The English Premier League is no doubt one of the most exciting and well-watched football leagues in the world. Most fans watch the games for the excitement of watching a ball fly past a hapless goalkeeper.
While the goalscorers may get acclaim for finding the net, a small army of highly proficient players create those goals. That army is the assisters, the ones who make those often magic goals. Here are the top ten assist makers in Premier League history:
Ryan Giggs (Manchester United, 162 assists)
The former Wales international and head coach enjoyed a trophy-laden career with his one club Manchester United. In fact, Giggs is the most decorated British player of all time. He not only won the English top-flight title on 13 occasions but also won the Champions League twice, the FA Cup four times and the League Cup on three occasions.
Giggs played for United for 21 years, making an incredible 963 appearances for the Red Devils. The longevity of Giggs’s career was a big help in amassing an incredible 162 assists, which is by far the most assists of any top-flight player in the Premier League era.
Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal and Chelsea, 111 assists)
While Giggs’ record is impressive, Fabregas’ 111 assists playing for London rivals Arsenal and Chelsea are not to be sniffed at. The Spanish star made his Arsenal debut at just 16 after joining the Gunners from Catalan giants Barcelona.
Fabregas’ class shone through, even at 15 when he first trained with the Gunners’ first team. His vision and superb passing ability made him one of the best midfielders of his time in the English top flight.
Fabregas fulfilled his childhood dream of returning to his childhood club Barcelona in less-than-ideal circumstances before making the even more controversial switch to the Gunners’ London rivals Chelsea in 2014.
The midfielder went on to pick up two Premier League title winner’s medals with the Blues. His best season for assists came in season 2014/15 when he produced 18 assists to help Jose Mourinho’s Blues team to the English top-flight title.
Wayne Rooney (Everton and Manchester United, 100 assists)
Some consider England’s record goalscorer as one of the best players of his generation. After making his breakthrough into first-team football at the tender age of 16 with Everton, he went on to become a Manchester United legend.
While Rooney scored 208 Premier League goals, the second-highest tally of any player, he was also adept at creating goals for his teammates, producing a highly respectable 103 assists during his top-flight career.
Frank Lampard (West Ham, Chelsea and Manchester City, 102 assists)
Lampard was another player who enjoyed an illustrious trophy-laden playing career. The former England international was known for his ability to score goals from midfield. However, it is easy to forget that he was also a major creative force during his playing days.
Lampard produced 102 assists during his Premier League career, with the bulk of those coming in the blue of Chelsea, 90 to be precise. He is one of only three players who have produced a century of goals and assists during the Premier League era.
The midfielder’s highest assist tallies came during the 2004/05 season and also in 2009/10, as he produced 16 assists in each campaign, helping the Blues to top-flight titles in both campaigns.
Kevin De Bruyne (Chelsea and Manchester City, 95 assists)
While at Chelsea, he was considered a bright young talent but wasn’t playing enough football. The Belgian international left for a stint in the Bundesliga with Wolfsburg, where he became a far better player before moving to Manchester City in 2015 for a fee of around £50million.
De Bruyne has since gone on to become arguably one of the best midfielders the Premier League has ever seen. His vision and long-range passing have helped De Bruyne create 95 assists in the English top flight.
When it comes to assists, De Bruyne has the honour of holding the joint record for assists in one season, with his tally of 20 assists matched only by Arsenal legend Thierry Henry.
Dennis Bergkamp (Arsenal, 94 assists)
Although the Dutchman was primarily a striker and scored 87 goals during his time in the Premier League with Arsenal, Bergkamp was the complete footballer who could also create for his teammates. The fact that he picked up 94 assists shows just how good a footballer the former Inter Milan star really was.
When it comes to football intelligence, few matched the Dutchman on a Premier League pitch during his time in north London. His goals and assists helped Arsenal to three titles.
David Silva (Manchester City, 93 assists)
Silva will go down as one of the best midfielders to ever grace a Premier League pitch. The diminutive Spaniard become one of the key cogs in City’s early Premier League triumphs. His skill, movement and passing ability earned him the nickname ‘The Magician’.
The former Spanish international helped City to win the Premier League title under three different head coaches before he exited the club in the summer of 2020 when he returned to his homeland with Real Sociedad. He is quite simply a Manchester City legend.
Steven Gerrard (Liverpool, 92 assists)
Gerrard was Liverpool’s man for the big occasions, as the former England international often rescued his team when they really needed it. Some argue that the midfielder was the best English player of his generation. Gerrard scored over 100 goals for his boyhood club and provided 92 assists during his glittering career.
Despite a trophy-laden and spectacular career with Liverpool, a Premier League title alluded Gerrard. He is considered by many to be the best player, never to have won a Premier League title.
James Milner (Leeds, Newcastle, Aston Villa, Manchester City and Liverpool, 86)
The Peter Pan of English football, James Milner, made his debut for Leeds United at just 16, even becoming the Premier League’s youngster ever goalscorer with the Whites. The midfielder has enjoyed an incredible Premier League career that spanned two decades.
His ability to adapt and his reliability have helped Milner’s longevity. He has always been on hand throughout his long career to assist his teammates in scoring goals, as his record 86 assists attests to.
David Beckham (Manchester United, 85 assists)
The midfielder made his United debut in 1995 against Leeds and went on to become a Premier League icon during his career. Although not the quickest or the most skilful, Beckham had the uncanny ability to produce goals from set pieces, whether scoring or creating goals for others.
Beckham is one of only two players in Premier League history to produce ten or more assists in four straight league campaigns, a record set between 1997 and 2001.