Most assists in Premier League history: All-time top 20 as Kevin De Bruyne sets up another Man City goal

Manchester City’s 4-0 win over Southampton on October 8, 2022 saw Kevin De Bruyne break the club’s record for the most Premier League assists.

The Belgium star has since taken his tally to 112 in just 259 appearances. His latest came against Tottenham on May 14, 2024, as he set up Erling Haaland to open the scoring in north London.

In England’s top division, he is just the fifth man to reach 100 in the league’s history. The 32-year-old also reached that milestone in record time: he hit the 100-mark having made at least 100 fewer appearances in the competition than any other player who reached a century of assists.

Still, De Bruyne has some way to go to catch the all-time leading assister in Premier League history.

MORE: Watch every Premier League match live with fuboTV in Canada

Who has the most assists in Premier League history?

Ryan Giggs holds the record for the most assists in Premier League history. The Manchester United great provided 162 assists in 632 appearances during his 24-year senior career with the club.

Next on the list is Cesc Fabregas, the former Arsenal and Chelsea midfielder having provided 111 assists. De Bruyne drew level on 111 after assisting Gvardiol’s goal against Fulham.

Only two other players have managed more than 100 in the competition: Wayne Rooney, and Frank Lampard.

Only four of the top 20 are still playing in the Premier League as of 2023/24.

Premier League all-time most assists

  Player Team(s) Assists Appearances
1. Ryan Giggs Manchester United 162 632
2. Cesc Fabregas Arsenal, Chelsea 111 350
3. *Kevin De Bruyne Manchester City 112 259
4. Wayne Rooney Everton, Manchester United 103 491
5. Frank Lampard Chelsea, Manchester City 102 609
6. Dennis Bergkamp Arsenal 94 315
7. David Silva Manchester City 93 309
8. Steven Gerrard Liverpool 92 504
9. James Milner* Leeds United, Newcastle United, Aston Villa, Manchester City, Liverpool, Brighton & Hove Albion 89 634
10. David Beckham Manchester United 80 265
11. Teddy Sheringham Tottenham, Manchester United, Portsmouth, West Ham 76 418
12. Thierry Henry Arsenal 74 258
= Christian Eriksen* Tottenham, Brentford, Manchester United 75 284
14. Andrew Cole Newcastle United, Manchester United, Blackburn Rovers, Fulham, Manchester City, Portsmouth, Sunderland 73 414
15. Ashley Young* Watford, Aston Villa, Manchester United 71 451
16. Darren Anderton Tottenham, Birmingham City 68 319
17. Gareth Barry Aston Villa, Manchester City, Everton, West Brom 64 653
  Alan Shearer Blackburn Rovers, Newcastle United 64 441
19. Matthew Le Tissier Southampton 63 270
20. Nolberto Solano Newcastle United, Aston Villa, West Ham United 62 302

*Denotes active player still in the Premier League

Most assists in a Premier League season

The most assists by any one player in a single Premier League season is 20.

Thierry Henry was the first man to hit that tally, doing so in 2002/03 (in which he also scored 24 goals, behind only Ruud van Nistelrooy on 25). Kevin De Bruyne then matched the former Arsenal star by recording 20 assists for Man City in 2019/20.

De Bruyne registered 16 assists in 2022/23, falling five short of a new record. 

Most assists in a Premier League match

The most assists by any one player in a single Premier League match is four (4). Seven players have managed it, and four of them played for Arsenal at the time.

The first was Dennis Bergkamp, who provided four assists in the Gunners’ 5-0 win over Leicester City in February 1999. It was not until 2006 that the feat was repeated, this time by Jose Antonio Reyes in Arsenal’s 7-0 thrashing of Middlesbrough, when Henry scored a hat-trick to equal Cliff Bastin’s record of 150 league goals for the club.

Thierry Henry Arsenal

Cesc Fabregas got four assists for Arsene Wenger’s side as they recovered from a fourth-minute Steven Nzonzi goal to beat Blackburn Rovers 6-2 in October 2009. Three years later, former Gunner Emmanuel Adebayor set up four goals in the first half alone as Tottenham ran out 5-0 winners over Newcastle.

Order was restored the following May as an Arsenal star became the fifth player to get four assists in a Premier League game: this time, Santi Cazorla helping the Gunners to a 4-1 win over Wigan Athletic that saw their opponents relegated.

It would be another seven years until Harry Kane set up all four of Son Heung-min’s goals as Tottenham defeated Southampton 5-2. Then, in August 2021, Paul Pogba became the first player not in a Spurs or Arsenal shirt to manage four assists in a game in Manchester United’s 5-1 demolition of Leeds United.

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Indeed, the France star reached seven assists in the opening four matches for United in 2021/22, prompting suggestions he could be the first man to reach 21 in a single season — but he only set up a further two goals in England’s top flight before returning to Juventus on a free transfer.

What is an assist?

In football/soccer, an assist is awarded to the player who makes the final pass before a goal is scored by a teammate. It could be a defence-splitting throughball, a pinpoint cross or just a simple nudge of the ball to one side (see Sergio Busquets ‘assisting’ Lionel Messi to score against Real Madrid back in 2011).

An assist doesn’t have to be intentional, though. For instance, if a player scores a goal after the ball bounces kindly to them after hitting the back of their teammate’s head, that teammate will be credited with setting up the goal.

However, a player is not awarded an official assist if he or she wins a penalty for another to score, nor if they have a shot saved by the opposing goalkeeper and a teammate scores from the rebound.

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