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The 10 Best Premier League Strikers of All Time, Ranked

The 10 Best Premier League Strikers of All Time, Ranked

Since the start of the Premier League in 1992, the competition has seen many good to great strikers come and go. Many of the bigger and well-known clubs have had numerous talents throughout their history.

Picking ten strikers from 29 years of Premier League football was a tough task, with many greats playing before the re-branding of the English football landscape. Because of that, many players will miss out here.

Before we begin, players like Robbie Fowler, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Matt Le Tissier and Dwight Yorke will all miss out here, not that they weren’t good players, they were, but most of those players named do not have the same legacy or influence that the players on this list have. While Tottenham’s Hotspurs Harry Kane, for instance, is still playing and will more than likely make the list in the near future.

With the being said, here are the top ten strikers in Premier League history.

The 10 Best Premier League Strikers of All Time, Ranked:

10. Eric Cantona (Leeds United, Manchester United)

Appearances: 156

Goals: 70 Assists: 56  GPG: 0.45

PL Titles Won:Golden Boots: 0

Never a man to shy away from the spotlight nor controversy, Eric Cantona is similar to a fabled fairy tale within the Manchester United consciousness.

Being part of the great United sides from the early to mid-1990s, Cantona was a strong, bullish and clinical forward with the ball at his feet.

He intimidated opponents with his mere presence and gave United another option in their already established forward line. He also bagged the first Premier League hat-trick for Leeds United in a 5-0 hammering of Tottenham in 1992.

With his collar up, chest out, he was a major reason as to why Man United won four league titles in five years, along with two FA Cups.

9. Ruud Van Nistelrooy (Manchester United)

Appearances: 150

Goals: 95  Assists: 14  GPG: 0.63

PL Titles Won:Golden Boots: 1

Arriving from PSV back in 2001 after a serious cruciate knee ligament injury, Van Nistelrooy became a fan favourite at Old Trafford with his excellent goalscoring output for five years.

In his first season he notched up 23 goals in 33 games, and from there he hit 20+ goals in four seasons. Winning the PFA Player’s Player of the Year, Golden Boot and Premier League title in 2002/03, scoring 25 goals in the process and 44 in all competitions.

With a goals-per-game ratio of 0.63, he contributed to 109 goals in 150 appearances. His goal return was outstanding, a player who often was in the right spot at the right time, Van Nistelrooy was an excellent finisher in his prime.

He left United after disagreements with Sir Alex Ferguson after being subsequently dropped for the League Cup final in 2006.

8. Robin Van Persie (Arsenal, Manchester United)

Appearances: 280

Goals: 144 Assists: 53 GPG: 0.51

PL Titles Won:Golden Boots: 2

The Dutchman joined Arsenal as a mere 21-year-old from Feyenoord in 2004, and from his debut to the 2009/10 season, he bagged 48 goals in 131 appearances.

Struggling with injuries and seemingly running out of patience with the Arsenal faithful, he turned a major goalscoring corner, scoring 48 Premier League goals in 63 games before making the controversial move to Manchester United in 2012/13.

He joined Manchester United as the missing key to Sir Alex Ferguson’s final season in charge of the club, practically winning them the title with 26 goals. Winning back-to-back Golden Boots from 2011/12 with 30 goals and the following season with 26 goals, Van Persie was a great striker in his day, with a peach of a left-foot.

He would be higher on this list if he was not consistently injured and with only one league title to his name, it’s hard to justify him being anywhere else but 8th.

7. Didier Drogba (Chelsea)

Appearances: 254

Goals: 104 Assists: 55 GPG: 0.41

PL Titles Won: 4  Golden Boots: 2

Didier Drogba joined the Blues from French outfit Marseille in a £24 million deal in 2004, the player struggled in his first season for a consistent run of goals, and often being maligned for his diving.

Come the 2005/06 Premier League season, Drogba managed to turn things around becoming a major part of Chelsea’s success in England and in Europe.

Winning back-to-back titles under Mourinho, and winning two Golden Boots in 2006/07 and 2009/10 with 20 and 29 goals respectively.

Never seen a prolific goalscorer, only scoring 20+ goals twice in his eight-year spell in England, but don’t get it twisted, the big Ivorian was a world-class striker in his prime, a man for the big occasion, with 10 goals in 10 finals.

The highlight of his Chelsea career was his iconic role in Chelsea winning their first European Cup, scoring an 88th-minute equaliser against Bayern Munich and scoring the winning penalty to seal his place in Chelsea history.

Contributing to 159 goals in 254 Premier League games. Winning four League titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups and the Champions League.

6. Dennis Bergkamp (Arsenal)

Appearances: 315

Goals: 87 Assists: 94 GPG: 0.25

PL Titles Won:Golden Boots: 0

The Flying Dutchman was simply an exquisite player during his time in England. Signed by then Arsenal manager Bruce Rioch in 1995.

Bergkamp struggled in his first season, with many pundits and fans thinking his style would not suit the rough and tumble style so heavily associated with English football.

How wrong they were.

He went on to be crowned PFA Player’s Player of the Year and a Premier League winner in the 1997/98 season. Scoring the best Premier League hat-trick of all-time at Leicester in the process.

