Sunday, May 29, 2022

Top 10 defenders with the most assists in Premier League history

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With what his Liverpool colleague Andy Robertson jokingly called a “mishit shot,” Alexander-Arnold set up Sadio Mane for the game’s sole goal at Anfield. Whether it was on purpose or not, the ball to Mane sent the 23-year-old beyond compatriot Mo Salah to the top of the Premier League assists chart this season.

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Alexander-Arnold already has 16 assists in all competitions this season, a personal high for the England international, and he’s fast approaching his piece of English Premier League history. The player is now just ten assists away from breaking the Premier League’s all-time assist record for defenders.

He has a career average of nearly one assist for every three Premier League games played, and he might easily break his record shortly. We’ve rated the best 10 defenders in terms of assists in the competition’s history, and Alexander-Arnold has already eclipsed a few prominent players.

Top 10 Premier League defenders in terms of assists:

10. Kyle Walker

Club(s): Aston Villa, Tottenham, Manchester City

Premier League appearances: 332

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Assists: 32

Walker’s talent was recognized by Manchester City, who spent over £50 million on his transfer to Tottenham in 2017, but the growth of Reece James and Trent Alexander-Arnold has caused Walker to be overlooked at times. He has been a key player of a City squad that has won three of the four full Premier League seasons since his arrival and is one of the Premier League’s most consistent performers over the last five years.

9. Dan Petrescu

Club(s): Sheffield Wednesday, Chelsea, Bradford, Southampton

Premier League appearances: 215

Assists: 33

Dan Petrescu earned his reputation at Chelsea, where he was a key figure in the club’s rise to prominence in the Premier League. He was a 95-time Romanian international who memorably scored against England at the 1998 World Cup, a tournament in which he and his colleagues bleached their hair blond.

8. Gary Neville

Club(s): Man Utd

Premier League appearances: 400

Assists: 35

Few expected Gary Neville, a member of Manchester United’s famed Class of 92, to have a successful playing career. Neville, who was deemed too small to play center-back, reinvented himself at right-back, closely studying teammate and versatile full-back Denis Irwin, and formed a renowned partnership with David Beckham on the right flank.

7. César Azpilicueta

Club(s): Chelsea

Premier League appearances: 305

Assists: 35

His Chelsea teammates affectionately refer to him as “Dave,” and it took him some time to fit in at Stamford Bridge, but once he did, the Spaniard has not looked back since. Azpilicueta, a two-time Premier League champion, now leads Thomas Tuchel’s team into battle.

6. Andy Hinchcliffe

Club(s): Everton, Sheffield Wednesday

Premier League appearances: 219

Assists: 36

Andy Hinchcliffe, a set-piece maestro, started his career at boyhood club Manchester City before joining Everton a few seasons before the Premier League was formed. He spent most of the 1990s at Goodison Park before finishing his career with Sheffield Wednesday.

5. Ian Harte

Club(s): Leeds United, Sunderland, Reading

Premier League appearances: 237

Assists: 36

During his tenure at Elland Road, Ian Harte was noted for his scoring, particularly from dead-ball situations, but the Irishman, like his fellow compatriot (and full-back) Kelly, didn’t need a second invitation to maraud into the opposition half.

4. Graeme Le Saux

Club(s): Chelsea, Blackburn Rovers, Southampton

Premier League appearances: 327

Assists: 44

Graeme Le Saux was a member of Kenny Dalglish’s Premier League-winning Blackburn Rovers squad, a period sandwiched between seasons at childhood club Chelsea. During that time, he earned 36 England caps, scoring his only goal against Brazil.

3. Trent Alexander-Arnold

Club(s): Liverpool

Premier League appearances: 135

Assists: 44

Trent Alexander-Arnold is widely regarded as the best right-back in the world, a title he shares with Achraf Hakimi. The Liverpudlian has earned his place in Jurgen Klopp’s starting lineup, and given his flawless ability to create, some observers believe he could end up playing in central midfield.

2. Andrew Robertson

Club(s): Hull City, Liverpool

Premier League appearances: 194

Assists: 48

Liverpool’s second side of the enticing full-back pair. Andrew Robertson played in the Premier League with Hull City before they were relegated in 2018. He persuaded the powers that be at Anfield with his performance during that one season, and he hasn’t looked back since.

1. Leighton Baines

Club(s): Wigan, Everton

Premier League appearances: 420

Assists: 53

Leighton Baines had 11 assists in the 2010/11 season, equaling former Toffee full-back Hinchcliffe (1994/95) for the most by a defender in a single Premier League season until Alexander-Arnold arrived.

Read: Top 5 highest goal scorers in Premier League history

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