Barcelona star’s century helps him top the European midfield charts

VITORIA-GASTEIZ, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 03: Ilkay Gundogan of FC Barcelona celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the LaLiga EA Sports match between Deportivo Alaves and FC Barcelona at Estadio de Mendizorroza on February 03, 2024 in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain.
Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

At the beginning of this season for Barcelona, the main stars of the transfer window arrived at the end. Both the two Portuguese acquisitions were heralded as being game changers for the Blaugrana side when they came in. However, the true transfer hero for Barcelona came in as a permanent transfer, and still ended up costing nothing for said transfer.

The man in question is none other than Ilkay Gundogan, who arrived from Manchester City in the summer transfer window. Looking back from now, it becomes clear as day that it was one of the smartest bits of business Barcelona have done in a long time.

In terms of the team’s overall level of play, much of the improvements in the attacking half can be attributed to Gundogan. Statistically, as highlighted by Mundo Deportivo, this becomes even more apparent. The 33-year-old midfielder has become the first in his position to reach a century of chances created across Europe’s top leagues.

With 100 chances created across all competitions, Gundogan tops the charts in this metric already. In fact, within the top 10 midfielders with the most chances created, the 33-year-old Barcelona man is one of the only two La Liga players present.

Most of this particular list is dominated by Premier League footballers, with names like Bruno Fernandes of Manchester United being prominent. Isco, from Real Betis, is the only other representative present from the Spanish league.

However, when it comes to the best creators from La Liga alone, Gundogan is still the only Barcelona player in the top ten. Real Madrid have three representatives on that list, and Villarreal have two. Sevilla, Celta Vigo, Atletico Madrid, and Real Sociedad also each have one player representing them.

For Barcelona specifically, the player who creates the most chances after Ilkay Gundogan is Joao Cancelo. The Portuguese fullback has created 37 chances across all competitions this season. He is then followed by Pedri (35), Raphinha (35), Ferran Torres (30), and Lamine Yamal (30).

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