Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta became the first Premier League player to complete 2,000 passes this season, data courtesy of EA SPORTS can reveal.
Azpilicueta, who arrived at Stamford Bridge as a right-back in 2012 but has since been converted to left-back and centre-back, is also the only Premier League player in 2016/17 to have completed 1,000 or passes in the opposition half.
To be precise, 1,003 have come in the opposition half, while the Spaniard’s 2,040 overall puts him 119 ahead of the next most prolific passer in the league, Granit Xhaka (1,921).
Not only is Azpilicueta the most prolific passer, he’s also the only defender in a top 10 that is otherwise completely dominated by midfielders. And arguably the most valuable of his passes was the one that set up Michy Batshuayi to seal Chelsea’s fifth Premier League title.
Manchester United pair Paul Pogba and Ander Herrera have each completed in excess of 1,800 passes in the Premier League this season, while Azpilicueta’s Chelsea team-mate and PFA & FWA award winner N’Golo Kante also features among the top five.
In the top 10, it is Xhaka who has the highest completion rate, successfully finding his intended target with 89.19% of his passes. Kante (88.66%) and Bournemouth’s Harry Arter (88.17%) are the only others with completion rate over 88%.
Pogba (84.94%) and Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson (85.91%) have the lowest completion rate among the top 10 most prolific passers.
|Player||Passes Completed||% Pass Success|
|Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea)||2,040||87.18%|
|Granit Xhaka (Arsenal)||1,921||89.18%|
|Paul Pogba (Man Utd)||1,816||84.94%|
|Ander Herrera (Man Utd)||1,815||87.59%|
|N’Golo Kante (Chelsea)||1,783||88.66%|
|Harry Arter (Bournemouth)||1,767||88.17%|
|Jordan Henderson (Liverpool)||1,767||85.91%|
|Fernandinho (Man City)||1,761||86.32%|
|David Silva (Man City)||1,695||87.33%|
|Mesut Ozil (Arsenal)||1,681||86.47%|
Data Courtesy of EA SPORTS, the Lead Partner of the Premier League