Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil provided the assist for Danny Welbeck’s winner against Leicester on Sunday, and it continued what has been a remarkable season for the German.
It was Ozil’s 17th assist of the season, just one short of the tally that Chelsea’s Cesc Fabregas managed last season, a league-high 18. With a massive 12 games still left in the campaign, Ozil appears well on course to break Gunners’ legend Thierry Henry’s all-time Premier League record of 20 assists in a season.
Against the Foxes, Ozil also became just the 13th player to have created over 100 chances for his team-mates in a season, having put Arsenal players in goal-scoring positions 106 times.
To give that number some context, the most chances created in a season by Manchester United winger Ryan Giggs and Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard is 104. It’s fair to say Ozil has been on fire this season.
The former Real Madrid player is creating chances at a rate of 4.4 chances per game. If he features in all of Arsenal’s remaining league matches and continues to be so prolific, he will create 159 chances this season. Frank Lampard currently holds the record with a 134 chances in a season.
Not only would Ozil blow Lampard’s mark out of the water by some distance, but the Chelsea legend was already some way above the rest in the standings.
Most chances created in a Premier League season:
134 – Frank Lampard (08/09)
117 – Florent Malouda (10/11)
116 – Cesc Fabregas (06/07)
116 – Leighton Baines (12/13)
114 – Frank Lampard (09/10)
We’re not sure what’s harder to believe: Ozil’s record pace or the fact that Florent Malouda makes that list.
For the record, Eden Hazard created the most chances last season with 99, a number that’s looking rather paltry now.
If Arsenal fans weren’t already over-the-moon with delight about Ozil’s showings this season, there is even more reason for cheer. Often accused of being a player who goes missing in big games, Ozil has come to the fore when it’s mattered most for the Gunners this season.
Ozil has managed two assists against league leaders Leicester, two more against fourth-placed Manchester City, an assist against rivals Tottenham, and an assist and a goal thrown in for good measure against Manchester United.
Should Arsenal end their Premier League title drought this season, they’ll have the 27-year-old in no small part to thank.