The Greatest Goal Makers in the Premier League revealed and is Fabregas yet to add to his tally?

Still yet to be the greatest goal maker in the EPL?
Still yet to be the greatest goal maker in the EPL?

A few years ago in another time and on another site I wrote a blog about the Premier League’s greatest goal makers inspired at the time by a list of the top 20 assist makers in the first 19 years of the league posted by TalkSport. What struck me at the time was as usual the cheap headline grabbing of the tabloid radio station. Why? Because it is not just the number of assists which tells the real story, because if you have played in midfield in a top side for years you will clock up assists by default . Yes Lampard, Gerrard and Scholes I am talking about you guys. No it is the ratio of assists to matches which should be the true measure of greatness. I am not I might add questioning Lampard’s goal ratio by any means.

It has be the ratio of assists to matches that identifies the true creative geniuses of the modern game. It will surprise no one that David Beckham departed these shores with an incredible number of assists and no one has a better ratio at 0.57 assist per match. However I am delighted to report that Thierry Henry and Cesc Fabregas have similar incredible ratios. Both players  creating goals for their team mates at the rate of 0.56% per game.  Cesc Fabregas sits just outside the Top 10 with 119 assists and of course there is some speculation that he might return to the EPL and further enhance his figures!!  I take my hat off to Henry though. To create so much for Arsenal team mates while shattering all goal scoring records simultaneously. One would be hard to argue against TH14 being the greatest player of the Premier League era, although many Gooners I know might debate that and suggest a certain Dutchman.

Goal takers, Goal makers, AFC Legends
Goal takers, Goal makers, AFC Legends

The next best ratios come from that genius, Dennis Bergkamp (0.46) and not surprisingly Ryan Giggs (0.45), but in reality the 5 we have mentioned,  2 Manure legends, (painful to say but true) and our own 3 greats are miles ahead of any other ‘so called’ modern greats. Lampard and Gerrard have ratios of 0.30 and 0.32 and even Andy Cole had a better goal creativity record than the player who many describe as the league’s greatest. Paul ‘oh please retire you are embarrassing’ Scholes. The Red headed dynamo that never learned to tackle has a ratio of 0.27 which might surprise many, but not me. (Pathetic.)


One a legend in the assist stake and one not so much!
One a legend in the assist stakes and one not so much!

Just to put these pathetic stats into some context for you the most frustrating Russian in the EPL, yes our very own Andrei Arshavin, has a 35% ratio with 35 assists in 105 matches. Before the last 2 seasons he had 40% with 32 assist in 79 matches. When I wrote on this in the summer of 2011 Nasri was looking to leave and his ratio stood at 18% and that for a player who wanted to be our creative hub? Not surprisingly he has never been given the central role he coveted at City and still only has 35 assist in 141 Premiership games. No wonder Mancini never quite builds the side around him. As an interesting aside Santi Cazorla effectively, a season apart Nasri’s replacement has a hugely impressive 14 in 35 EPL appearances, a 0.4% ratio.

Santi and Cesc. Drool
Santi and Cesc. Drool

Now we don’t know if our diminutive Spaniard will continue at the same rate, but there is an argument to say he will only improve in the second season as many imports to the EPL do. What are can tell you is that there are only 9 players in the history of the premier League with a ratio of assisting higher than Santi’s 0.4%. One of them as a trivia question by the way is a current Premier League Manager?

Pretty interesting so far but here are the facts below courtesy of so feel free to draw your own conclusions and observations and I will make a few myself. This is the top 10 since 1992 and Cesc sits just outside at 12.


PLAYER Assists
Total Open Play Dead Ball per Game
Ryan Giggs





Frank Lampard





David Beckham





Dennis Bergkamp





Thierry Henry





Steven Gerrard





Paul Scholes





Andy Cole





Wayne Rooney





Darren Anderton





Cesc Fabregas






In some way it is depressing as an Arsenal fan today to be reminded just how special Henry, Bergkamp and Fabregas were. Worse still that they all played together at one point. So if you are sitting comfortably or slumped in your chair I am going to make it worse now:

If we take 100 assists in the EPL as a significant contribution how quickly did the giants of the league reach that landmark.

