While the end of season accolades tend to centre around the Player of the Season and Golden Boot awards, the race for the so-called silver-boot is being run by two of the most talented midfielders of the Premier League era.
The duo have quietly undergone their business throughout the entirety of the season, and considering their creative talent, it comes as little surprise to see their names at the top of the English top flight assist rankings.
Tottenham’s 4-0 victory over Bournemouth at White Hart Lane saw Christian Eriksen leapfrog his Belgian counterpart momentarily, as he provided the final pass that led to Mousa Dembele’s opening strike against the Cherries.
However, less than 24 hours later, De Bruyne hit back with two assists in Manchester City’s 3-0 victory away to Southampton – providing unmissable opportunities for Leroy Sane and Sergio Aguero.
And, while the duo have Swansea‘s Gylfi Sigurdsson lying closely in their wake – with 11 assists to his name – the South Wales outfit’s miserable form is enough to suggest that he will not surpass either player before the end of the campaign.
This is a tussle that will undoubtedly play out until the final hour of the 2016/17 Premier League season, with no clear winner currently in sight. However, if the statistics are anything to go by, we are able to predict the early favourite.
Despite De Bruyne currently occupying pole position, it is Eriksen who holds the strongest hand as we approach the final weeks of the campaign. Assists aside, the Denmark international has been the English top flight’s creative maestro this term, fashioning more key passes than any other player (80).
Boasting 2.58 chances created per game, compared to a rate of 2.20 managed by De Bruyne and 1.55 by Sigurdsson, it is perhaps only his team-mates finishing which has prevented him from taking an unassailable lead.
This is quite an incredible suggestion, considering some of the scorelines by which Tottenham have won this season. Nonetheless, with the Lilywhites rolling over teams while remaining only in first gear, it is conceivable that they have been more wasteful than it might appear.
The fact is, Christian Eriksen has been the Premier League’s stand-out creative player this season, despite his impressive displays falling somewhat under the radar. And, as the title race intensifies, with just four points separating second-place Spurs and leaders Chelsea, he is likely to play a pivotal role.[interaction id=”58f4e766240e61ee26bf2376"]
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