15 Premier League defenders with the most assists

15 Premier League defenders with the most assists

The role of a defender, especially a full-back, has seen significant changes in today’s Premier League era. Not only are these players expected to defend their goal with skill, but they are also required to contribute significantly to their team’s attacking play.

Teams in the modern football landscape heavily rely on their full-backs. Players like Trent Alexander-Arnold at Liverpool and Reece James at Chelsea exemplify this shift in the game. Pep Guardiola, often credited as one of the pioneers of tactical innovation, notably transformed the role of full-backs. He initiated this trend during his time at Bayern Munich in the early 2010s, with players like Phillip Lahm leading the charge.

Guardiola continued to implement this strategy upon his arrival in the English Premier League, with players like Joao Cancelo adapting to his system at Manchester City. However, it’s important to note that Guardiola wasn’t the sole influencer in this evolution. Many creative defenders have left their mark on the game, contributing significantly to their teams’ attacking prowess.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the top assist providers among defenders in Premier League history:

  1. Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
  • Games Played: 219 | Assists: 58

Trent Alexander-Arnold has surpassed his fellow Liverpool full-back to become the top assist provider among defenders in Premier League history. His pinpoint accuracy was on display when he set up Diogo Jota’s goal against Burnley, marking a significant milestone in his career. Alexander-Arnold’s ability to create chances has been crucial for Liverpool, prompting manager Jurgen Klopp to tailor his tactics to maximize the young Scouser’s strengths.

Despite his relatively young age of 25, Alexander-Arnold has already amassed an impressive tally of assists, with 102 big chances created in 219 top-flight appearances. His style of play, characterized by overlapping runs and precise crosses, has made him a nightmare for opposition defenders.

  1. Andrew Robertson (Hull City, Liverpool)
  • Games Played: 263 | Assists: 57

Andrew Robertson’s journey to becoming one of the top assist providers among defenders is a testament to his talent and dedication. Starting his Premier League career at Hull City before moving to Liverpool, Robertson quickly established himself as a key player for both club and country.

With 57 assists to his name, Robertson’s contribution to Liverpool’s attacking play cannot be overstated. His relentless energy down the left flank and ability to deliver dangerous crosses have made him a fan favorite at Anfield. Despite facing stiff competition, Robertson continues to excel, surpassing the likes of Eden Hazard and Juan Mata in terms of Premier League assists.

  1. Leighton Baines (Wigan, Everton)
  • Games Played: 420 | Assists: 53
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Leighton Baines may no longer hold the record for most assists by a defender, but his legacy remains intact. Spending the majority of his career at Everton, Baines became known for his precision from set pieces and his adeptness at delivering crosses into the box.

Baines’ loyalty to Everton endeared him to the club’s fans, as he consistently delivered standout performances both defensively and offensively. While his record has since been surpassed, Baines’ impact on the game is undeniable.

  1. Graeme Le Saux (Chelsea, Blackburn Rovers, Southampton)
  • Games Played: 327 | Assists: 44

Graeme Le Saux’s versatility and attacking prowess made him a valuable asset for the teams he represented in the Premier League. Although his assist tally may not match those of his counterparts at the top of the list, Le Saux’s contributions should not be overlooked.

Throughout his career, Le Saux displayed a knack for delivering dangerous crosses and providing support in the attacking third. Despite playing in an era where full-backs were not as attacking-minded as they are today, Le Saux’s impact on the game is undeniable.

  1. Andy Hinchcliffe (Everton, Sheffield Wednesday)
  • Games Played: 219 | Assists: 36

Andy Hinchcliffe’s time in the Premier League saw him showcase his ability to contribute both defensively and offensively. Despite playing for clubs that were not always in the spotlight, Hinchcliffe’s impact on the game was significant.

His stint at Everton and later Sheffield Wednesday saw him rack up 36 assists, a testament to his creativity and vision on the pitch. Hinchcliffe’s ability to deliver accurate crosses made him a valuable asset for his teams.

  1. Ian Harte (Leeds United, Sunderland, Reading)
  • Games Played: 237 | Assists: 36

Ian Harte’s left foot was a weapon for the teams he represented in the Premier League. Despite playing for clubs that were not always in the upper echelons of English football, Harte’s ability to deliver dangerous crosses made him a valuable asset.

His time at Leeds United, Sunderland, and later Reading saw him rack up 36 assists, showcasing his proficiency from set pieces and open play. Harte’s contribution to his teams’ attacking play was invaluable.

  1. César Azpilicueta (Chelsea)
  • Games Played: 334 | Assists: 35
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César Azpilicueta’s versatility and defensive prowess have made him a mainstay at Chelsea for many years. Despite primarily being known for his defensive abilities, Azpilicueta has also contributed significantly to his team’s attacking play.

His ability to deliver accurate crosses and provide support in the final third has seen him rack up 35 assists during his time in the Premier League. Azpilicueta’s leadership on and off the pitch has made him a valuable asset for Chelsea.

  1. Gary Neville (Manchester Utd)
  • Games Played: 400 | Assists: 35

Gary Neville’s time at Manchester United saw him establish himself as one of the top right-backs in Premier League history. Despite facing stiff competition from players like Trent Alexander-Arnold and Kyle Walker, Neville’s impact on the game cannot be overstated.

His ability to provide support in attack, coupled with his defensive solidity, made him a valuable asset for Sir Alex Ferguson’s side. Neville’s tally of 35 assists is a testament to his creativity and vision on the pitch.

  1. Kieran Trippier (Burnley, Tottenham, Newcastle)
  • Games Played: 173 | Assists: 35

Kieran Trippier’s journey to becoming one of the top assist providers among defenders is a testament to his talent and determination. Starting his Premier League career at Burnley before moving to Tottenham and later Newcastle, Trippier quickly established himself as one of the top right-backs in the league.

With 35 assists to his name, Trippier’s contribution to his team’s attacking play cannot be understated. His ability to deliver dangerous crosses and provide support in the final third has made him a valuable asset for his teams.

  1. Kyle Walker (Aston Villa, Tottenham, Manchester City)
    • Games Played: 385 | Assists: 34

Kyle Walker’s blistering pace and defensive prowess have made him one of the top right-backs in Premier League history. Despite primarily being known for his defensive abilities, Walker has also contributed significantly to his team’s attacking play.

His ability to get forward and deliver dangerous crosses has seen him rack up 34 assists during his time in the Premier League. Walker’s impact on the game cannot be overstated, as he continues to excel at the highest level.

  1. Dan Petrescu (Sheffield Wednesday, Chelsea, Bradford, Southampton)
    • Games Played: 215 | Assists: 33

Dan Petrescu’s time in the Premier League saw him showcase his versatility and attacking prowess. Despite playing for clubs that were not always in the spotlight, Petrescu’s impact on the game was significant.

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His ability to provide support in attack and deliver dangerous crosses made him a valuable asset for his teams. Petrescu’s contribution to his teams’ attacking play was invaluable, as he consistently delivered standout performances on the pitch.

  1. Ashley Cole (Arsenal, Chelsea)
    • Games Played: 385 | Assists: 31

Ashley Cole’s time in the Premier League saw him establish himself as one of the top left-backs in the league. Despite facing stiff competition from players like Andrew Robertson and Leighton Baines, Cole’s impact on the game cannot be overstated.

His ability to get forward and deliver dangerous crosses made him a valuable asset for his teams. Cole’s contribution to his teams’ attacking play was invaluable, as he consistently delivered standout performances on the pitch.

  1. Gary Kelly (Leeds United)
    • Games Played: 325 | Assists: 31

Gary Kelly’s versatility and attacking prowess made him a valuable asset for Leeds United throughout his career. Despite primarily being known for his defensive abilities, Kelly’s impact on the game cannot be overstated.

His ability to provide support in attack and deliver dangerous crosses made him a valuable asset for his teams. Kelly’s contribution to his teams’ attacking play was invaluable, as he consistently delivered standout performances on the pitch.

  1. John Arne Riise (Liverpool, Fulham)
    • Games Played: 321 | Assists: 30

John Arne Riise’s time in the Premier League saw him showcase his attacking prowess and versatility. Despite playing for clubs that were not always in the spotlight, Riise’s impact on the game was significant.

His ability to get forward and deliver dangerous crosses made him a valuable asset for his teams. Riise’s contribution to his teams’ attacking play was invaluable, as he consistently delivered standout performances on the pitch.

  1. Aaron Cresswell (West Ham United)
    • Games Played: 286 | Assists: 30

Aaron Cresswell’s journey to becoming one of the top assist providers among defenders is a testament to his talent and dedication. Starting his Premier League career at West Ham United, Cresswell quickly established himself as one of the top left-backs in the league.

With 30 assists to his name, Cresswell’s contribution to his team’s attacking play cannot be understated. His ability to deliver dangerous crosses and provide support in the final third has made him a valuable asset for his teams.

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