Player Matches to reach 100 Assist in EPL
David Beckham 171
Thierry Henry 174
Cesc Fabregas 190
Dennis Bergkamp 221
Steve McManaman 223

Still with me? 3 of the fastest 5 in the history of the EPL to reach 100 assist for team mates did it for our club. More depressed?

Who then managed to reach this landmark at the youngest age?

Player Age to reach 100 Assists
Cesc Fabregas 23 years 130 days
David Beckham 24 years 343 days
Wayne Rooney 25 years 77 days
Ryan Giggs 26 years and 18 days
Steve McManaman 26 years and 269 days

Well know there’s a surprise!

So let me pull this together from my own perspective and give it some relevance for today.

Would he truly kiss a third badge? I doubt it.
Would he truly kiss a third badge? I doubt it.

Cesc Fabregas loves Arsenal, even if he loves his home town club slightly more.

Cesc Fabregas I would suggest probably loves Arsenal more than a few players who play for us now.

Cesc Fabregas is one of only 3 players to have created goals at a rate of better than one every other match, along with Beckham and Henry.

Cesc Fabregas was the youngest player in the history of the EPL to reach 100 assists.

Cesc Fabregas was the 3rd fastest player to reach 100 assist after only Beckham and Henry.

Now I am not going to get into the debate about whether he went on strike in 2010/11 or if he was injured because unlike so may on social media who seen to know, I do not. All I will say is that is at any point there is a chance we could sign Cesc Fabregas back as certain tabloids have rumoured we just might, at least this one Gooner will be happy. Whether it was this summer or in the next few seasons.

I gather many fans have decided he has wronged the club and would not welcome the return of the prodigal son and I would ask you to read the above again and think again.

Sol Campbell lied to Wenger when he entered the last year of his contract declining to sign an extension as he wanted to play abroad? Of course Sol had form for this  as we all know but as Wenger later commented that last time he checked Portsmouth was still in the UK! I only add this as no one seemed to objected when Campbell returned to the club.

Just a few home truths and interesting facts thrown in with my personal feelings but heh it’s my blog. Shoot me down!

Like what you read? Agree/disagree? Leave a comment below or follow me or comment on this blog on Twitter –



You may also like...


  1. what is it about seeing those 2 in an arsenal shirt Henry and bergkamp an the back of those shirts has to be some of the most provocative picture in PL history, and not just to us lucky gooners Bergkamp and Henry…….. make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up

  2. Great article as always. It is nice to see how you emulate stats to support your theory/assumption/topic.
    If it happens I will be happy too just like most of Gooners would, Dave!
    What a talent he was at those stages.

  3. Couldn’t agree more, Cesc should be welcomed back with open arms. As you said he lives the club and the fact more so than current players and has more ability is all that needs to be said! I hope the media speculation is true as I would give him a piggyback from Spain to have him back!!

  4. Nice blog Dave. I personally would love to see him back at The Arsenal. Stats don’t tell the whole story as you’ve pointed out but they also don’t lie. Cesc is one of the best in his position & that is a fact we can’t argue with.

  5. U got me wowed with d stats dat i started wondering y Wenger didnt allow TH14 retire at Arsenal as a proper legend should. Cesc back am all in support bt i guez dat midfield wont acomodate him n Santi together

  6. Excellent blog, Dave and excellent input. So many good memories to cherish regarding Cesc. I certainly don’t think we can afford to reject a potential transfer due to sour feelings. We lack a fair bit of creativity these days and he’s sorely missed imo.

    We can only hope he returns but I’m not convinced he wants to leave Barca at this time. It will solely be up to them. Can’t see why he should be deemed surplus to requirements and Xavi is not getting younger either.

    Was a very good and informative read. Can never get tired of reading about his days with us.

