Henry vs De Bruyne: What is the Premier League assist record in a single season?

Kevin De Bruyne Thierry HenryGetty/Goal composite

Manchester City talisman Kevin De Bruyne is one of the Premier League's most precise passers of the ball and is particularly decisive when setting up goals for his team-mates.

The Belgium international is one of the most creative forces in the division and has equalled a record for the number of assists supplied in a single season.

Former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry was the sole holder the record prior to the 2019-20 season and De Bruyne revealed that he warned the Frenchman that he was gunning for the crown of assist king.

"I always joked with Henry in the national team, even at Vincent Kompany’s testimonial this year. I saw him and said 'I’m coming for you this year'," the midfielder said in an interview with The Athletic.

So what exactly is the record? Goal brings you all the details.

What is the Premier League assist record in a single season?

The record for most assists in a single Premier League season is 20. It is jointly held by Thierry Henry, who achieved the landmark in the 2002-03 campaign, and Kevin De Bruyne, who reached it in 2019-20.

In all, Henry was involved in 44 Premier League goals in 2002-03, having scored 24 himself - though, remarkably, he was beaten to the Golden Boot by Ruud van Nistelrooy, who bagged 25 for Manchester United.

"I hold the record. [De Bruyne] said the other day that he wants to beat it," Henry said in a Puma broadcast this year. "But I told him that with those 20 assists, you will have to score 24 goals as well! Not only assists!"

1Thierry Henry202002-03
2Kevin De Bruyne202019-20
3Mesut Ozil192015-16
4Frank Lampard182004-05
5Cesc Fabregas182014-15

Mesut Ozil racked up 19 assists during the 2015-16 Premier League season, falling just short of Henry's high. Two players complete the top five with 18 assists in a single season.

Belgian playmaker De Bruyne also reached 18 assists in 2016-17 and is joined by Frank Lampard, who did it in 2004-05, and Cesc Fabregas, who achieved it in 2014-15.

It is interesting to note that Henry is the only striker in the top five, with Ozil, Lampard, De Bruyne and Fabregas all being playmakers whose job is ostensibly creating goals.

The World Cup winner may be Arsenal's all-time record goalscorer with 228 goals (175 in the Premier League), but he has never identified as a classic striker, relating instead to the likes of Ronaldo or George Weah.

“Sometimes I get more pleasure at giving a goal than to score it,” Henry told The Telegraph in 2005.

“My mind is not, ‘I need to score today’. I want to help. If we lose 4-2 and I’ve scored two great goals, I will still be fuming.”

Who has the most assists in Premier League history?

Ryan Giggs holds the record for most assists in Premier League history. The Manchester United icon set up 162 goals for his Red Devils team-mates during the course of a two-decade-long career.

Next in line after Giggs is Fabregas, who clocked up plenty of assists during his time at Arsenal and Chelsea, though the Spaniard falls over 50 short of Giggs with 111 assists.

1Ryan Giggs1621992-93 - 2012-13
2Cesc Fabregas1112004-05 - 2017-18
3Wayne Rooney1032002-03 - 2017-18
4Frank Lampard1021997-98 - 2014-15
5Dennis Bergkamp941995-96 - 2005-06

Manchester United and Everton hero Wayne Rooney is third in the all-time table for Premier League assists with 103, just one ahead of Lampard, who laid on 102 goals for his Chelsea and West Ham team-mates.

Dennis Bergkamp completes the top five with 94 assists in his 10 years at Arsenal.