Having looked at the more orthodox midfield players in last week’s article, we are now going to look at the players who play a more attacking midfield role. For this, we are going to include players that play centrally, as well as in wider positions as there is a lot of overlap in this particular area of the pitch with players frequently moving positions.

So these are players that tend to be the creative influence on a team that play either just behind a central striker, or as part of a three behind the main striker but in front of the standard midfield players.

This was a tough call to make as I wanted to originally include a separate list for wingers/wide attacking players but there is so much overlap between these two positions, that to do so would be somewhat awkward to differentiate between.

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So let’s now take a look at the top attacking midfielders in the world today.

The Ten Best Attacking Midfielders In The World

  1. Lionel Messi (Paris St Germain)

Who else could it be? He may be reaching his mid-30s now, but Messi is, for me, the greatest player of all time. We haven’t quite seen the very best of him at Paris St Germain just yet but there are signs now that he is fast discovering his best form. But in truth, that doesn’t matter. The reason Lionel Messi tops this list is because he is a football genius and would top any list that I decided to place him in.

  1. Neymar (Paris St Germain)

I could have put Neymar in the attacking top ten next week, but I feel that the Brazilian is best playing a slightly deeper number 10 role and as such, that puts him in this list as second. A generational talent that will likely set new scoring records for Brazil, his ability to beat a player and showboat is unique, but he backs that up with goals and plenty of them. In another era, he would unquestionably be the best player in the world.

  1. Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United)

I don’t think Bruno Fernandes has enjoyed his best time at Manchester United over the last six months or so, but his influence on the team since signing has been immense. Not only has he created goals, but he has weighed in with plenty too and his fierce will to win and determination to succeed does drive United on. A very skilful player who scores all types of goals, United fans will be hoping his partnership with Cristiano Ronaldo can propel them up the table.

  1. Paulo Dybala (Juventus)

Paulo Dybala’s biggest problem is that his talent is probably overshadowed all too often. At Juventus he has been vying with Cristiano Ronaldo for the last few years and at international level, he has Lionel Messi to contend with. Despite that, Dybala is a fantastic talent, blessed with immense skill and ability on the ball. He is also a regular goalscorer too but he is another player that does suffer a lot with injury and that has probably kept him out of the top three on this list.

  1. Bernardo Silva (Manchester City)

For me there is no doubt that Bernardo Silva has been Manchester City’s most impressive player this season so far. The Portuguese ace can play a number of roles for City, and I could have included him in the natural midfield top ten, but I think he is best slightly advanced of that when getting into the opponents box. Few players can match his close control, dribbling ability and vision to see the killer pass. He’s having a superb season for City and deserves the accolades coming his way.

  1. Federico Chiesa (Juventus)

While Jorginho won the plaudits for his performances in Italy’s European Championship triumph, for me it was the attacking play of Federico Chiesa that was the shining light for Italy. His pace, goalscoring and creative ability were the main attacking threat of Italy and he also scored a number of important goals for the team. He is a very talented young player who in the next few years should move up this ranking, especially if he can replicate that kind of form for Juventus on a regular basis.

  1. Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich)

A few years ago Thomas Muller would have been near the top of this list and while the experienced German star may be a little slower than when in his prime, it was no surprise that when Hansi Muller brought him in from the cold, that Bayern’s form turned for the better. He produced a huge number of assists for Bayern last season and this while still scoring goals himself and there are few players who have scored more important goals at important times than the tall Bayern star.

  1. Jack Grealish (Manchester City)

A £100m move to Manchester City, plus a strong showing for England in the Euros this past summer, Jack Grealish is now developing onto the top quality attacking midfielder that he promised when he shone for England U21s. You can already see that his game has improved working with England and with Pep Guardiola on a regular basis and that is only likely to continue in the coming years.

  1. Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund)

But for a career blighted with injuries, I am sure Marco Reus would have been much further up this list. The Dortmund schemer has been a key focal point for his team, linking the midfield with the attack so cleverly and his intelligence and imagination have allowed players like Haaland, Sancho, Bellingham, Reyna, Pulisic and even Lewandowski to shine alongside him. A very self-less player but one with immense talent but who sadly is just a tad injury prone.

  1. Mason Mount (Chelsea)

Since being. Given his chance at Derby on loan from Chelsea by former manager Frank Lampard, Mount has matured into one of the best and most consistent players for Chelsea and for England. His work rate and energy make him a real threat going forward and he also weighs in with his fair share of goals.  He is fast becoming one of the first names on the team sheet for both club and country and played a key role in Chelsea’s Champions League triumph last year.

Join me next week when we move onto the wide striker position, one of the most hotly competitive positions on the field in modern day football.

More Top 10 Lists

Check out our other Top 10 Lists from Ian John: