Real Madrid's Isco and Manchester United's Henrikh Mkhitaryan - Top 10 in form attacking midfielders

Brendon Netto 5/09/2017

Isco is the talk of the footballing world at the moment as he appears to be finally putting his immense talent on show for all to marvel at.

The Real Madrid star scored twice as Spain thrashed Italy 3-0 on Saturday to close in on qualification for the World Cup.

Isco’s career at Real Madrid got off to a mixed start. After joining in 2013, it has taken some time for him to flourish but has now established himself under Zinedine Zidane in the last year.

His measured free-kick on Saturday opened the scoring 13 minutes in for Spain before he doubled his side’s advantage with drilled effort just before half-time.

He also produced a scintillating display with his overall performance in midfield, dancing past players and even leaving with Marco Verratti red-faced with a cheeky nutmeg.

Isco is considered arguably the best attacking midfielder in the world on current form.

Here’s our top 10.


Given Arsenal’s poor start to the season, Mesut Ozil may be a surprise inclusion but even when the German doesn’t appear to be making a solid enough impact, he’s still creating chance after chance.

In fact, despite failing to register an assist, the playmaker has averaged four key passes a game in the Premier League so far this season, only Henrikh Mkhitaryan has managed more (4.3) but has five assists to show for it.

Meanwhile, Ozil shone in Germany’s 6-0 rout of Norway on Monday night, scoring and assisting for the national team.


Despite angling for a move away from Leicester City this summer, the Algerian remains at the Liberty Stadium.

To his credit though, he hasn’t kicked up a fuss but has instead put his head down and been professional.

Mahrez has started the new season in fine form, registering two assists for The Foxes so far.


Topping the assists charts in the Bundesliga with 19 last season, Emil Forsberg doesn’t look like he’s going to slow down.

The Swede has one assist in two games this season and got on the score sheet for Sweden on Sunday.


Like Ozil, David Silva has also averaged four key passes a game in the league this season but has two assists to his name at Manchester City.

While the Spaniard has struggled with injury last season, he’s started this term in fine form and appears to be key to Pep Guardiola’s plans.

Even with the rise of Kevin de Bruyne and the arrival of Bernardo Silva, he remains the man entrusted with orchestrating City’s attacks.


At just 24, Nabil Fekir has taken on a leading role at Lyon.

The skipper is at the heart of every attack and has three goals and an assist in the opening four games of Ligue 1 this season.


The England international is one of the most promising talents in Europe and is proving so again this season.

He’s already bagged two goals in the opening three Premier League fixtures with Tottenham and got on the score sheet against Malta on Friday as well.

The 21-year-old only appears to be growing in confidence with every passing game and will be a central figure for England come Russia 2018.


The former Liverpool man has thrived at AC Milan and the start of this season has been no different.

In only five outings, he already has two goals and four assists to his name. His match-winning performance against Cagliari in Serie A particularly stands out.

At only 23, Suso earned a call-up to the latest Spain squad and could have a role to play in the World Cup next summer.


After an average first season at Manchester United that featured some moments of brilliance but plenty of inconsistency as well, Henrikh Mkhitaryan appears to have come into his own at the start of this campaign.

The Armenian has already registered five assists in three league games this season as Jose Mourinho’s played him in his favoured No10 role.


While Alli is more prolific for Spurs in front of goal, Christian Eriksen is the one who makes them tick.

The Dane pulls the strings in midfield and has already notched up three assists in as many league outings this season.

Meanwhile, he’s also had his shooting boots on for Denmark, scoring a beauty and picking up three assists in a 4-0 win over Poland on Friday before scoring a sublime free-kick against Armenia on Monday night.


Apart from his phenomenal display for Spain against Italy, Isco has also become a key figure in a star-studded Real Madrid side.

Zinedine Zidane has even altered the system to play to the strengths of the Spaniard, while it also benefits an aging Cristiano Ronaldo to more as a centre forward along with Karim Benzema.

Isco was the driving force behind Madrid’s charge to retaining their Champions League title last season.

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Barcelona new boy Ousmane Dembele eyes titles with club

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Ousmane Dembele.

Barcelona’s new signing Ousmane Dembele said Monday he had eyes firmly fixed on winning titles and a place in France’s squad at next year’s World Cup.

Dembele, 20, transferred to Barca from Borussia Dortmund in a 105 million-euro ($125 million) deal that could rise to 145m with add-ons depending on his performance, as the Catalan giants splashed out to fill the gap left by Neymar’s own world record 222m-euro move to Paris Saint-Germain.

“What I want is to be here, to play with the world’s best players,” Dembele said in an interview with Mundo Deportivo newspaper.

The best players, he said, “are at Barca and it’s for that reason I came here. To win titles for the team and then to be able to be with the France team at the World Cup in Russia”.

Dembele again played down any comparison with Neymar.

“Neymar is a great player and I still have to strive to improve, to play as I know and offer up my best qualities,” the Frenchman said.

“I like to dribble and give the decisive pass to my teammates.

“What I hope is to be able to adapt well to the team and to know them all, Messi, Suarez, Iniesta… But above all, to have a good entry into the squad.

“At Rennes I played more down the left wing, but also down the right and sometimes in midfield. At Dortmund, it was the same, I alternated wings. I don’t have problems with the position I’ll take up.”

Dembele acknowledged that Barca had been interested in signing him last season, but he said he “would not have played what I needed to”.

“I had only been playing professionally for half a year. I had to learn more,” he said.

Dembele will now form a fearsome forward line alongside five-time World Player of the Year Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez as Barca aim to wrestle the Champions League and La Liga titles back from rivals Real Madrid.

He will have to wait, however, until at least September 9 to make his debut when Barca host Espanyol in a Catalan derby.

Dembele announced himself as one of Europe’s top prospects with a stellar season at Dortmund, scoring 10 goals, after joining from Rennes for just 15 million euros a year ago.

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Harry Kane measures his goal record versus Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, reveals Gareth Southgate

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Harry Kane

Gareth Southgate has revealed England striker Harry Kane measures his goal record against perennial Ballon d’Or contenders Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Tottenham striker Kane is a back-to-back golden boot winner at Premier League level and a brace against Malta on Friday took his international tally to 10 in 20 games.

With five of those coming in the past three games he is looking increasingly comfortable with the demands of leading his country’s attack and the Three Lions boss is impressed with just how high the forward’s sights are set.

“He’s in top form, but he’s also got the mentality to want to be the best,” said Southgate on the eve of Monday’s World Cup qualifier against Slovakia.

“He knows where he’s sitting. I asked him how many goals in how many games and he knew. He also knew how many Ronaldo had at this point, how many Messi had at this point and everybody else.

“He’s driven to be one of the world’s best and why can’t that happen moving forward?”

A quick look at the numbers suggests Kane is still some way short of the mark set by the Barcelona and Real Madrid rivals, regardless of his own impressive stats.

Kane turns 25 next July, an age at which Messi had netted 26 times for Argentina with Ronaldo boasting 22 for Portugal.

But Southgate is clear about just how big an asset he is and says the Spain manager shares the same view.

“I was having some interaction with Julen Lopetegui at a game and he was commenting on how lucky I was to have Harry playing,” he said.

“I have every trust in Harry. I’ve worked with him long enough, from the under-21s through, and he’ll deliver whatever the occasion.

“Harry is still in the early stages of his career, but he’s top scorer in the league two years running and in a really good place.

“You’ve got to have that drive and belief, and that’s what he’s got. He had that when we weren’t picking him in the under-21s. He’d come and say: ‘Hold on a minute, why? What’s the rationale?’ I never minded that self-belief. That’s all important.”

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