Defenders have come a long way from just being the players assigned the task of preventing goals. Not only is it common to see defenders make runs deep into the opposition half, but it is also something that's expected from them in the modern game.
Defenders are, by definition, expected to prevent the goals from going and not make them but some of them have had their fair share of contribution towards the goals throughout their careers, especially the full-backs.
Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold is reaching new heights with his ability to set up goals for his teammates, having notched up 12 assists for two back-to-back seasons. At just 21 years of age, he has a total of 25 assists in league fixtures and thus it is only a matter of time before he becomes the highest assisting defender in the Premier League, but as of now, he has a lot of catching up to do.
The ability to operate on the flanks and the forward play allows full-backs to set up their teammates more regularly as compared to their centre-half colleagues, so it is no wonder why the top assist providing defenders in the history of English top-flight all started as either right-backs or left-backs.
Some of the players who we're going to take a look at in this list started in more advanced roles down the pitch and were converted into full-backs over time, either very early in their careers or before they reached the peak of their careers.
So, on that note, here we present to you the top five defenders with the most assists in the history of the Premier League.
5. Gary Neville - 35 assists
We kick off our list with a Premier League legend in former Manchester United star Gary Neville. The one-club man is one of the most decorated English players of all-time, having won 20 major trophies during his 19-year spell with the Red Devils.
Though he was not the quickest, tallest, strongest or most technically gifted player, he was a reliable, traditional defensive-minded right-back, who possessed an incredible ability to read the game, which made him so successful as a right-back.
He was not particularly known for his offensive qualities, having only scored five goals in 400 Premier League appearances for United, but his longevity helped him reach 35 assists with them before he hung his boots in 2011.
The most productive period of his career in terms of assists came between 1995 to 2005, in which he provided 30 of his 35 career assists andit mostly boils down to his brilliant chemistry with David Beckham on the right-hand side of the pitch in that period.