Top 10 Premier League Assist Makers: Manchester club legends dominate list

Top 10 Premier League Assist Makers: Manchester club legends dominate list
22nd October 2022; City Stadium, Manchester, England; Premier Leage football, Manchester City versus Brighton and Hove Albion; Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City crosses the ball into the box - Photo by Icon sport

The Premier League has been a stage for some of the most exhilarating footballing talents in the world. While goal scorers steal the headlines, there is a group of players who possess the extraordinary ability to create opportunities for their teammates.

These are the assist makers, the visionaries who possess the vision, technique, and creativity to unlock defences and provide the decisive pass. Their contributions are invaluable to the success of their teams, and they have etched their names in the history of the Premier League.

These players have provided the crucial link between midfield and attack, often being the unsung heroes behind the goal scorers. They have shaped the way we perceive playmaking, inspiring future generations to master the art of the killer pass.

Get ready to witness the brilliance and creativity of these assist maestros as we unveil the top 10 Premier League assist makers of all time, showcasing their remarkable achievements and highlighting the impact they have had on the beautiful game. From the legendary Ryan Giggs to the modern-day magician Kevin De Bruyne, we explore their journeys, their unique styles, and the records they have set along the way.

10. David Beckham – 80 assists

Becks made the news by enticing Lionel Messi to Inter Miami. But during his playing days, he was one of the finest dead-ball specialists of all time. As a young midfielder, he captured the hearts of Man United fans everywhere when he burst onto the scene in the late 1990s, with his iconic technique and pinpoint crosses supplying his teammates with endless opportunities.

After over a decade in England, Beckham went on to conquer both Europe and the United States, once again captivating his audiences with expert deliveries from out wide, with his range of passing, free-kicks and corners finding the feet and heads of some of the world’s best players. He was at the height of his prowess for the Red Devils from 1997-2001, laying down double-digit assists in their trophy-laden period.

9. James Milner – 87 assists

At 37, James Milner is still going strong. He made his debut in 2002 as a wide-eyed 16-year-old boy for Leeds United and is one of the last Premier League veterans. His versatility, commitment and dedication have not gone unnoticed by fans and past employers, alike. Leeds, Newcastle, Aston Villa, Man City and Liverpool all testify to this model professional, whose accurate crosses and precise passing have created 87 top-flight goals so far.

The 37-year-old’s numbers have declined in recent seasons, entirely understandable given the role he has been given by Jurgen Klopp. As he inches closer to Brighton after ending his association with the Reds in the summer, Milner will hope to improve this statistic. Roberto de Zerbi has a penchant for getting the most out of his players and he may creep his way above Gerrard if given the opportunity.

8. Steven Gerrard – 92 assists

With 92 assists and 120 goals to his name, Steven Gerrard is widely regarded as one of the greatest midfielders in Premier League history. His impact on the game extended far beyond his goal-scoring abilities, as he possessed a unique talent for creating opportunities for his teammates. He will forever be remembered for his ability to take control of matches and single-handedly change their outcome.

With the ball at his feet, he orchestrated the flow of play, dictating the rhythm and tempo of Liverpool’s attacks. His vision and passing range were simply exceptional, allowing him to thread clinical through balls and execute pinpoint long-range passes with effortless precision. Moreover, Gerrard’s assists were not mere statistical achievements, but rather game-changing contributions that often led to crucial goals.

7. David Silva – 93 assists

The magician of Manchester City left an indelible mark on the Premier League with his mesmerizing performances and exceptional playmaking skills. Throughout his ten-year tenure in City’s midfield, Silva contributed 93 assists in 309 games, playing a central role in the club’s remarkable success between 2010 and 2020. He also hit the back of the net 60 times in this period.

Silva’s ability to orchestrate attacks and unlock defences with his precise passes was a sight to behold. The Spanish maestro was a key figure in City’s transformation into a dominant force in English football. It was his intelligent movement and awareness on the pitch that allowed him to create numerous goal-scoring opportunities for his teammates. Despite his slight frame, Silva possessed the uncanny ability to find the right pass at the right moment in the physical elite of English top-flight football.

