Kieran Trippier can move one step closer to a unique Premier League record when his Newcastle side travel to face Wolves on Saturday.
After becoming the first Newcastle player to provide an assist in four consecutive Premier League appearances, Trippier now chases another rare playmaking feat. The Magpies’ skipper has created the joint most chances (29) in the English top flight so far this season, also leading the way for crosses attempted (67), while only Pedro Neto can match his assist tally (6).
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In the competition’s history, a player has provided an assist in five consecutive Premier League games on ten occasions: Mesut Özil (7 games), Cesc Fàbregas (6), Mohamed Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold (two five-game streaks), Antonio Valencia, Thierry Henry, Ryan Giggs, Gianfranco Zola and Darren Anderton.
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An assist against Neto’s Wolves in Newcastle’s next league match would see Trippier join the exclusive club, becoming only the second defender to do so after Alexander-Arnold.
And not only could this close the gap on Liverpool’s No.66 in Squawka’s ranking of the best Premier League right-backs; Trippier would also be half-way to breaking another Alexander-Arnold record.
In 2019/20, Alexander-Arnold became the first defender to provide 13 assists in a single Premier League campaign. Alexander-Arnold also provided 12 assists in both 2018/19 and 2021/22, while teammate Andy Robertson is the only other defender to reach that number, also providing 12 in 2019/20. (It should come as no surprise to learn that Liverpool are the top two assisting defenders in Premier League history).
Trippier needs eight assists from the remaining 29 games to break the record. In doing so, he might also become the first defender to finish a Premier League season as the top assist provider.
The full-back leads defenders in the following metrics since the beginning of last season:
- Most passes into the box
- Most accurate crosses
- Most chances created
- Most big chances created
- Most assists
Finally, Trippier only needs to tilt his gaze from the red to the blue part of Merseyside to place another record in his sights. In 2012/13, Leighton Baines created 116 chances for Everton – the most by a defender in a single Premier League season since Opta records began (2003/04). Trippier was only six shy of equalling this tally last season; only Bruno Fernandes (119) created more chances in the division than Trippier’s 110.
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This weekend Trippier comes face-to-face with the only other player that can match his assist tally in the Premier League so far this season, in Pedro Neto.
The Wolves winger is in the form of his life. No player across Europe’s seven major leagues has more assists. After nine games, he has already equalled his best-ever return in a Premier League season (6) and has set up exactly 50% of Wolves’ league goals so far.
In fact, only four Wolves players have ever provided more in a single campaign – Kevin Doyle in 2011/12 (7), Raúl Jiménez in 2018/19 (7), João Moutinho in 2018/19 (8) and Adama Traoré in 2019/20 (9) as Neto looks to become the first-ever Wolves player to reach double figures for assists in a single Premier League campaign.
Three of his assists so far this season have been for the in-form Hwang Hee-chan, which is the joint-most one player has assisted another in the Premier League so far this term, alongside Darwin Nunez, who has provided three assists for Mohamed Salah.
Neto’s 24 chances created from the opening nine matches is also just 15 short of the Wolves’ player with the most chances created in the Premier League in the whole of last season, when midfielder Joao Moutinho topped the charts with 39.
All of which means Newcastle vs Wolves looks set to be a exhibition in creativity, where Premier League history could be made.