Who is the best Premier League striker ever?
Drew Goodsell | 9 April 2020
We’ve whittled it down to four, now it’s up to you to choose one
Throughout the history of the Premier League, we’ve been fortunate to see some of the world’s best ply their trade on our shores. For some, it didn’t quite go to plan, but we’ve picked our four-man shortlist who have notched a stunning 823 goals between them, and we’re still counting.
We’ve got some honourable mentions to those who just missed the cut too, mainly Andrew Cole, who sits third in the all-time goalscorer charts, but just didn’t offer enough in his overall game for us to include him here.
Didier Drogba may have been king of Stamford Bridge, but the Ivorian’s goal record was a little underwhelming It was his ability to hold and link up play, plus his brute force and sheer strength which made him a completely different beast.
Robbie Fowler, Jermaine Defoe and Michael Owen also scored plenty of goals, but not quite enough. Plus, Harry Kane needs a few more years before entering the debate, while also lacking any silverware or success.
It’s time to look at those who are on our shortlist, as you decide who makes the cut as the greatest Premier League striker in history…
Blackburn Rovers, Newcastle United
260 Premier League goals, 3 Golden Boots, 1 Premier League title
Alan Shearer still tops the all-time goalscoring charts, with 260 Premier League goals to his name, despite retiring in 2006.
In the Premier League’s second season, he scored 31 goals in 40 games, firing Blackburn Rovers into a second-placed finished and UEFA Cup qualification in the process.
In Blackburn’s title-winning 1994/95 campaign, Shearer formed a formidable partnership with Chris Sutton, with the duo scoring 49 goals between them, including 34 from Shearer. He went on to win the Golden Boot and Player of the Season.
After a third consecutive 30+ goal season, Shearer earned a dream move to his boyhood club, Newcastle United, in what was then a world record transfer fee of £15 million.
In his first season in the famous black and white of Newcastle, his 25 goals led the Magpies to second in the league, and his third Golden Boot title on the bounce.
Through his 15-season Premier League career, Shearer only failed to reach a double-digit goal tally in three campaigns. A deadly goalscorer on his day, it’s exactly how the Geordie set the 260-goal standard in the all-time scoring charts.
Everton, Manchester United
208 Premier League goals, 5 Premier League titles
Cast your minds back to October 2002. Arsenal were on a 30-game unbeaten run in the Premier League, and Wayne Rooney was an unknown teenager amongst the Everton ranks.
Fast forward 90 minutes and that unbeaten run had been ended, thanks to a moment of sheer quality from Wayne Rooney. He’d announced himself on the biggest stage in style.
In August 2004, Rooney moved from Merseyside to Manchester, where United signed a then 18-year-old Rooney for £25.6 million, a record for a player under 20.
Despite never picking up the Golden Boot, it’s Rooney’s consistency that helped the Manchester United legend notch 208 league goals.
He scored 10+ goals in eleven consecutive Premier League campaigns, including 26 during the 2009/10 season and 27 in 2011/12, where he missed out by three goals to Didier Drogba and Robin van Persie respectively.
A stunning free kick in January 2017 cemented Rooney’s spot as a United legend. It was his 250th goal for the club, which saw him overtake Sir Bobby Charlton as the all-time leading scorer for the Red Devils. He ended his United career with 253 goals.
To highlight his quality, Rooney also became England’s all-time leading goalscorer with 53 goals. In his Premier League career, he’s won five titles and formed formidable attacking partnerships with whoever he was alongside. It’s hard to argue against Rooney’s case as one of the all-time greats.
180 Premier League goals, 1 Golden Boot, 4 Premier League titles
Sergio Aguero became one of those rare players that slipped through the grasps of Chelsea’s riches, after Roman Abramovich baulked at Atletico Madrid’s £40 million asking price in the summer of 2010.
A year later, Aguero left the Spanish side for Manchester City in a £38 million deal. In his debut season, he’d write himself into the history of the club, scoring the title-deciding goal in the 96th minute at home to QPR on the final day, to end City’s 44-year top-flight title drought.
He’ll always be remembered for that moment, but he announced himself to the Premier League with two goals and an assist on his debut against Swansea City in just 31 minutes.
His clinical finishing ability means he’s bagged 180 Premier League goals in only 261 games, with six seasons of 20+ goals.
With four Premier League titles to his name, and playing an instrumental part in all four, scoring 82 goals across their four title winning campaigns, the Argentinian striker has only managed to bag one Golden Boot which came during the 2014/15 season, where Aguero scored 26 goals in 31 games and led City to second behind Chelsea.
At only 31 years old, and showing no signs of slowing down, with 16 Premier League goals to his name this season, could Aguero keep going and push himself above Rooney in the all-time standings?
175 Premier League goals, 4 Golden Boots, 2 Premier League titles
After struggling to make an impact as a winger in his first six months at Juventus, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger signed Thierry Henry for £14.4 million, and instantly converted him to a striker.
It was a masterstroke, and one they’d never look back on to regret. Henry went on to score 175 Premier League goals in only 258 games, winning two titles in the process including spearheading the Gunners’ attack in their invincible 2003/04 season.
The Frenchman has four Golden Boot titles to his name too, with 24 goals in the 2001/02 campaign proving enough to pick up his first. His most prolific season came during that 2003/04 invincible campaign, where Henry bagged 30 goals.
It’s in that 30-goal season where one of the most iconic Thierry Henry performances happened. Arsenal hammered Leeds United at Highbury in April 2004, beating the Whites 5-0. But it was Henry’s four goals which rightfully earned him the plaudits.
Despite missing out on the 2002/03 Golden Boot to Manchester United’s Ruud van Nistelrooy, Henry did something that has never since been repeated. The Arsenal legend scored 24 goals, while also providing 20 assists. No player has ever set up more goals in a single Premier League campaign
His pace, power, finishing and composure have rarely been matched, and only two Arsenal strikers since Henry’s Arsenal departure in 2006 have come close to his level, in the form of Robin van Persie and current striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
There we go. We’ve pitched our four choices for the greatest striker in the Premier League of all time, but what do you think? Who will get your vote for the number 9 slot?
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