6. Dennis Bergkamp – 94 assists

The former Arsenal striker defied traditional expectations by not only being a prolific goal scorer but also an exceptional creator. With 94 assists to his name, Bergkamp’s creative brilliance surpassed even his impressive goal-scoring record of 87 goals for the Gunners. His technique, vision, and selflessness endeared him to fans and made him an invaluable asset for both club and country.

Bergkamp’s ability to find his teammates thanks to his innate understanding of the game made him a deadly force in the final third. His vision and selflessness were evident in his gameplay, as he constantly looked to create scoring opportunities for his teammates. Whether it was a perfectly weighted through ball or a clever flick, Bergkamp could unlock defences and set up his teammates for success.

5. Frank Lampard – 102 assists

The former midfielder has not had the best of times at the helm of Chelsea’s dugout but during his playing career left a lasting impression at Stamford Bridge with his exceptional goal-scoring ability and his equally impressive assist-making prowess. Lampard not only holds the record as Chelsea’s all-time leading goal scorer in the Premier League but also sits at the top of their assists table, highlighting his multifaceted talent and contribution to the club’s success.

Lampard’s impact on the pitch was undeniable. He found his teammates with precision passes and created goal-scoring opportunities that were a testament to his vision and footballing intelligence.

Whether it was his deadly accurate dead-ball deliveries or his inch-perfect through balls, Lampard consistently displayed his exceptional technical skills and understanding of the game. For Chelsea fans, his ball to Ramires to equalize against Barcelona will forever live in their memories.

4. Kevin De Bruyne – 102 assists

The Belgian maestro has been the epitome of creativity since his return to the Premier League in Manchester City colours. Known for his impeccable vision, precise passing, and ability to unlock defences, De Bruyne has been a key contributor to Manchester City’s success. With 102 assists to his name, the 31-year-old has shown remarkable consistency in providing goal-scoring opportunities for his teammates.

During the 2022/23 campaign in which City completed a famous treble, he contributed with 18 assists as his ability to deliver inch-perfect crosses, defence-splitting through balls, and deadly set-pieces has made him a nightmare for opposing teams. He finished the campaign with 31 assists across all campaigns and was a driving force in unlocking Erling Haaland’s potential, who himself finished with 52 goals in 53 outings.

3. Wayne Rooney – 103 assists

Wayne Rooney is a name synonymous with Premier League greatness. While his brief return to Everton may have been memorable for the fans, it was his time at Manchester United that truly showcased his remarkable abilities as a goal scorer and an assist maker. While his astonishing goal-scoring prowess was evident throughout his career, he was not just a finisher.

Rooney possessed the vision and creativity to create scoring opportunities for his teammates, adding another dimension to his game. Given the needs of the side, he adapted to a withdrawn role, combining his goal-scoring instincts with his playmaking skills that made him a formidable force on the pitch. His impact on the Premier League will forever be remembered, as a prolific goal scorer and a skilled assist maker, solidifying his status as one of the league’s greats.

2. Cesc Fàbregas – 111 assists

During his time with Arsenal and Chelsea, the pass-master found himself in the centre of the action. It was his exceptional ability to control and distribute the ball made him a joy to watch, and he showcased his talents throughout his career in England and abroad. As a young prodigy at Arsenal, Fàbregas mesmerized fans with his skilful displays, precise passing and resolute presence.

After a brief hiatus from England to play at his boyhood club Barcelona, he cemented his legacy in the Premier League with Chelsea. During his five-year stint at Stamford Bridge, Fàbregas’s defence-splitting passes endeared him to the Blues. Across his 350 appearances in the Premier League, the midfielder recorded an impressive tally of 376 through balls and 1,364 accurate long passes.

1. Ryan Giggs – 162 assists

The Manchester United legend stands at the pinnacle of Premier League assist makers, leaving an enduring legacy in the competition. With an incredible 632 appearances, second only to Gareth Barry’s 653, Giggs’ longevity and consistency set him apart. He is directly credited for creating 162 goals, a remarkable feat, particularly in an era teeming with exceptional talent.

While Giggs benefited from the presence of immensely talented teammates and the guidance of Sir Alex Ferguson, it was his brilliance that truly dazzled. His mesmerizing runs and precision deliveries showcased his exceptional skill and vision. His remarkable 24-year career at Manchester United will surely continue to inspire future generations, shaping the way we perceive playmaking in football.

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