Midfielders are arguably the most complete footballers in any side, often required to make match-winning contributions at both ends of the pitch.
The very best Premier League midfielders are often judged on their abilities to score and create, with Kevin De Bruyne emphasising his status as one of the game’s current greats with a brilliant individual performance in the recent Manchester derby.
De Bruyne has now provided 132 goal involvements (51 goals and 81 assists) in the Premier League and just eight midfielders have ever contributed to more goals in the division than the Manchester City midfielder.
As the 30-year-old continues to climb the all-time rankings, we’ve decided to look at the five midfielders with the most combined goals and assists in Premier League history.
David Silva – 153
David Silva ranks in at number five among the most productive Premier League midfielders of all time, the Spanish schemer having provided 153 goal involvements during a decade at Manchester City.
Silva arrived from Valencia in 2010 and became a key figure in the club’s rise to the elite, forming the spine of the City’s first title-winning sides alongside Vincent Kompany, Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero.
— Premier League (@premierleague) July 14, 2019
One of the best midfielders of his generation, Silva flourished in compact areas of space with his close control and ability to pick passes between the lines, providing 93 assists during his Premier League career.
That haul ranks the Spaniard sixth for goals created in the division’s history, whilst he also registered 60 goals for the Citizens during a period in which he won 11 trophies in 10 seasons.
Having arrived in England at a time when diminutive foreign imports were still strangely doubted, Silva helped transform perceptions and demonstrated that technique and talent can triumph even in the hustle and bustle of the Premier League.
Cesc Fabregas – 161
Just one player has ever provided more Premier League assists than Cesc Fabregas, the Spaniard among a quartet of names to have reached over a century of goals created in the division.
Fabregas emerged as gifted teenager at Arsenal after swapping Barcelona for north London in search of a clear pathway to first-team football, the midfielder not having to wait long before his big break in England.
From an early age the hallmarks of Fabregas’ game were evident, possessing a confidence in possession and ability to pick out passes other haven’t yet seen.
Fabregas became the face of a new Arsenal as the club moved on from the “Invincibles’ era, the centre-piece of a side that was fluid and fun but lacked the little something required when it came to winning trophies.
A true pass master
— Premier League (@premierleague) January 11, 2019
He departed to return to Barcelona in a £34m deal, but after three seasons in Spain returned to the Premier League in the colours of London rivals Chelsea.
Fabregas won two league titles among his honours at Stamford Bridge, including providing a league-leading 18 assists as the west Londoners won the Premier League in 2014/15.
Paul Scholes – 162
“If you let him play, he can kill you, and for me he was so underrated. The way he plays: one touch, arriving late into the box, the way he strikes the ball, his vision, his passing. Incredible.”
Those are the words of Thierry Henry, who revealed that Paul Scholes was the player his side most feared during the epic Premier League rivalry between Arsenal and Manchester United across the turn of the millennium.
Scholes formed part of the fabled ‘Class of ’92 academy graduates who became the backbone of Manchester United’s great sides, becoming the most decorated English footballer of all-time after winning 11 league titles and two Champions League trophies among his honours.
The former England international scored 107 goals in the Premier League for the Red Devils, whilst he also provided 55 assists with Scholes’ passing range seeing him evolve from free-scoring attacking midfielder to deep-lying conductor in his later career.
Steven Gerrard – 212
Just two Premier League midfielders have ever produced more than 200 goal involvements in the division, with Steven Gerrard ranked second after reaching 212 goals and assists.
Gerrard was the heartbeat of the Liverpool side after emerging from the club’s ranks, inheriting the club captaincy and leading the Reds for more than a decade.
He was named in the PFA Team of the Year on a record eight occasions, whilst his individual accolades included winning the PFA Young Player of the Year (2001), Player of the Year (2006) and FWA Footballer of the Year (2009).
Gerrard scored 10+ league goals in four different seasons for Liverpool, with his most prolific campaign coming in 2008/09 as he scored 16 goals for Rafael Benitez’s side.
Gerrard scored 186 goals across all competitions at Liverpool, the fifth-highest total in the club’s history.
Frank Lampard – 279
Frank Lampard leads the rankings for Premier League midfielders, the statistics of the former Chelsea midfielder unlikely to be beaten.
Lampard remains the fifth-highest scoring footballer in the division’s history despite spending his career in midfield, forging a reputation as a match-winner for his ability to burst forward and time his runs into the box.
Lampard is one of just three players – alongside Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney – to have provided a century of both goals and assists, having incredibly reached double figures for league goals in ten consecutive games at his Chelsea peak.
His time at Stamford Bridge included winning three Premier League titles and the Champions League among his honours, whilst he eclipsed Bobby Tambling as the west London club’s all-time record scorer in May 2013.
Lampard scored 147 of his league goals at Chelsea, with a further 30 coming during spells at West Ham and Manchester City.