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Payet, Di Maria, Boudebouz: the history of the assist

Publish on 24/03/2020 at 11h00

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Since the introduction of the Conforama Ligue 1 assists table in the 2007-08 season, Dimitri Payet (OM) has been at the top of the list of players still active in the league. With 82 goals set up for his teammates, the Marseille man is ahead of Parisian Angel Di Maria (56) and Sainté's Ryad Boudebouz (54).

With his 82 assists in Ligue 1 Conforama since the introduction of the table, Dimitri Payet has risen to the top of the ranking of the leagues best currently active assist providers. His consistency has been rewarded with the title of top assist provider for the 2014-15 season, when he conjured 16 assists for his team-mates, including six for André-Pierre Gignac, and was six lengths clear of his nearest rival (PSG's Javier Pastore).

Dimitri Payet: Assists leader

From AS Saint-Etienne to Olympique de Marseille and LOSC, the man from the Indian ocean island of Réunion has made the passing game a major part of his style of play, delivering 30 assists from set-pieces. That's 18 more than Angel Di Maria, his runner-up in the Ligue 1 Conforama's top assist providers still in the French game.

Bolstered by his devastating skill with the final ball, Marseille playmaker Payet has been successful in many areas, notably succeeding with 78% of his passes in his 371 matches among the elite. Payet has made 3.5 passes leading directly to a shot per match during this period - further proof of his attacking impact and inspiration in the final third of the pitch. Moreover, neither Angel Di Maria nor Ryad Boudebouz can present a better ratio than Payet's conjuring one shot per 23 minutes. In the match away to Nîmes (2-3, R27), the Marseille man also made a superb fourth assist in the 2019-20 exercise, the second in favour of Dario Benedetto.

Angel Di Maria: One assist every 190 minutes

The second-best assist provider currently active in Ligue 1 Conforama, Angel Di Maria (PSG) has been a zen master of the final ball since he arrived in France. He came on in the 66th minute for his debut for Paris Saint-Germain on 30 August 2015 at AS Monaco (0-3), delivered his first assist just minutes later. Since then, the Argentine's statistics have been boosted by a further 55 goals set up for his teammates.

El Fideo is so good at this that he has an assist every 190 minutes in Ligue 1 Conforama, a ratio far higher than Payet's (one every 327 minutes). The most recent of these were the two he managed in the same match against Girondins de Bordeaux (4-3) on 23 February. He is Ligue 1 Conforama's current assist leader with 14, which should give him hope of a second top assists title after the one he snagged in 2016.

Ryad Boudebouz: More than 50 passes per game

The current AS Saint-Etienne midfielder made the first Ligue 1 Conforama assist of his career on 21 February 2009 with FC Sochaux-Montbéliard. Since then, the Algerian international has repeated the feat no fewer than 53 times. This places him third in the ranking of the top currently active assist providers in Ligue 1 Conforama. Precise, selfless and team-minded the Algerian has delivered 20 of his assists from set-pieces.

With 51.3 passes per game, more than Dimitri Payet (42.3) and Angel Di Maria (40.5), Ryad Boudebouz is a key component of AS Saint-Etienne's set-up this season. The newcomer (he returned from a tint in Spain in the summer) made his fourth assist of the season against Girondins de Bordeaux (1-1) on 8 March, more than 11 years after his first.

The top 10 currently active assist providers in Ligue 1 Conforama:

1. Dimitri Payet (Olympique de Marseille): 82 assists

2. Angel Di Maria (Paris Saint-Germain): 56 assists

3. Ryad Boudebouz (AS Saint-Etienne): 54 assists

4. Jimmy Briand (Girondins de Bordeaux): 49 assists

5. Romain Hamouma (AS Saint-Etienne): 40 assists

6. Renaud Cohade (FC Metz): 36 assists

7. Florian Thauvin (Olympique de Marseille): 35 assists

8. Marco Verratti (Paris Saint-Germain): 33 assists

9. Wahbi Khazri (AS Saint-Etienne): 31 assists

10. Christophe Jallet (Amiens SC): 30 assist