Kevin De Bruyne recorded just his second assist in the Premier League this season to help Manchester City avoid defeat against Southampton on Saturday.
By the Belgian’s account, he’s some way off the pace. He managed 12 assists in the league last season and a record-equalling 20 in 2019/20.
But by the end of the season, De Bruyne’s assist against Southampton could be seen as one of high importance.
His free-kick was headed home from Aymeric Laporte to stretch City’s unbeaten run in the league to 13 matches.
Sure, three points would have been nice. But Pep Guardiola’s outfit aren’t exactly desperate, boasting a double-digit lead at the top of the pile.
Who are the PL’s top assist-makers?
De Bruyne sits in the top 10 players with the most assists in Premier League history and his latest one pushed him into a tie for ninth with David Beckham.
The Belgium playmaker has 80 assists in England’s top flight now. He achieved the feat in 197 games, while Beckham played in 266.
Most assists in PL history | Top 20
Yet it’s going to take something extraordinary for De Bruyne, or any other player, to beat Ryan Giggs at the top.
Next in De Bruyne’s sights, after he moves clear of Beckham, will be Liverpool’s James Milner, followed by Steven Gerrard.
Dennis Bergkamp, Wayne Rooney and De Bruyne’s former teammate David Silva are also in the top 10.
For the sake of providing some more names, here’s the list of top 20.
T19. Nolberto Solano – 62 assists
T19. Christian Eriksen – 62 assists
18. Matt Le Tissier – 63 assists
T16. Alan Shearer – 64 assists
T16. Gareth Barry – 64 assists
15. Darren Anderton – 68 assists
14. Ashley Young – 71 assists
13. Andrew Cole – 73 assists
12. Thierry Henry – 74 assists
11. Teddy Sheringham – 76 assists
T9. Kevin De Bruyne – 80 assists
T9. David Beckham – 80 assists
8. James Milner – 86 assists
7. Steven Gerrard – 92 assists
6. David Silva – 93 assists
5. Dennis Bergkamp – 94 assists
4. Frank Lampard – 102 assists
3. Wayne Rooney – 103 assists
2. Cesc Fabregas – 111 assists
1. Ryan Giggs – 162 assists
So De Bruyne could double his current assist total and he’d still be two shy of Giggs’ record.
However, the 30-year-old’s record of 0.41 assists per game is better than Giggs’ 0.24.
On current pace, De Bruyne will beat the record if he plays in 204 more Premier League matches.
That’s more than five full seasons, which could become more problematic with his troublesome injury history.
Anyway, enough speculating. Let’s just appreciate De Bruyne for the exceptional talent that he is, while also marvelling at Giggs’ astonishing record that will stand for a very long time.