Fernandes, Lampard, De Bruyne: The most prolific midfielder in every season since 00/01

What a season Bruno Fernandes is having!

Unless you've been living under a rock, you'll know that Bruno Fernandes has been lighting up the Premier League in 2020/21.

The Manchester United midfielder has been incredible throughout his first full season in English football, scoring and assisting goals for fun.

In 34 Premier League appearances, the Portuguese playmaker has netted 17 goals and provided 11 assists, numbers that have made him one of the big favourites to win the PFA Players' Player of the Year award.

Fernandes' instant adaptation to the English top-flight got us thinking about how his output compares to other midfielders in the 21st century.

So what we've done is used Transfermarkt to work out the most prolific midfielder (by definition on the stats-based website) in each full campaign since the turn of the millennium.

Fernandes celebrates a goal

Only players who operated in one of Europe's top divisions have been considered for selection, while only goal contributions in league action have been taken into account.

Let's take a look at the winner from each season...

2000/01 | Rivaldo (Barcelona) - 33

Games: 35

Goals: 23

Assists: 10

2001/02 | Michael Ballack (Bayer Leverkusen) - 25

Games: 29

Goals: 17

Assists: 8

Ballack with Leverkusen

2002/03 | Deco (FC Porto) - 27

Games: 30

Goals: 10

Assists: 17

2003/04 | Robert Pires (Arsenal) - 25

Games: 36

Goals: 14

Assists: 11

2004/05 | Marcelinho Paraíba (Hertha Berlin) - 31

Games: 32

Goals: 18

Assists: 31

Marcelinho with Hertha

2005/06 | Ronaldinho (Barcelona) - 35

Games: 29

Goals: 17

Assists: 18

2006/07 | Ronaldinho (Barcelona) - 30

Games: 32

Goals: 21

Assists: 9

2007/08 | Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal) - 27

Games: 32

Goals: 7

Assists: 20

Fabregas with Arsenal

2008/09 | Xavi Hernandez (Barcelona) - 29

Games: 35

Goals: 6

Assists: 23

2009/10 | Frank Lampard (Chelsea) - 38

Games: 36

Goals: 22

Assists: 16

2010/11 | Nene (Paris Saint-Germain) - 27

Games: 35

Goals: 14

Assists: 13

Nene with PSG

2011/12 | Nene (Paris Saint-Germain) - 34

Games: 35

Goals: 21

Assists: 13

2012/13 | Juan Mata (Chelsea) - 28

Games: 35

Goals: 11

Assists: 17

2013/14 | Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund) - 30

Games: 30

Goals: 16

Assists: 14

Reus with Dortmund

2014/15 | Kevin De Bruyne (Wolfsburg) - 31

Games: 34

Goals: 10

Assists: 21

2015/16 | Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Borussia Dortmund) - 31

Games: 31

Goals: 11

Assists: 20

2016/17 | Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur) - 27

Games: 37

Goals: 18

Assists: 9

Alli with Spurs

2017/18 | Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool & Barcelona) - 26

Games: 32

Goals: 14

Assists: 12

2018/19 | Bruno Fernandes (Sporting Lisbon) - 33

Games: 33

Goals: 20

Assists: 13

2019/20 | Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) - 33

Games: 35

Goals: 13

Assists: 20

De Bruyne with City

Ronaldinho, Nene and De Bruyne are currently the three players to have finished a season in the 21st century as Europe's most prolific midfielder on two separate occasions.

Fernandes will almost certainly become the fourth, with the United star currently six goal contributions ahead of second-placed Pedro Goncalves in the 2020/21 standings.

Lampard's haul of 38 goal involvements in a single season is the record for a midfielder this century and it's one that will be incredibly hard to break - even for Fernandes.

The Portuguese came quite close in 2018/19 at Sporting Lisbon, but he still fell five short of Lampard's total in 2009/10.

Proof, if it was needed, that the Chelsea legend is still the finest goalscoring midfielder of modern times.

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