United target has more assists than £200m La Liga trio

Koke

Reported Manchester United target Koke is top when it comes to assists in La Liga, with more than Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Cesc Fabregas.

Last summer it was Thiago Alcantara, Cesc Fabregas and Ander Herrera, but in January the transfer stories relating to Manchester United were all about another La Liga player - Atletico Madrid's Koke.

Every morning for pretty much the entire month, United fans woke up to a fresh story linking David Moyes with a swoop for the Spaniard.  But ultimately the 22-year-old signed a long-term deal with the Diego Simeone's side, a deal containing a reported £50million release-clause.

In the aftermath, United continued to stutter domestically while holding their own in Europe.  And now the Koke stories have gone quiet, with United instead tipped to move for Toni Kroos and William Carvalho during the close-season.

But regardless of the speculation or lack of it, Koke has kept his head down and done his job, to such an extent that he is currently top of the La Liga assists chart with 13.

That puts him ahead of Fabregas and Gareth Bale - who both have 12 - and Cristiano Ronaldo - who currently has eight.  

Those three players last transferred clubs for a combined fee of just over £200million.  And yet Koke has set up more goals than any of them.  It is no wonder Moyes was said to be so keen on the player, and why Atletico were so keen to keep him.

As you can see below, Wayne Rooney leads the assists for United in the Premier League with 10, although only five other players have managed three or more to date.

PlayerGoal AssistMins
Wayne Rooney 10 2,268
Juan Mata 4 955
Patrice Evra 3 2,614
Javier Hernández 3 679
Adnan Januzaj 3 1,422
Robin van Persie 3 1,466

While Koke appears to be an impossible target, United will need to bring in players with the knack for an assist as as well as a goal next season.  So it is quite telling that the man they are said to now have their eye on - Kroos - has managed just four Bundesliga assists this campaign.

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