Thierry Henry’s assist record of 2002/03: how Arsenal's talisman reinvented the Premier League striker

Thierry Henry 2002/03

There are some records in football that beggar belief. Consider how Just Fontaine managed to score 13 goals in six games at the 1958 World Cup. Or how Milan won Serie A in 1994 by scoring 36 goals in 34 games. Or how Thierry Henry delivered 20 assists in the 2002/03 Premiership campaign, a record that stands to this day.

Henry’s achievement drew less attention then than it would have done now. Although the Premier League has now created an award for the top assister, the record hardly got mentioned until Mesut Ozil started racking up assists in 2015/16. Ozil got to 19, one ahead of Frank Lampard (2004/05), Cesc Fabregas (2014/15) and Kevin De Bruyne (2016/17). You may notice what these pretenders have in common: they’re playmakers. They’re supposed to give assists.

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