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Premier League 2016/17: Top 5 Attacking Midfielders

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The season hasn’t kicked off yet, but clubs have already made plenty of signings in the transfer window and on that note, some new talents will be on display in August. These players will join a league that already boasts some magnificent quality.

Going into next season here are our best attacking midfield players, that are set to illuminate the league next term.

These five players had an enormous impact on their respective teams’ form last season, and there is no reason why they shouldn’t repeat their antics in the fresh campaign.

1  Riyad Mahrez

Last season’s Premier League Player of the Year heavily contributed in Leicester’s title triumph with 17 goals and 11 assists. The Algerian international was lethal in tandem with Jamie Vardy, and it seems that the pair will stay at the King Power Stadium this year, despite interest from rival clubs.

Mahrez, 25, won more Man of the Match awards than any other player last season (10), which goes to show just how instrumental he was.

He can cover all three positions behind the striker, but tends to be more efficient when playing on the right flank as it gives him the freedom to cut inside and create chances as well as to get his name on the score-sheet.

Dribbling and passing are arguably Mahrez’s major strengths, while his pace and quick decisions make him a real counterattacking threat. With no apparent weaknesses in his play (well, maybe his aerial abilities), Leicester’s man has to be considered as the best attack-minded midfielder in England at the moment.

2 Dimitri Payet

The French sensation shocked many with his performances last year, and he is undoubtedly West Ham’s leading man going into next season.

Dubbed as the London outfit’s very own Zinedine Zidane, Payet has proven his himself to the football world on both club and international levels as was seen with his stellar performances for France at Euro 2016.

He scored nine goals and recorded 12 assists last season for the Hammers, and if Bilic manages to keep him at the club, he could lift them above 7th place this season.

As well as possessing great dribbling and passing ability, the Frenchman is exquisite when delivering set pieces; scoring a few memorable goals from direct free-kicks – most notably against Man United at Old Trafford.

3 Mesut Ozil

Ozil has been labelled as a new-age Dennis Bergkamp at the Emirates. He’s got all the qualities of the non-flying Dutchman, and while it’s fair to say that Bergkamp is irreplaceable, Ozil comes closest.

The German international collected six Man of the Match awards last season and recorded a mind-blowing 19 assists (best assist tally across Europe’s top five Leagues), six more than Christian Eriksen, and 13 more than the next player from Arsenal in that regard – Olivier Giroud.

Ozil also managed six goals and will continue to be Arsenal’s leading man in 2016/2017. Occupying the number 10 role, his main strengths are key passes, crossing, set-pieces, ball control, and dribbling.

4 Henrikh Mkhitaryan

A similar type of player to Mesut Ozil, Mkhitaryan showed his quality last season with some impressive performances for Thomas Tuchel’s Dortmund side. The Armenian international was involved in 49 goals last season, and he’ll be hoping to replicate that form for Manchester United in the new campaign.

Mkhitaryan will create plenty of chances for Ibrahimovic and the rest of his teammates, and the goal scoring ratio of the team should drastically improve thanks to his technical proficiency.

He can play in any position behind Ibra, and can be equally effective from the right, left, or even through the centre. Through balls, key passes, dribbling and crossing are Mkhitaryan’s primary assets, while he doesn’t have any apparent weaknesses. Manchester United look to have secured a fantastic player here.

5 Christian Eriksen

Eriksen achieved the second highest number of assists in the Premier League last year and was a fundamental part of Tottenham’s best domestic campaign for years.

The Dane recorded 13 assists, created over three key passes per game, and scored six goals in the Premier League. Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino used him as an attacking central or left-sided midfielder, and although Eriksen prefers a number 10 role in the middle of the pitch, it looks like he’s at his best when attacking from the wing.

The 24-year-old has no significant weaknesses and an expert at set-pieces and shots from long range.

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