  7. Wooow Dave,nice blog to read…At 17yrs now, i have grown watching AFC, although i was young, i rarely missed matches, i could see Reyes, Edu, Bergkamp, Henry,Seaman, Pires,Viera and later Cesc one of my favourites. Cesc was fantastic in the short period he played in Epl…..i can recall the season Adebayor was the only striker to start every game, even if he was the top scorer in Epl, all that was due to the Man who spoon-fed him, only for the striker to waste some nice chances at that time…

  8. Cesc’s thirsty of thropies is almost completely fullfilled. Barca, if they don’t mess up, wil win La Liga this season. Only CL thropy he isn’t win yet. Yet, he isn’t play in his most natural desireable role. Somehow, in the age 32, Xavi can still run that famous machine of tiki taka, and we (and Cesc himself) should confese that Xavi is better than he is. The role of ” fake number 9″ was made by del Bosque to accomodate of Cesc surplus to requirement. And they win Euro 2012 as a result. Right now, I believe, Cesc is in trap beetween his self achievement or his passions of football. Pep, the man who had chosen him as Xavi’s succesor was move to Munchen and we don’t know that Vilanova has the same idea. However, I don’t think they’ve better choice on the bench other than Cesc and young Thiago -allmost wasted tallent- Alcantara. So, maybe his stick to them for a few years. And maybe if he win his LC thropy, he will come back for us. Personaly Dave, deep down inside, I think Arsenal is Cesc “first love” not the Catalans.

  9. Great blog Dave. My heart says I would love Cesc back my head says he will not. We can never go back so I see him biding his time & eventually getting his rightful place.
    For all the young AFC fans who have only seen the likes of Bergkamp or Henry on tv or dvd this must make them wish they were 10 years older. Xx

    1. Madge thanks for that. I did see them and I still wish I was 10 years younger. That however is another story

  10. Made my day! If there is any former gunner I want to see back at Emirates, its one and only Cesc…too good to compare with giggs/scholes/gerrard/lampard!

  11. It just amazes how add you dig to always get your facts and figures.
    You really nailed this post. This is well written article.
    Even if Fabregas should come back, he can’t do much assists again because he now searches more for goals than creating them.
    I really admire the way you right.

  12. So you meet this girl, who is being ignored by that handsome Spanish guy down the block with the fancy car. She’s not especially pretty, but you let her know that she’s beautiful on the inside. She begins to believe it. Within a short time, she’s left the Spanish guy, started sleeping with you, learned how to put on makeup, gotten her teeth straightened, and gone on a diet and now she looks fabulous.

    But every so often, she mentions how she loved the Spanish guy. Soon, she starts shouting out the Spanish guy’s name during sex. Then the Spanish guy runs into you and says it’s just a matter of time before she goes back to him, it’s inevitable. Then she shows up at your door wearing the Spanish guy’s jacket. Then she starts saying she can’t go out with you tonight because she has to wash her hair. Then, finally, you see the Spanish guy’s fancy car, and you forget the old rule, “If this car’s rockin’, don’t go knockin’.” You see the Spanish guy in the car banging your girl. And she’s enjoying it far more than she ever did with you. And, oh yeah, now she’s wearing a ring. But, after a short time, he starts ignoring her, because he’s got a few other girlfriends who are better in the sack (or the back seat).

    Would you take her back? If you would, then you’re a sucker and a chump. Francesc Fabregas betrayed us. He stabbed us in the back, right through the heart. He is Barcelona through and through. He always was. He IS home. The only place he’s going is hell.

    1. I think your comment is a bit too much over-reacting. Yes Cesc left us but we all knew he would. And if he want to come back then he should be warmly welcomed to his adopted home, Arsenal FC.

      1. And if ever he decides to come back, who knows? He might open the door for other traitors like: Na$ri, Song… and NOT RVP, coz that’s an issue for another day or generation. Yes! And the media will coin another alias for us – verily an opposite of ‘selling club’.

  13. You just did me a huge favour. I’ve bookmarked this for future reference when gullible chalves come around with thier baseless arguments…
    Another refreshing one Dave. Cheers and thanks for taking so much stress to bring us so much details.

  14. Very thoughtful article. Good job.
    For Cesc, i dont know if i would like him back, uncle mike’s assessment might be harsh but he betrayed Wenger when he needed him the most. Its a betrayal to the father who nourished u. Even more then others cuz he loved Wenger and vice versa.
    Hes an alright player professionally if u follow him and personally a mess.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *