⚽ 5 Seasons of Premier League Assists23rd June 2020 |
It is only in the last few years that the concept of the assist has entered the football mainstream. Thierry Henry holds the record for the most assists in a Premier League season (20 in 2002/03), but that was hardly mentioned at the time.
Using data from WhoScored, we have picked out the leading assist providers in the last five campaigns of England’s top flight.
10) Eden Hazard
⚽ Premier League Assists: 27
Hazard enjoyed a wonderful career in the Premier League with Chelsea prior to his move to Real Madrid in summer 2019. The Belgium international won two titles at Stamford Bridge and was probably the star man in both of those campaigns – first under Jose Mourinho in 2014/15 and then under Antonio Conte in 2016/17.
The first of those seasons misses the cut for this list, but Hazard’s 27 assists since 2015/16 mean he is still one of the league’s leading creators in the last five years.
9) Leroy Sane
⚽ Premier League Assists: 28
Sane’s time in the Premier League looks set to come to an end this summer, with Bayern Munich poised to acquire the winger from Manchester City. That would be a loss to both the club and the league, for Sane has been one of the most productive attackers in England’s top flight since his arrival in 2016.
The Germany international’s best individual campaign came in 2017/18, when he scored 10 goals and provided 15 assists.
8) Raheem Sterling
⚽ Premier League Assists: 30
Sane’s partner in crime over the last four years, Sterling has been among Manchester City’s key players during the Pep Guardiola era.
The former Liverpool wide man has become a great deal more effective since swapping Anfield for the Etihad Stadium. Sterling has laid on 30 goals since 2015/16, 21 of which came in the title-winning seasons of 2017/18 and 2018/19.
7) Dele Alli
⚽ Premier League Assists: 33
Alli burst onto the scene in 2015/16, scoring 10 goals and setting up nine more as Tottenham Hotspur exceeded expectations by challenging for the title.
The England international reached double figures for assists in 2017/18, and has registered a total of 33 in the last five seasons. Still only 24, Alli could one day take his place among the top 10 providers in Premier League history.
6) Roberto Firmino
⚽ Premier League Assists: 34
Unlike every other player on this list, Firmino plays as a central striker rather than an attacking midfielder of wide forward. Yet the Brazilian is far from a conventional frontman; he is more of a facilitator than a finisher, which explains his lofty position in the ranking.
An expert at dropping deep and creating chances for his attacking colleagues, Firmino has provided no fewer than 34 assists in the last five years.
5) Riyad Mahrez
⚽ Premier League Assists: 36
Mahrez has been one of Manchester City’s star performers this season, scoring seven times and supplying eight assists to date.
That is a vast improvement on his first year at the club, when the Algerian struggled to replicate his Leicester City form. Two-thirds of his 36 assists since 2015/16 came with the Foxes.
4) Mesut Ozil
⚽ Premier League Assists: 40
Ozil’s future at Arsenal has been cast into doubt once more, with Mikel Arteta – like Unai Emery before him – having cast the attacking midfielder aside of late. Now 31 years of age, the German’s best days are probably behind him.
Yet Ozil should be remembered as one of the most productive playmakers the Premier League has seen in the last half-decade, during which time he has provided 40 assists.
3) David Silva
⚽ Premier League Assists: 44
Silva will bid farewell to Manchester City and – almost certainly – the Premier League this summer, having announced that he will not be signing a contract extension at the Eithad after 10 years of immaculate service.
The Spanish schemer has been a master at pulling the strings for City, with 44 assists in the last five seasons enough to put him in top three during that timeframe.
2) Christian Erikson
⚽ Premier League Assists: 52
Eriksen’s Tottenham exit was rather unsavoury in the end, with the Denmark international departing for Inter in January after refusing to sign a new deal with the north London outfit.
Yet there can be no denying the Denmark international’s quality. Eriksen was a key part of the Tottenham team throughout Mauricio Pochettino’s tenure, and he is one of only two players to have racked up more than a half-century of assists since the 2015/16 campaign.
1) Kevin De Bruyne
⚽ Premier League Assists: 61
De Bruyne has, by some distance, been the Premier League’s most productive provider in the last five seasons. The brilliant Belgian has laid on a remarkable 61 goals since 2015/16, which is more than all but 17 players have managed in their entire Premier League careers.
Should he remain at Manchester City for a while longer yet, De Bruyne has every chance of joining Frank Lampard, Wayne Rooney, Cesc Fabregas and Ryan Giggs on 100+ assists. He could also break the aforementioned single-season record held by Henry – after 30 games of 2019/20, De Bruyne has 16 to his name.
Article by Greg Lea
Greg Lea is a freelance football writer who has had work published by FourFourTwo, the Guardian, ESPN and Goal.com. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces. Follow him on Twitter.
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