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Hazard leads tight race for Playmaker award

20 Feb 2019

Chelsea forward one ahead of nearest rivals for assists accolade

Chelsea winger Eden Hazard is leading the charge in the tight race for the Cadbury Premier League Playmaker of the Season award.

The prize is given to the player who has produced the most assists during the course of the season and Hazard, with 10, is in poll position.

The Belgian began to edge away from the pack in December after setting up both goals in the 2-0 win that ended Manchester City’s 21-match unbeaten run.

City surge

But over recent weeks Man City duo Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane have moved to within only one of the Chelsea No 10, who has not recorded an assist for four matches.

Sane will be particularly eager to add to his haul, having narrowly missed out on last season’s inaugural award to club-mate Kevin De Bruyne, who pipped him with a stoppage-time assist in the final match of 2017/18 to move on to 16 assists for the campaign.

Hazard, however, can take heart from the fact that Chelsea have currently played one match fewer than the champions.

Race for the Playmaker award
Player Club Assists
Hazard CHE 10
Eriksen TOT 9
Fraser BOU 9
Sane MCI 9
Sterling MCI 9
Pogba MUN 8
Moutinho WOL 7
Salah LIV 7
Pogba on the charge

Tottenham Hotspur’s Christian Eriksen and AFC Bournemouth midfielder Ryan Fraser are also very much in the reckoning, sitting level with Sterling and Sane in second place on nine.

Outside the top five, Paul Pogba has joined the race with eight assists.

The Frenchman’s resurgent run of form since the arrival of caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could yet propel the Manchester United midfielder to top spot.

The contenders will have to go some to match the record for assists in a season, though.

That belongs to Thierry Henry, who played the final ball for a team-mate to score on 20 occasions in the 2002/03 season.

Also in this series

Part 2: Pressure on Alisson to claim Golden Glove
Part 3: Salah looks to profit in race for Golden Boot

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