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Top 10 best attacking midfielders in the top 5 European leagues (2024)

As of 2024, the role of an attacking midfielder has become ever more pivotal in the world of football, blending the art of playmaking with goal-scoring prowess. These players, often referred to as the “number 10s,” are tasked with creating scoring opportunities, navigating tight spaces, and often tipping the balance in tight matches with moments of brilliance. Their role requires a blend of vision, creativity, dribbling, and an eye for goal, making them indispensable to their teams. Here’s a list of the top 10 attacking midfielders who have mastered these attributes and are making a significant impact on the global stage:

1. Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid)

Since moving from Borussia Dortmund to Real Madrid, Jude Bellingham has continued his meteoric rise as one of the most talented and complete midfielders in world football. Not traditionally an attacking midfielder, Bellingham’s box-to-box capabilities allow him to impact the game significantly in both defensive duties and attacking forays. His robust physical presence, coupled with an exceptional ability to read the game, dribbling, and passing skills, enables him to contribute to goals, assists, and crucial plays. Bellingham’s maturity, leadership on the pitch, and consistent performances against top-tier competition have solidified his status as a key player for both his club and the England national team.

2. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)

Widely regarded for his vision, passing, and shooting, De Bruyne continues to be the centerpiece of Manchester City’s attacking prowess. His ability to dictate the pace of the game makes him one of the best in his role.

3. Florian Wirtz (Bayer Leverkusen)

After bouncing back impressively from a major injury, Wirtz has reestablished himself as one of the brightest young talents in football. His vision, precise passing, and knack for scoring make him a central figure in Leverkusen’s attacking ambitions.

4. Cole Palmer (Chelsea)

As one of the emerging talents within Manchester City’s star-studded squad but eventually signed for Chelsea, Cole Palmer has begun to carve out his niche as a versatile and highly skilled attacking midfielder. Known for his technical ability, composure on the ball, and knack for finding the back of the net.

5. Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich)

Musiala has become a symbol of versatility and creativity in midfield for Bayern Munich. Known for his exceptional dribbling, ability to navigate through tight defenses, and surprising maturity on the field, he is a key playmaker and goal scorer for his team.

6. Martin Ødegaard (Arsenal)

As the captain of Arsenal, Ødegaard has truly come into his own, blending creativity, leadership, and an eye for goal. His ability to dictate the pace of play and contribute in both goals and assists underlines his importance to the team’s success.

7. Phil Foden (Manchester City)

Foden, with his exceptional technical skills, has grown into one of the most exciting talents in the world. His versatility allows him to excel in various attacking roles.

8. Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United)

Fernandes has been instrumental for Manchester United, known for his work rate, goal-scoring, and assist record. His leadership on the field also stands out.

9. Bernardo Silva (Manchester City)

Silva’s intelligence, work rate, and technical skill make him one of the most adaptable midfielders. His ability to contribute both goals and assists is vital for his team.

10. Hakan Çalhanoğlu (Inter Milan)

Hakan Çalhanoğlu has established himself as one of the most proficient set-piece specialists in the world, playing a crucial role in Inter Milan’s midfield. Known for his exceptional vision, passing accuracy, and lethal ability from free-kicks, Çalhanoğlu is a central figure in creating scoring opportunities for his team. His versatility allows him to operate effectively as an attacking midfielder or deeper in the midfield, where his creativity and precise distribution can dictate the pace of the game. His transition to Inter Milan has seen him become an indispensable part of their setup, contributing significantly with goals and assists.

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