The Unlikely Premier League Assist Kings

Scoring goals often wins games and priceless points in the Premier League, but they wouldn’t find the back of the net if it weren’t for an important killer pass, final touch, or nod-down.

One thing the Premier League doesn’t lack is creative players, whose job it is to serve up chances to score, but so far, the most effective providers of assists has produced some surprising names.

We take a look at the players who have required the least number of minutes, to top the assist charts in the opening eight games of the 2018-19 season.
 

Olivier Giroud

The Chelsea striker hasn’t bagged a single goal since his return from winning the World Cup with France, but just like the tournament in Russia in which he didn’t even record a shot on target, his presence in and around the area has proven just as important for his teammates.
 


Image Source: @ChelseaFC via Twitter

Joining from Arsenal just under a year ago in the January transfer windows raised a few eyebrows, but Giroud has shown he’s the perfect target-man for linking up play in the attacking third for Chelsea.

Odds and statistics at https://betting.betfair.com/football/premier-league/ would suggest he’ll have a key role to play for the Blues’ title bid this season, having already provided four assists in just 358 minutes of action.
 

Benjamin Mendy

The 24-year-old left-back is keen to make up for lost time after missing out on the bulk of the 2017-18 campaign, cruelly rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament early last season.

Having already shown glimpses of what he can offer Manchester City prior to the injury, Mendy is now fully fit and flourishing.
 


Image Source: @benmendy23 via Twitter

Another player on the back of a successful 2018 World Cup campaign with France in the summer, Mendy has continued his fine form into the 2018-19 Premier League season.

As his numbers at https://www.premierleague.com/stats show, his marauding runs and intelligent movement have brought four assists in 5 appearances,
 

Luciano Vietto

Very much a player with something to prove, Luciano Vietto appears to have left La Liga after the goals dried up for him in Spain.

After enjoying an excellent first season with Villarreal, scoring 12 goals in 32 league games, things didn’t quite pan out following a move to Atletico Madrid. He didn’t fare much better in subsequent loan moves to Sevilla and Valencia, as the statistics show: https://www.soccerbase.com/players/player.sd?player_id=77382
 


Image Source: @OptaJoe via Twitter

However, the loan move to Fulham has shown there’s much more to Vietto’s game than meets the eye.

Excellent movement and smart runs have seen him provide four assists in 489 minutes, which is arguably just as important as finding the back of the net himself.
 

Johann Berg Gudmundsson

Although passing is considered a weakness according to https://www.whoscored.com/Players/41868/Show/Johann-Berg-Gudmundsson player statistics, crossing and set-pieces along are key strengths for Gudmundsson, which makes him an important creative outlet for Burnley.
 


Image Source: @OptaJoe via Twitter

The Iceland international is once again proving to be a key ingredient for his team, particularly in the final third, already weighing in with four assists during the 556 minutes he’s spent on the pitch, as Burnley look to improve upon their tricky start to the 2018-19 campaign.

Finally, a special mention for two additional players who have already reached four assists. Callum Wilson has made an excellent individual start to the season in attack at Bournemouth, scoring three goals and providing four assists.

Meanwhile, Jose Holebas has been remarkable at left-back, laying on four assists at Watford. However, both players have played every game so far.