Aston Villa and Leicester duo the Midlands’ best players in key area

Ashley Westwood, Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy have made an impression so far this season.

Aston Villa midfielder Ashley Westwood and Leicester City duo Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy are the most creative Premier League players in the Midlands so far this season.

The Foxes have begun the season brilliantly, picking up where they left off at the end of the previous campaign to take 15 points from their opening eight matches.

Goals certainly haven’t been a problem at the King Power stadium, with Claudio Ranieri’s men netting 17 times and being among the most creative in the league.

It’s little wonder Mahrez and Vardy top the charts in terms of creativity in the Midlands, with Villa, West Bromwich Albion and Stoke City having only scored 22 times combined.

  TeamKey PassesAppearances
Riyad Mahrez Leicester 18 7
Ashley Westwood Aston Villa 17 8
Jamie Vardy Leicester 14 8

As Opta stats show, Algeria winger Mahrez comes out on top having created as many as 18 chances via key passes in seven Premier League outings.

He didn’t start Leicester’s last game at Norwich City, a decision which, while slightly controversial, in the end paid dividends as he came on against tired legs and helped his side hold out for a 2-1 win.

Among the Leicester duo in the top three, however, is Villa’s central midfielder Ashley Westwood - a rather surprising inclusion considering his role in Tim Sherwood’s side.

Villa have struggled desperately this season, picking up just one point in their last seven matches and looking devoid of any real confidence and team spirit.

However, Westwood - who has received plenty of criticism from Aston Villa fans so far this season - is actually one of the few pulling his weight in the creativity department. Sherwood must be questioning why his struggling central midfielder is currently far more creative than any of his natural attacking players.

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