Some of the most creative players of all time have graced the Premier League since the division was created in 1992.
In the current era of fantasy football, where one or two assists can be the difference between a good or bad week, players who create goals are recognised more than ever before.
That applies to no one more than Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne, who last month registered his 76th Premier League assist to break into the division’s top-10 most creative ever players.
Despite enduring a lengthy spell on the side lines this season, the Belgian still has 10 assists to his name and is only behind Bruno Fernandes and Harry Kane in this campaign’s assist table.
Considering De Bruyne’s world class ability, it is easy to see why City are already reportedly in talks to keep the playmaker at the Etihad beyond the end of his current contract in 2023.
In tribute to De Bruyne’s creative genius, we’re taking a look at the top 10 players with the most assists of the Premier League era.
10. Teddy Sheringham – 76
Coming in at number 10, with 76 Premier League assists is three-time league winner, Teddy Sheringham. The former England international, who made 418 Premier League appearances between 1992 and 2007, registered an impressive number of assists despite playing as a striker. At 40 years, 272 days, Sheringham also appears in the list for the top 10 oldest ever Premier League players.
10. Kevin De Bruyne – 76
In what feels like a temporarily held position, that man Kevin De Bruyne currently holds the same number of Premier League assists as Teddy Sheringham. Since joining from VfL Wolfsburg for £54million in 2015, De Bruyne has become arguably the best player in the league. Still only 29, it will be interesting to see where the Belgium international stands in this list once his Premier League playing days are over. With two league titles to his name, De Bruyne will be hoping to make it a hat-trick of trophies this season by furthering his goal and assist contributions.
9. David Beckham – 80
A man who needs no introduction, David Beckham is confirmed as the ninth most creative player of the Premier League era with 80 assists. The first (and only) player on our list with an OBE, by the time Becks left for Real Madrid in 2003 he had six league titles to his name after 265 appearances. The former England international was part of a dominant United side in the 90s and early 00s and regularly whipped in pinpoint crosses for Andy Cole and Teddy Sheringham to finish off.
8. James Milner – 85
Liverpool’s evergreen 35-year-old enters our list in 8th position, with 85 assists to his name after an incredible 23 seasons spent in the Premier League. After spending time at Leeds United, Newcastle United, Aston Villa, Manchester City and now Liverpool, James Milner has made 554 league appearances. The versatile former England international regularly makes headlines for winning Liverpool’s pre-season fitness tests and looks to have several years left in his legs to potentially move up the all-time assist table.
7. Seven Gerrard – 92
We move from a present Liverpool midfielder in 8th position, to a former Liverpool midfielder with the 7th highest number of Premier League assists. Steven Gerrard is one of only two one-club players in our top 10 and registered 92 league assists during his 17-year career with the Reds. 504 appearances for the Merseyside club resulted in 120 goals but, infamously, 0 league titles. Has there ever been a better player never to win England’s top division?
6. David Silva – 93
Entering our list in sixth position, with 93 Premier League assists, is former Manchester City magician David Silva. The little Spaniard spent 10 years with the Citizens between 2010 and 2020 and will go down as one of the most technically gifted players to have ever graced these shores. Now aged 35, Silva is back in his home country playing for Real Sociedad.
5. Dennis Bergkamp – 94
He may have hated flying, but Dennis Bergkamp sure loved an assist – 94 to be exact. Playing behind the likes of Thierry Henry, Nicolas Anelka and Ian Wright for much of his Arsenal career, Bergkamp helped the Gunners to three league titles and a Champions League final. At the end of the 2005/06 season, the Dutchman called time on his career after 552 appearances and 201 goals.
4. Frank Lampard – 102
Introducing this list’s first centurion in terms of assists, Frank Lampard. In an impressive 609 Premier League appearances, Lampard managed 102 assists and 177 goals. Chelsea’s all-time leading goalscorer, the former England international is a bona fide Chelsea and Premier League legend, though his success as a player is yet to be replicated in management.
3. Wayne Rooney – 103
Having just one more assist than our fourth placed creator of goals, Wayne Rooney sneaks into the top three with a total of 103 Premier League assists. With five league titles and 208 goals to his name, Rooney was certainly worth the £25.6million Manchester United paid for his services in 2004. After playing as a striker for most of his career, Rooney moved into defensive midfield towards the end of his playing days where his exceptional passing ability was utilised.
2. Cesc Fabregas – 111
With the second-most Premier League assists of all time is pizza thrower himself, Cesc Fabregas! In recent years, Fabregas admitted that he threw a slice of pizza at Sir Alex Ferguson in what was later dubbed the Battle of the Buffet at Old Trafford in 2004, but his bigger achievement was registering 111 Premier League assists during his time at Arsenal and Chelsea.
1. Ryan Giggs – 162
Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs is the outright leader of our list, with 162 Premier League assists. The Welshman made 672 appearances for United between 1990 and 2014, scoring 114 goals. Giggs has 77 more assists than the closest current player, James Milner, so it is hard to imagine his record being overtaken anytime soon.