When thinking of the most creative defender in the league, it would be easy to look at the top six and suggest a full-back who has participated in a number of team goals this season.
Manchester City are the league’s leading scorers with 77, while the newly-crowned Premier League champions Chelsea are second with 70 and Arsenal third in 66.
Liverpool are some way behind on 50, but the Reds’ summer acquisition of Alberto Moreno was a positive move in an attacking sense given the Spaniard’s ability to roam up and down the left flank.
Yet, surprisingly the league’s most creative defender is in fact Leighton Baines – featuring for a Toffees side who have spent most of the season languishing in lower mid-table.
|Team||Chances Created||Chances Created Openplay||Appearances|
|Pablo Zabaleta||Man City||26||22||27|
As per the table provided by Opta Stats, the England international has created as many as 70 chances for his teammates via key passes, 34 more than the next best.
One area which may help the former Wigan man achieve such a tally is his ability to deliver a superb set-piece, but he also tops the assist charts in open play.
The Toffees have struggled to replicate their success during Roberto Martinez’s debut campaign on Merseyside, yet Baines has admirably managed to maintain his very high standards.
Martinez’s side have netted just 46 times this campaign, but with Baines creating chances with such regularity one has to question the efficiency of the strikers, especially record-signing Romelu Lukaku.