Chelsea’s Cesar Azpilicueta has completed more forward passes than any other player in the Premier League since the start of the 2016/17 season as revealed on Twitter by Squawka.
The versatile defender has played the ball towards goal an impressive 1398 times in just over a year, and clearly acted as the instigator of his side’s buildup play during last season’s title winning campaign.
He is, according to Squawka’s calculations, followed in second place by Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka (1384), who has been among the club’s main playmakers since his arrival from Borussia Mönchengladbach last summer.
The Swiss international has not been without his critics, however, particularly following Arsenal’s disappointing start to this season.
In third place there is a tie between Nicolás Otamendi of Manchester City and Jan Vertonghen of Tottenham – both having completed 1360 forward passes.
Both have been required to play out from the back under coaches that are notorious for encouraging the use of ball-playing defenders, Pep Guardiola and Mauricio Pochettino.