The selections have all been made and 90 minsThe shortlist of attacking midfielders claiming to be considered “world class” has been reduced to five of the best in their place – the prerequisite for any “world class” player.
These are the five who made the cut, with the names released one by one over the past few days. But how do they rank against each other and who can claim to be the best attacking midfielder in the world? You are about to find out …
2020 was the year Kai Havertz became the most expensive German footballer of all time, joining Chelsea for over £ 70million and shattering the record set just three months earlier when compatriot Timo Werner agreed to do the same.
It was not without reason for Havertz, who had quickly established himself as one of the best young players in the world. He has experience, intelligence, vision and maturity beyond his years, already having four seasons with Bayer Leverkusen to his credit.
Although he has more pace than your average “number 10” Havertz has always been a measured player, never in a rush or too rushed with the ball at his feet. This quality hasn’t had a chance to shine through at Chelsea, but it’s a matter of when rather than if.
Kai Havertz ranks fifth in the Welcome to World Class 90-minute attacking midfield list. Learn more about why Havertz is world class here.
Paulo Dybala first suffered when Juventus invested heavily in Cristiano Ronaldo in 2018, finding a new attacking focal point. But the Argentine first arrived in Turin in 2015 has gradually returned to his old form to justify his status as Juve’s “jewel”.
In a team that won a ninth consecutive title, Dybala was named Serie A’s ‘MVP’ for the 2019/20 season, as well as player of the month in July when the title race was decided.
Juve have been willing to sell Dybala in the past but there can never be any doubt about the quality he brings and whether it is Juve or another club who he plays for is better thanks to him.
Paulo Dybala sits fourth in the 90-minute Welcome to World Class attacking midfield list. Learn more about why Dybala is world class.
Although Bruno Fernandes was expected to improve on a Manchester United who struggled for creativity, few could have imagined the extent of the impact he would have on the club – Eric Cantona’s comparisons are still too early, but they are increasingly justified.
United originally ditched Fernandes because his creative risk-taking was seen as a waste of possession, but it was what they needed from the start to restore the old ‘united lane’.
Fernandes can be seen as a late bloomer and doesn’t yet have enough luck to make his mark in terms of trophies, but the numbers produced since 2018, both before and since the move to Old Trafford, are better than any other. player from his position.
Bruno Fernandes sits third in the 90-minute Welcome to World Class attacking midfield list. Learn more about why Fernandes is world class here.
Thomas Muller does not look as if he had to be a world class footballer, but nothing could be further from the truth. He’s one of the most decorated players of his generation and has done what all elite players do and has adapted his game over time to stay on top.
Where Muller was once a prolific goalscorer, peaking at 32 in all competitions in 2015/16 – he scores less often nowadays, he is now a master of assists instead and has created up to 21 in total while Bayern Munich won everything in 2019/20.
Muller has learned better than anyone to harness his own strengths and maximize his impact. He’s neither a runner nor a dribbler, but that doesn’t matter because due to his intelligence and efficiency, he’s always one step ahead of the game.
Thomas Muller is second in the 90-minute Welcome to World Class attacking midfield list. Learn more about why Muller is world class here.
There is no better attacking midfielder in the world than Kevin De Bruyne. It’s as simple as that.
Manchester City have enjoyed incredible domestic success in England over the past few seasons but the Belgian has gone overhead and shoulders even his team-mates around this time.
De Bruyne has always been very good, but he really hit his pace last season. His total of 20 assists equaled a Premier League set by modern icon Thierry Henry 17 years earlier and he can see things on the pitch that others just can’t. Likewise, he is not bound by any limit on his position and will drift into areas where he can have the greatest impact.
Yet even for someone so talented, De Bruyne also works incredibly hard. Ability is one thing, but without the right attitude to make it count, you can’t go any further.
Kevin De Bruyne sits first in the 90-minute Welcome to World Class attacking midfield list. Learn more about why De Bruyne is world class here.
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