OM's Dimitri Payet led the charge for Ligue 1 Conforama players in terms of passing stats in Europe's top five leagues, even topping the uber-talented Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City in one category… key stats.
A formidable passer, Dimitri Payet consistently served up caviar for his teammates throughout the season. The main man in André Villas-Boas' 2019-20 OM side, Payet was also the number one scoring threat, involved in 13 goals in 22 Ligue 1 Conforama matches. Be it close to goal or as a creator, the man from Réunion shone, establishing himself as one of the best passers in Ligue 1 Conforama and Europe.
In terms of passes leading directly to shots, the OM No10 is top of the heap, dominating the competition in the five major European championships. His average of 4.1 passes leading to a shot per game is ahead of Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne (3.9), while another Ligue 1 Conforama player, PSG's Angel Di Maria, completes the podium (3.3).
A continent-wide benchmark in the passing game for several seasons, De Bruyne ranks first in raw numbers (102 passes leading to a shot), but over a greater number of games (26 versus 22 for Payet). The Olympique de Marseille player comes just behind the Red Devil after delivering 90 such passes this season, ahead of Di Maria, third with 85 in 26 games.
PSG well represented
Three Paris Saint-Germain players also distinguished themselves with some extremely crisp distribution this season. To start, Marco Verratti is the player with the most passes per game on average among the five major European championships, making 83.7 passes per game, ahead of Bayern Munich's David Alaba (80.5) and PSG team-mate Idrissa Gueye (76.5).
Defender Thiago Silva, renowned for his ability to play out of defence, has two podium finishes to his name. Firstly, the Brazilian racked up the second-highest percentage of successful forward passes, at 89.8%. Another Brazilian defender, Marlon Santos (89.9%), formerly of OGC Nice and now playing for Sassuolo in Italy, is just a whisker ahead, while Manchester City's John Stones is third on the podium with 89.3%.
Thiago Silva is third in another category, that of successful pass percentage. With 94.5%, he finishes close to the leader, John Stones (94.9%), while another Ligue 1 Conforama player - OL's Belgian stopper Jason Denayer (94.6%) - is in second place.