Most Premier League Assists: Creative Kings
Who has assisted the most goals in the Premier League? How about for a single club? Has anyone assisted four goals in a game? We answer all these questions – and more – in our detailed look at assists in the history of the Premier League.
Most Premier League Assists Overall
As a player who has 632 Premier League appearances under his belt, it’s probably unsurprising that Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs tops the list of leading Premier League assisters.
The Welshman provided 162 assists over his Premier League career, which is 51 more than the next best player: Cesc Fàbregas. Fàbregas leads the charts in terms of non-British players, and he’s the only player from outside the UK to reach the century of assists in the competition.
The only other two players to reach the century of assists in the Premier League are Wayne Rooney (103) and Frank Lampard (102). But there is every chance Kevin De Bruyne could eventually reach this tally.
At the time of writing, the Belgian is only 21 assists off becoming the fifth player to hit 100 in the competition, with the only other current Premier League player near the landmark being James Milner on 86. Even Milner would accept that age isn’t on his side to reach 100, with the Liverpool utility man still 14 away.
If De Bruyne does reach 100 in the Premier League, it’s already out of the question that he’d become the youngest to hit the landmark – Cesc Fàbregas was 29 when he assisted his 100th goal in the English top-flight, which is a year younger than the Manchester City star is now (30).
Most Premier League Assists for a Club
Of course, as a one-club man during his career, it’s obvious that Ryan Giggs’ 162 Premier League assists also leads this category, with only Wayne Rooney (93) and David Beckham (80) appearing in the top 10 for Manchester United – but there’s some interesting differences in the rankings.
Dennis Bergkamp has assisted the fifth-most goals in Premier League history overall, but his 94 assists all came for Arsenal in the competition. This means his tally is the second-highest for a single club in the competition, just ahead of David Silva at Manchester City and Wayne Rooney at Manchester United.
Cesc Fàbregas has assisted the second-most goals in the Premier League overall (111), but only 70 of these came at Arsenal, with the other 41 coming in a Chelsea shirt. Steven Gerrard’s 92 Premier League assists all came for Liverpool – with his feats for the Reds meaning he’s one of only six players to have assisted 70+ goals exclusively for one club.
Of current Premier League players, only Kevin De Bruyne appears with his 78 assists for Man City. His first assist in the competition came in a Chelsea shirt in their win over Hull at Stamford Bridge. This assist for Oscar’s goal was the first goal scored in José Mourinho’s second spell as Blues manager. There’s every chance he could become just the second player to assist 100 goals for a single club in the competition if he continues his current trajectory.
Most Assists in a Premier League Season
In 2019-20, Kevin De Bruyne finally ended a 17-year wait for someone to equal Thierry Henry’s phenomenal tally of 20 Premier League assists in 2002-03.
Whilst the Belgian’s overall output that season was impressive with 13 goals to add to his 20 assists, it wasn’t as impressive as Henry’s 2002-03 campaign where the French forward added 24 goals to his 20 assists, meaning his 44 goal involvements for the Gunners that season are the most ever seen by a player in a 38-game Premier League campaign.
Astonishingly, neither playmaker De Bruyne in 2019-20 or Henry in 2003-04 picked up league titles that season, with Manchester City and Arsenal both finishing as runners-up in both campaigns.
Mesut Özil led the way for assists in 2015-16, with 19 for his Arsenal teammates in 35 top-flight appearances. 16 of these came in his first 18 games of that season, with the German international midfielder set to absolutely smash Henry’s previous record of 20, but the final 17 appearances that campaign only yielded three more assists, including one on the final day in a 4-0 win over Aston Villa.
Most Assists in a Premier League Game
We’ve only witnessed seven occasions of a player assisting four goals in a single Premier League match, with Paul Pogba’s quadruple for Man Utd against Leeds United earlier this season the latest.
In fact, until Pogba’s efforts we were starting to think it was a north London cheat code to grab four assists in a Premier League match.
The first six occasions between the inaugural 1992-93 season to 2020-21 all came from either an Arsenal player (4) or from someone playing for Spurs (2).
Dennis Bergkamp – Arsenal vs. Leicester City (February 20, 1999)
José Antonio Reyes – Arsenal vs. Middlesbrough (January 14, 2006)
Cesc Fàbregas – Arsenal vs. Blackburn Rovers (October 4, 2009)
Emmanuel Adebayor – Tottenham Hotspur vs. Newcastle United (February 11, 2012)
Santi Cazorla – Arsenal vs. Wigan Athletic (May 14, 2013)
Harry Kane – Tottenham Hotspur vs. Southampton (September 20, 2020)
Paul Pogba – Manchester United vs Leeds United (August 14, 2021)
Of the seven players listed above, Fàbregas, Adebayor and Kane also scored a goal in this match – meaning they were involved in five goals in total in that performance. This isn’t a record for goal involvements in a single game, with both Jürgen Klinsmann (Spurs vs. Wimbledon in May 1998) and Alan Shearer (Newcastle vs. Sheffield Wednesday in September 1999) having six goal involvements in those appearances.
Most Premier League Assists without a Goal
I bet you didn’t open this article and expect to read about Alan Kimble, did you. Well, you’re here and this is happening. Wikipedia tells us that Kimble “was known to get to the byline and lump the ball upfield to the strikers”. Well, it worked, as he assisted 24 goals in the Premier League for the Dons – that’s a joint-high with Neil Ardley.
Unfortunately for Kimble, his gifts were never reciprocated by his teammates as he never scored a goal in his 181 appearances in the Premier League. This makes him the player to have assisted the most goals in the Premier League without having scored one himself.
Special mentions to both Kenny Cunningham (16 assists) and Rob Jones (11 assists) for also setting up teammates for goals but never being scorers themselves. However, Cunningham scores an extra point for being the outfield player to have played the most Premier League games without ever scoring (335 apps).
Youngest Player to Assist a Premier League Goal
Two 16-year-olds have assisted a Premier League goal since it began in 1992. Wayne Rooney may be one of only four players to have assisted over 100 Premier League goals, but he was beaten to the youngest record by Aaron Lennon by 98 days.
Lennon assisted a goal in Leeds United’s defeat to Arsenal at Elland Road in November 2003 while aged just 16 years, 199 days old. This eclipses Rooney’s assist for Everton against Spurs in August 2002 when he was only 16 years, 297 days old.
Jonathan Leko only ever assisted two goals in his 14 Premier League appearances, but both came as a 17-year-old – one of only 16 players to assist a goal in the competition before their 18th birthday.
Oldest Player to Assist a Premier League Goal
I could have given you 100 guesses to correctly get the oldest player to ever assist a goal in the Premier League, and I’m very confident you wouldn’t have picked it right.
Goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar assisted a goal for Manchester United in their February 2011 meeting with Aston Villa when aged 40 years, 95 days old – the oldest assister for a goal in the history of the competition. This was the Dutchman’s only Premier League assist, coming in his last of 10 seasons as a player in the competition.
On the subject of goalkeepers, Paul Robinson assisted the most goals in the Premier League of all ‘keepers, while he was also one of only five to score a goal in the competition, thanks to his 2007 strike against Watford at White Hart Lane.
Fellow former England international Teddy Sheringham is the oldest outfielder to assist a goal in the Premier League, setting up a teammate in West Ham’s game with Wigan back in March 2006 at 39 years, 357 days old – just shy of his 40th birthday.
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