Kevin De Bruyne celebrated his 150th appearance in the Premier League in typical style last week, the brilliant Belgian registering yet another assist to his ever growing collection.
The Manchester City star has established himself as the division’s leading creative talent in recent years and is seeking to break the single season assist record in the coming weeks, but how does the midfielder compare to the Premier League’s best creators after 150 appearances in England’s top tier?
Here are the five players with the most assists after 150 Premier League games:
Thierry Henry – 43 assists
Arsenal’s all-time record goalscorer was arguably the Premier League’s finest player throughout his eight-year spell in north London, winning a record four Golden Boots and two league titles under the guidance of Arsene Wenger.
Henry, however, was far, far more than just a great goalscorer.
A wonderfully complete footballer, the former France international redefined what was expected of a centre-forward, drifting into wide positions and taking just as much satisfaction from providing goals for his grateful teammates.
He registered 43 assists during his first 150 appearances in English football’s top flight, whilst he also holds the record for the most assists in a single season – creating a record-breaking 20 goals during a 2002/03 season that saw him named as the PFA Player’s Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year.
Dennis Bergkamp – 50 assists
Another icon of Arsenal’s history, Dennis Bergkamp arrived in English football during the mid-nineties as one of the first foreign marquee signings of the Premier League era.
Bergkamp was signed by Bruce Rioch before flourishing under the guidance of Arsene Wenger, the Dutchman’s ability to see the picture unfolding around him making him the perfect centre-piece of an exciting attacking side.
The former Netherlands international racked up a half century of Premier League assists during his first 150 appearances after arriving from Inter Milan, whilst also providing his own notable goal threat.
The inspiration behind the club’s double-winning campaign in 1998, Bergkamp won a further two league titles in over a decade at Arsenal, his touch, awareness and vision the perfect foil for a succession of strike partners including Ian Wright, Nicolas Anelka and Thierry Henry.
He finished his career with 94 Premier League assists, the fifth-highest tally in the division’s history.
Mesut Ozil – 51 assists
Mesut Ozil has proven a divisive figure since his hugely anticipated club-record arrival at Arsenal, though the German’s statistics over his first 150 appearances stack up with the most creative talents in Premier League history.
Ozil became the fastest ever Premier League player to reach 50 assists, with his first 150 appearances in English football seeing the playmaker provide 51 goals for his Gunners’ teammates.
His finest season came when he provided a league leading 19 assists during the 2015/16 campaign, falling just one short of Thierry Henry’s long-standing single season record and becoming the first player in history to have finished as the leading assist provider in the Premier League, Bundesliga and La Liga.
Eric Cantona – 53 assists
Cantona’s contribution to Manchester United is widely recognised as the catalyst behind an era of dominance in the Premier League era, inspiring the club to a first league title in 26 years before winning five of the first six editions of the rebranded league.
The Frenchman arrived from rivals Leeds and brought a touch of class to Sir Alex Ferguson’s emerging side, swaggering into his new surroundings with trademark chest out and upturned collar.
United’s best attacking play centred around the mercurial talents of Cantona, who revelled in the responsibility of being the club’s chief creative and goalscoring threat.
He twice finished as the Premier League’s leading assist provider during title wins in 1993 and 1997 and registered 53 in his first 150 appearances, Cantona the cock-sure conductor of the league’s early dominant force.
Kevin De Bruyne – 63 assists
Kevin De Bruyne’s assist in Manchester City’s win over Liverpool was his 63rd in the Premier League, the most any player has ever managed in their first 150 appearances in the division.
The Belgian international has flourished into the finest midfielder in world football since returning to English football with City, bouncing back from a disappointing spell at Chelsea to establish himself as the Premier League’s best.
The 29-year-old broke Ozil’s record to become the fastest player ever to reach a half century of assists, whilst he is also the first player in Premier League history to register 15+ assists in three separate campaigns.
Short passing, long passing, crossing and set-pieces, there appears no ball off limit to De Bruyne and his incredible ability to find teammates in space. Currently on 17 assists for the season, his sights will be firmly set on breaking Henry’s record for the most assists in a Premier League campaign over the course of the run-in.