James Ward-Prowse stands out as West Ham’s best playmaker in 2023/24

West Ham United dropped the curtain on a tumultuous 2023/24 Premier League campaign with a 3-1 defeat to champions Manchester City.

For the first time since the 2019/20 season, we have failed to qualify for European football after finishing ninth in the Premier League table.

Despite a rather underwhelming campaign, there were a few positives for the Hammers faithful to focus on, including James Ward-Prowse, who stood out as a value-for-money acquisition.

The former Southampton skipper set us back around £30 million, but he has justified every penny of his price tag, especially after a blistering start to the season.

He quickly established himself as a lynchpin in David Moyes’ system, notching two goals and five assists in his first five games across all competitions.

Ward-Prowse exceded his reputation as a set-piece specialist, quickly becoming an indispensable playmaker, crucial to Moyes’ set-up.

While there was a significant drop off in form toward the second half of the season, Ward-Prowse still ended the campaign as the best playmaker in the Hammers squad.

The 29-year-old bagged seven goals and seven assists in 37 Premier League games, averaging 1.7 key passes per 90.

The England international also created a remarkable 12 big chances, with a 6.25 expected assist (xA). He recorded an impressive 116 shot-creating actions this season, averaging 3.48 per 90.

Ward-Prowse’s tally ranks him as our best playmaker, edging Mohammed Kudus, who is arguably our signing of the season.

Kudus notched eight goals and six assists in 33 Premier League appearances, creating five big chances.

He slots in behind Ward-Prowse for shot-creating actions, recording 100, although he boasts a higher per 90 rate than his English counterpart (3.62).

Underfire Brazilian midfielder Lucas Paqueta rounds up our top three best playmakers, recording 95 shot-creating actions, averaging 3.26 per 90.

The Brazil international is currently facing a fight to save his career after being charged with alleged betting misconduct by the English FA.