While it is the goalscorers who usually grab the headlines in football, players who regularly play the killer final ball are equally sought after at the highest level. In Joshua Kimmich, Marco Reus and several more besides, there were a number of Bundesliga stars who could not stop assisting in 2022.
bundesliga.com takes in the top five…
Regular Bundesliga watchers will not be surprised to see that Sosa went all the way to the semi-finals of the World Cup with Croatia. Despite being a defender and not playing for one of the top teams challenging for honours at the league summit, the 24-year-old is still among the best in the business.
The left-back registered five assists in 14 Bundesliga games in the second half of last season, and has produced the same number in 12 outings in 2022/23. As such, his total of 10 in 2022 is more than twice as many as the nearest teammate. Sosa has also provided far more shooting opportunities (67) than any of his VfB colleagues, and is second behind only Hoffenheim's Angelino (57) for crosses delivered from open play this term (51).
Watch: All of Sosa's assists so far in 2022/23
The Dortmund attacker truly hit his straps in the second half of 2021/22, providing a joint league-high eight assists alongside Kimmich and Christopher Nkunku. The fact he has only added two more to that tally in the current campaign - both of which came in the 3-2 home loss against Werder Bremen on Matchday 3 - is largely due to the fact that he has once again suffered with injuries. After hurting his ankle against Schalke on Matchday 7 he has subsequently only made two brief substitute appearances. Expect plenty more from the BVB captain once he regains fitness in 2023.
How could anyone possibly step out of Nkunku's shadow at Leipzig? Well, Szoboszlai has shown how to do precisely that with his consistently top-class displays in 2022. The Hungarian laid on just four goals for his teammates last term but he has stepped up his game this season. He plundered seven assists prior to the winter break - second only to Eintracht Frankfurt's Randal Kolo Muani. From 11 starts in the current campaign the 22-year-old has one goal to go with the seven he has made, so there is surely plenty more to come across the remaining 19 matchdays this season.
After contributing eight assists in the second half of last season, the Kimmich production line has slowed down somewhat this time around. That's despite the fact that Bayern have scored more goals after 15 rounds of matches than they have done at any point in the last 10 years. Nevertheless Kimmich has still posted three assists (and two goals) so far in 2022/23, while he has set up teammates to shoot more often than any other player in the league: 53 times in the second part of 2021/22, and on 43 occasions in the current season. Bearing in mind he is a defensive midfielder, his numbers are all the more remarkable.
The Frenchman served up a reminder of his qualities in the first half of the year, providing five assists to help Gladbach finish 10th. This season he has carried on where he left off, chipping in seven assists in just 11 league outings.
Watch: All of Plea's assists so far this season
That is in large part due to a positional switch under new head coach Daniel Farke, who has shifted Plea from centre forward to a wide attacker on the left. He has also been helped by the ruthless finishing of 10-goal Marcus Thuram from his crosses.
2022 in review:
Leipzig's Olmo and Szoboszlai to fill Nkunku void
The Bundesliga's top scorer is training again, but until he returns the creative onus will be on Messrs Olmo and Szoboszlai...
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The Bundesliga-based Croatians who finished third at the World Cup
Josko Gvardiol, Andrej Kramaric, Borna Sosa, Josip Stansic and Kristijan Jakic have won 2022 World Cup bronze.