West Ham United’s unsung hero Mark Noble has been England’s most creative midfielder since the beginning of the New Year, Opta Stats illustrate.
The Hammers have been excellent this season, and much of the credit for their impressive rise has gone to players like Dimitri Payet, Manuel Lanzini and Michail Antonio for their contributions in the final third.
But one player who has been just as important is central midfielder Mark Noble, with the 28-year-old arguably in the form of his life as the East London club challenge for a top six spot.
With the European Championships just around the corner, a number of English players will be desperate to make Roy Hodgson’s 23-man squad and Noble should be one of those in contention.
|Team||Key Passes||Accurate Passes||Appearances|
|Mark Noble||West Ham||15||461||8|
As shown by Opta, the former Ipswich Town loanee has been phenomenal thus far in 2016 and has contributed more from a creative standpoint than any other English midfielder.
In fact, only Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey and Chelsea’s Cesc Fabregas have produced more accurate passes than Noble this year while no other English midfielder has created more chances via key passes.
The West Ham favourite won 20 caps for the England U21 squad, but a lack of development in his early twenties meant he missed the boat somewhat in terms of a full international call-up.
The likes of Jordan Henderson, Eric Dier, Ryan Mason and even Leicester City’s Danny Drinkwater have been considered before Noble, yet on current form that should no longer be the case.
Hodgson has a tough decision ahead of him – does he go with the tried and tested or does he go with players on form? Either way, the experienced coach’s decision will be heavily debated.
Should Noble maintain his current form, it would ultimately be a real shame to see him miss out.