him from being a world-class footballer.
Since February, he is arguably one of the best footballers in Europe's elite leagues.
2. Dusan Tadic, Twente LF, Age: 25
Stat Line: 12 assists, 4.0 key passes per game
Dusan Tadic should be playing for a major European team.
He is a dual-threat in that he creates and scores with 13 goals in the Eredivisie this season.
The front three of Quincy Promes, Luc Castaignos and Tadic have combined excellently for Twente.
1. Koke, Atletico Madrid LW/RW, Age: 22
Stat Line: 13 assists, 1.9 key passes per game
Koke is one of the most complete footballers in the world: He can score, create and tackle.
He can start on the left, right or centre and plays with intensity, which is a prerequisite in a Diego Simeone team.
Koke is set to become one of the greatest players of his generation.