Tasked with creating goals and chances for their team-mates in addition to popping up with the odd goal themselves, attacking midfielders are often the key for teams performing well. Although the objectives are all the same, there are many ways to go about achieving them and the five players included below certainly demonstrate that. Leave your vote in the poll at the end to help us decide which star will fill the attacking midfield role in The Boot Room’s Premier League Team of the Season.
Undoubtedly the Premier League’s king of assists, Mesut Özil has created 18 goals for his team-mates to date. His performance levels have dropped off since the turn of the New Year, although he was hardly alone in this regard amongst his fellow Arsenal players. This should not take away from the sheer brilliance of his early-season, where it seemed as though he was laying goals on a plate for his team-mates every single week. Arsene Wenger has confirmed that he is looking to secure a new long-term deal for his team’s star German, and you have to feel that tying down his signature is one of the more important items for The Gunners to address in the immediate future.
Despite the apparent relaxed approach which Özil takes up on the pitch, Arsenal’s number 11 consistently covers more ground than any of his team-mates, getting into the areas where he can knit the entire side together. Aside from his assists which are obviously tracked as a statistic to compare and marvel over, when watching the matches themselves, it is also clear that Özil’s incisive passing and almost unrivalled vision is often an indirect contributor to many other goals too. He is well capable of breaking Thierry Henry’s long-standing record for total assists accumulated over an entire campaign, with Arsenal’s legendary former Frenchman sitting only two ahead of Özil at the time of writing. Re-discovering his form between now and the end of the campaign may only have a minor effect on The Gunners’ final standing, but it is important for the player himself on a personal level, as he will be desperate to carry good form into Euro 2016.