Jadon Sancho (l.) has more assists (14) than anyone else in Europe's top five leagues, including Barcelona's Lionel Messi (r.). - © DFL/Imago
Jadon Sancho (l.) has more assists (14) than anyone else in Europe's top five leagues, including Barcelona's Lionel Messi (r.). - © DFL/Imago
bundesliga

Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho ahead of Barcelona's Lionel Messi as Europe's top assist provider

Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho is the top goal provider in European football - ahead of Barcelona's Lionel Messi - after chipping in with yet another assist against Schalke on Bundesliga Matchday 31.

England winger Sancho set up Mario Götze's opening goal in the 4-2 derby defeat, and has now created 14 goals this season – a feat no other player can match across Europe’s top five leagues with Messi and English Premier League duo Ryan Fraser (Bournemouth) and Eden Hazard (Chelsea) his closest rivals on 13.

The 19-year-old's tally is the most by any English player across the top European divisions since Frank Lampard in 2009/10. He is also the youngest player in Bundesliga history to post so many single-season assists, overtaking Götze's tally of 11 (2010/11).

Ex-Wolfsburg maestro Kevin De Bruyne, now of Sancho's former club Manchester City, holds the all-time assist record for a single Bundesliga campaign (21, 2014/15).

Watch: See what makes Jadon Sancho so effective for Dortmund

Sancho’s form has seen him become a key component for Dortmund, first being used from the bench by Lucien Favre to punish tiring defences. The Londoner's dazzling displays earned him a starting spot from September on – as well as a new contract and an England cap in October – and he demonstrated his importance once again either side of the international break.

On Matchday 26, Dortmund were trailing Hertha 2-1 at half-time and, having lost top spot to Bayern on goal difference only the previous week, needed a victory to maintain pressure at the summit.

Cometh the hour, cometh the Sancho. Within two minutes of the restart, the teenager's devilish corner into the box was headed home by Dan-Axel Zagadou to restore parity. Then, just when it looked like the match would end in a frustrating draw for BVB, Sancho popped up inside the Hertha penalty area in the second minute of stoppage time and flicked the ball inside to Marco Reus, whose first-time shot nestled in the net to seal a precious victory.

Jadon Sancho has become the leading provider of goals in Europe in 2018/19. - 2019 DFL

With Reus absent on Matchday 27 due to the impending birth of his first child, Sancho proved to be one of the few bright sparks in a performance that didn't have Dortmund's usual insatiable verve.

Eleven shots on goal in a single game - of which Sancho had two himself - was below expectations bv BVB standards this season, but despite being frustrated by Wolfsburg, Favre's charges snatched a win with two more goals in stoppage time.

After Alcacer netted a free-kick in the 91st minute, Sancho was able to capitalise on the Wolves pushing for an equaliser just minutes later. The winger left Maximilian Arnold trailing in his wake with a cheeky bit of skill to break into the box before squaring for Alcacer to sweep home Dortmund's ninth goal in injury time of the season.

Sancho scored both goals in the win over Mainz to become the youngest player in Dortmund history to reach double figures in a single campaign, before adding his 11th of the campaign against Freiburg a week later.

That's 11 goals and 14 assists in 31 Bundesliga appearances, in just his second season as a professional...

Marco Reus and Jadon Sancho (l-r.) have been two stars for Borussia Dortmund in 2018/19. - imago images / Thomas Bielefeld