Passing is the most basic skill in football. If you can’t find a teammate with a simple pass then put your boots away and go and try another sport because it’s the basis of everything.
Passing is the basis of build pressure and creating attacks while preventing the opposition from having any influence on the game whatsoever.
The Premier League is laced with some of the best passing and creative players in the world, showcasing vision on a weekly basis and playing some passes that many of us didn’t even think were possible.
Here are the five best passers in the Premier League this season. Sorry, but central defenders excluded due to the obvious back passes to the goalkeeper.
1) Mathieu Flamini (Arsenal)
Flamini has a passing success rate of 92.9% in the Premier League so far this season.
He’s been a revelation since he joined Arsenal for the second time and the reason his passing is so good is because of the way he plays.
Flamini is the player who aggressively wins back possession for his team before offloading with a simple pass, giving the ball to more creative and forward thinking players.
2) Juan Mata (Chelsea)
Mata is only marginally behind Flamini in terms of passing success with 92.3% of his passes this season finding their intended target.
The Spaniard is one of, if not, the most creative players that Chelsea have available.
Similarly to Flamini, he doesn’t try to be too clever and looks for the simple passes. When was the last time you saw Mata play a pass further than ten yards?
3) John Obi Mikel (Chelsea)
Mikel has a passing success rate of 92% for similar reasons to Flamini.
He’s a holding player in the Chelsea midfield who likes to get stuck in and win the ball back.
He’s surrounded by more creative players in the midfield but also works well with the defence, playing simple passes backwards as well as feeding those more creative midfielders.
4) Yaya Toure (Manchester City)
It won’t surprise many to learn that Yaya Toure is in the top five.
Toure is a box-to-box midfielder, effective in his own half just as much as he is in the opposition’s half.
His skill in terms of being able to find players in space, but also to keep things simple when he’s under pressure has led to a 91.5% passing success rate so far this season.
5) Moussa Dembele (Tottenham Hotspur)
It’s another defensively minded midfielder who completes the top five with a 91.4% passing success rate so far this season.
Dembele has the same defensive attributes as Flamini and Mikel in the Tottenham midfield and he’s just as physical when he tries to win back possession for his team.
He’s made seven appearances, the same as Toure, this season which makes his percentage impressive because it’s drawn out over more games than Flamini, Mikel or Mata.
image: © wonker