Premier League stats: Liverpool's play-making defender and Man United's Daniel James is most fouled

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The Premier League always manages to produce plenty of action and excitement, but it’s also worth taking a step back at the end of each round and looking at the figures that stand out.

There’s nothing like an eye-catching statistic to highlight an event or put something into perspective.

Here, we look at the top five stats from the latest round of fixtures.

NEW ASSIST KING?

Following an injury-ravaged season last term, Kevin De Bruyne has begun this campaign in fine form. It may not have been his most eye-catching assist for Sergio Aguero to break the deadlock at Bournemouth, but it was his 50th in the Premier League.

Having played only 123 games, the Belgian playmaker has reached the milestone in record time. Mesut Ozil was previously the quickest to the mark, taking 141 appearances while Eric Cantona took 143.

JAMES HUNTED

Manchester United’s summer signing Daniel James has received bookings in successive games for simulation and is gaining a reputation as a diver. However, his reprimand on Saturday at Old Trafford seemed rather harsh.

The Welshman’s blistering pace is always going to draw challenges from opposing defenders and following this weekend, no one in the league has been fouled more times (11). Aston Villa’s John McGinn has been brought down the same number of times, but has played 75 minutes more.

[Source: WhoScored]

Daniel James (r)

PLAYMAKING FULL-BACK

Trent Alexander-Arnold was in a personal duel all last season with team-mate Andy Robertson for assists. He finished the campaign with a flurry and hasn’t looked back, assisting twice in three games so far this term.

His assist for Joel Matip against Arsenal marked his ninth his last 10 league games, a phenomenal return for a defender. Of course, his quality from set-pieces has helped him along the way but that doesn’t take away from the sheer number of chances he creates.

His 11 key passes so far this season is second only to De Bruyne (14).

PEPE GETS PAST

It’s finally happened. Virgil van Dijk has been dribbled past in the Premier League, ending a run of 50 games as an immovable object.

Foreign recruit Nicolas Pepe was the chosen one as he beat the Dutchman during Arsenal’s defeat at Anfield.

Van Dijk was last dribbled past in March 2018 by Newcastle’s Mikel Merino. It’s fitting that the man to beat him after nearly a year and half is also starting to look like one of the best dribblers in the league.

No player has completed more than his 11 dribbles so far this season.

BARNSTORMING START

There’s an argument to made that Ashley Barnes may be one of the best finishers in the league. The Burnley striker scored his fourth goal of the season against Wolves and is proving to be incredibly efficient.

Only Aguero (16) and Sadio Mane (15) have scored more goals in the league than the 13 Barnes has managed in 2019.

He’s also very accurate with his efforts and has a conversion rate of nearly 50 per cent. Off his nine shots this term, six have been on target and he scored from four of them.

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