Eden Hazard’s slalom through the Arsenal defence last weekend may well have sealed the Premier League title for Chelsea, but it also underlined his undisputed status as the Premier League’s dribble king: the Belgian has become the first player to complete 100 dribbles in the top flight this season.
As any team-mate will tell you, with dribbles it’s not just the quantity but the quality: there’s no point showboating your way to losing possession. Our chart, using data courtesy of EA Sports, shows how Hazard – the only top-flight player to complete an average of more than one dribble per 10 minutes – is also the only player in the top 10 who has completed more than 75% of his dribbles.
Perhaps surprisingly, Boro speedster Adama Traore is second in the list of completed dribbles and also almost as reliable as Hazard, with just under 75% completion. By contrast, relegation rival Wilf Zaha has completed only just over half his dribbles – so while Traore has only lost the ball 31 times, Zaha has turned over possession on 74 occasions.
Further down the list are stellar names like Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez, Manchester United’s Paul Pogba, Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling and Liverpool’s Sadio Mané – but by the time you reach Jack Wilshere in 10th with 50 completions, that’s already less than half the number piled up by the Don of the Dribbles: Eden Hazard.
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Gary Parkinson is a freelance writer, editor, trainer, muso, singer, actor and coach. He spent 14 years at FourFourTwo as the Global Digital Editor and continues to regularly contribute to the magazine and website, including major features on Euro 96, Subbuteo, Robert Maxwell and the inside story of Liverpool's 1990 title win. He is also a Bolton Wanderers fan.
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