Crossing, an important facet of the game, may not be in the sweetest lot of actions when viewed from the stands but it is as effective as the good old passing when it comes to finding the back of the net. Here we take our time in finding the players in the premier league, who more often than other find their team-mates in the center with absolute precision.
In a league like EPL, where pace and strength face testing times every now and often, crosses are pretty fruitful in getting better of the opposition. The inviting deliveries from the sidelines often get caught up by the first defender, but the following players have developed a knack in themselves to find the touch of the strikers to fabricate fruition.
(As we have only considered open play situations for a clearer view, Leighton Baines cannot make it to the list as most of his successful crosses were from set-piece situations. Also we have considered players who played at least one season of Premier League football, hence, Angel Di maria, who could have easily made into this list, has not been considered. All tabulated stats are from last season stats powered by OPTA)
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5. Steven Gerrard
The Liverpool captain is considered a master in set-piece situations. But apart from that, he has also an eye for open-play crosses. Last season, he topped the list of assists in Premier League and quite a few of them were from open-play.
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The Turkish-origin German midfielder has already made a name for himself with his play-making abilities. Apart from ground passing, he has also mastered the art of crossing. The truth will reveal if we look at a few stats of him. His numbers at his former club Real Madrid were more convincing, as he produced 2.5 accurate crosses per game there. After joining EPL, his form seemed to falter a little but the class of Mesut Ozil still stays intact as we can expect quite a few number of cross-led assists from the ‘Assist King’ this season.
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3. James Ward-Prowse
The 19 year old Central midfielder from Southampton stands a little above Ozil in our list. For his exquisite crossing ability, he is often trusted with the set-piece situations. This season may very well be the emergence of the youngster as one of the talented English midfielders of the Premier League.
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2. Samir Nasri
The creative ability of the Frenchman was always beyond doubt and now he can be considered as the third best crosser in Premier League community. As far as last season’s statistics is concerned, he found himself among the top few in the list of number of accurate crosses delivered into the 18 yard box.
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The West Ham winger was the best crosser in Europe last season as far as statistics can tell. He amassed 52 successful crosses with a record of 2.6 accurate crosses per match. This season he already surpassed his last season’s average by creating 2.7 accurate crosses per game. Most importantly, 71.3% of his crosses was from open-play which shows the clear impact of the former Liverpool man’s presence on the flanks. The English footballer was not the hero of a season, but he was consistent in his display over the years which make him the best open-play crosser in Premier League this season.