Who has been the Premier League's best midfielder so far this season?
By Nick Wright
Last Updated: 12/01/16 9:53pm
Who has been the Premier League's top-performing midfielder in 2015/16?
Riyad Mahrez and Mesut Ozil are two of the strongest contenders, but plenty of others have also impressed.
What about Everton's Ross Barkley, Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne or Leicester enforcer N'Golo Kante?
Here, we examine a wide range of Opta statistics to see how they rank…
Most successful passes
|Yaya Toure||Man City||980|
|Daley Blind||Man Utd||964|
The most prolific midfield passer in the Premier League has been Bournemouth's Harry Arter, who has successfully completed 1,107 so far. Chelsea's Cesc Fabregas and Everton's Gareth Barry follow not too far behind, while Ozil, Fernandinho and Santi Cazorla have also surpassed the 1,000 mark.
Pass success rate (min 300 passes)
|Player||Team||Pass success rate|
|Morgan Schneiderlin||Man Utd||90.49|
|Carles Gil||Aston Villa||89.78|
|Juan Mata||Man Utd||88.89|
Of midfielders to have made at least 300 passes, Arsenal's Francis Coquelin has been the most efficient, with 91.47 per cent finding a team-mate. He is closely followed by Swansea's Ki Sung-yueng of Swansea, while Manchester United's Morgan Schneiderlin, Stoke's Ibrahim Afellay, Arsenal's Cazorla and Swansea's Leon Britton have also completed over 90 per cent of their passes.
Premier League assists
|Kevin de Bruyne||Man City||8|
|David Silva||Man City||7|
Ozil stands head and shoulders above the rest in terms of assists, with twice as many as his nearest competitor, De Bruyne. The German is well on course to beat Thierry Henry's record of 20 assists in a single Premier League season. Below De Bruyne, David Silva joins Barkley and Mahrez on seven.
Premier League goals
|Kevin de Bruyne||Man City||5|
|Dimitri Payet||West Ham||5|
|Yaya Toure||Man City||5|
|Yohan Cabaye||Crystal Palace||5|
While Ozil dominates the assists category, it's Mahrez who is top for goals scored. The Algerian has smashed 13 in the Premier League this season, eight more than Newcastle's Georginio Wijnaldum, who scored four in a single game against Norwich in October.
Swansea's Andre Ayew has scored six, the same number as Barkley, while the likes of Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho, Tottenham's Dele Alli and Yaya Toure have hit five.
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Premier League chances created
|Kevin de Bruyne||Man City||55|
|Dimitri Payet||West Ham||49|
Chances created is another area in which Ozil dominates. His whopping total of 84 has come at a rate of 4.4 per game, and he only needs to create 16 more to match the highest total of any player for the whole of last season (Eden Hazard with 100).
De Bruyne is second on 55 following his impressive start to life at Manchester City, with Tottenham's Christian Eriksen and Southampton's Dusan Tadic next on the list. In terms of chances created per game, however, West Ham's Dimitri Payet is second to Ozil on 3.8 per game having missed a large chunk of the season through injury.
Clear chances created
Premier League clear chances created
|Player||Team||Clear chances created|
It comes as little surprise that Ozil has also produced the most clear chances, with 21. Mahrez is the only other player to have reached double figures (12) with Newcastle's Moussa Sissoko and Southampton's Sadio Mane next on eight each.
Amazingly, Ozil's total of clear chances created is higher than eight Premier League sides have managed in total (West Brom, Bournemouth, Sunderland, Swansea, Aston Villa, Newcastle, Norwich and Watford).
|Yohan Cabaye||Crystal Palace||46|
|Idrissa Gueye||Aston Villa||45|
|Cheikhou Kouyate||West Ham||44|
Midfield work isn't all about what you do with the ball, so what about without it? The Premier League's top midfield tacklers are Leicester's Kante and Liverpool's Lucas Leiva (58), two defensive-minded players who have impressed this season.
Tackle success rate (min 30 tackles)
|Yohan Cabaye||Crystal Palace||85.19%|
|Jason Puncheon||Crystal Palace||82.86%|
Of players to have attempted a minimum of 30 tackles this season, Emre Can is the most efficient, with 37 of 40 completed giving him a success rate of 92.5 per cent. Bournemouth's Arter (87.5 per cent) and Crystal Palace's Yohan Cabaye (85.19 per cent) also rank highly.
Premier League interceptions
|Yohan Cabaye||Crystal Palace||66|
|Idrissa Gueye||Aston Villa||64|
|Claudio Yacob||West Brom||53|
|James McArthur||Crystal Palace||46|
That man Kante is top for interceptions too, with 81 putting him well clear of his nearest competitor Cabaye (66). Aston Villa's Idrissa Gueye (64) and Watford's Etienne Capoue (62) are third and fourth respectively.
Distance per 90 mins (minimum 700 mins)
|Player||Team||Distance per 90 mins|
|James McClean||West Brom||12.39km|
|Marco van Ginkel||Stoke||12.26km|
Who works the hardest? Surman tops the distance covered charts with 243.22km so far this season, but it's his team-mate Dan Gosling who comes out on top for distance per 90 minutes (13.12km).
The industrious James Milner is in second with an average of 12.69km covered per 90 minutes, followed by Tottenham's Alli (12.52km), West Brom's James McClean (12.39km) and Stoke's Marco van Ginkel (12.26km).
Which midfielder do you think has been the best in the Premier League this season? Let us know by tweeting @SkyFootball