He is fondly remembered by many for his frightening partnership with Thierry Henry, where the pair worked seamlessly together to capture two more league titles, first in 2001/2002 and then their Invincible season in 2003/04.

The player retired in 2006, having won three Premier League titles and four FA Cups, with two of those being doubles.

5. Andy Cole (Newcastle United, Manchester United, Blackburn Rovers, Fulham, Manchester City, Portsmouth, Sunderland)

Appearances: 414

Goals: 187  Assists: 73  GPG: 0.45

PL Titles Won:Golden Boots: 1

Starting out his Premier League career in 1993 with Newcastle United, Andy Cole was one of the hottest properties in England after scoring 55 league goals in 70 appearances for the Magpies. It was not long until Manchester United came calling.

Joining United in 1995, he would go on to become a focal point of the massive success they endured during the 1990s. His unique partnership with Dwight Yorke during the 1998/99 season catapulted them to a historic treble.

The prolific partnership netted a combined total of 98 goals for the club in their first two seasons playing alongside one another, but with incoming signings such as Ruud Van Nistelrooy, minutes on the pitch started to dwindle.

Out of Cole’s 187 Premier League goals, 93 of them came during his time at Old Trafford. Which would be expected with the team surrounding him, but out of 187 league goals, only one of them was from the penalty spot.

Enough said.

4. Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)

Appearances: 275

Goals: 184  Assists: 47  GPG: 0.69

PL Titles Won:Golden Boots: 1

When you think of little Argentines to have played in the Premier League, Sergio Aguero comes to mind, and rightfully so. The striker is easily one of the prolific strikers to ever grace the league during his 10-year stint with Manchester City.

Joining City in the 2011/12 season, scoring 23 league goals in his opening campaign he would go on to clinch City’s first-ever Premier League title in dramatic fashion on the final day of the season in a 3-2 victory over QPR.

The striker would notch up double-digit goals in nine of his 10 seasons in England, with six of those being 20+ goals. The Argentine reached the 100-goal mark in 129 starts while holding the joint record for the most goals in a single Premier League match with five.

Winning five Premier League titles with City is an incredible feat, but in terms of pure volume of goals scored, it’s hard to find anyone who can rival him. With the striker’s goals-per-minutes ratio at a ridiculous 108.

To think Chelsea declined to sign him over Fernando Torres.


3. Wayne Rooney (Everton, Manchester United)

Appearances: 491

Goals: 208  Assists: 103  GPG: 0.42

PL Titles Won:Golden Boots: 0

Manchester United’s greatest ever player. Wayne Rooney became Manchester United’s top goalscorer with 253 goals, while he sits second in the all-time Premier League goalscorer list with an incredible 208 goals.

Blessed with pace and power, Rooney was one of the best youngsters to ever come out of England. Joining United in 2004 from boyhood club Everton he won 12 major honours during his spell at Old Trafford, five of those being Premier League titles.

His latter career in Manchester was filled with persistent injuries and being played as a deep-lying midfielder and sometimes as a defensive midfielder.

His best seasons were from 2009 to 2012 where he won the PFA Player’s Player of the Year in 2010, where he contributed to 41 goals in 44 games. While in the 2011/12 season, he notched up 43 goal contributions in 43 games.

Outstanding to say the least.

2. Alan Shearer (Blackburn Rovers, Newcastle United)

Appearances: 441

Goals: 260  Assists: 64  GPG: 0.59

PL Titles Won:Golden Boots: 3

Based on pure footballing ability, England’s Alan Shearer was maybe not the greatest. But in terms of legacy and the sheer volume of goals scored, Alan Shearer has to be included on this list.

Dragging a Blackburn side to an unlikely title win in 1995, scoring 34 goals in what would turn out to be his only league title. The infamous number nine striker scored a record-breaking 260 goals (yet to be broken) and 64 assists in 441 league appearances.

He won three Golden Boots in three consecutive seasons. Scoring 31 goals in 40 games in 1993/94, 34 goals in 42 games in 1994/95 and 31 goals in 35 games in 1995/96.

He won the Football Writer’s Player of the Year in 1994 and received the PFA Player’s Player of the Year award in 1995 along with his only Premier League title in the same season.

An out and out goal-scoring machine, Shearer could score from anywhere, but it usually involved a thunderous right-foot strike from 30 yards.

The lasting image of the proud Geordie with his right hand raised after scoring is a highlight in the League’s history and is burned into every Newcastle fans mind.

1. Thierry Henry (Arsenal)

Appearances: 258

Goals: 175  Assists: 74  GPG: 0.68

PL Titles Won:Golden Boots: 4

The greatest player to ever grace the Premier League, French forward Thierry Henry was well and truly out of this world during his time in England.

Joining the Gunners from Juventus in 1999 for £11 million, Henry became a world-class player during his 9-year stay in London.

Scoring 175 goals and notching up 74 assists in 258 Premier League appearances, winning two Premier League titles in 2001/02 and 2003/04.

He went on to win the Player of the Season twice in 2003 and 2004 while picking up the Football Writer’s award in 2003, 2004 and 2006 along with four Golden Boots from 2001 to 2006.

Scoring 25+ league goals in five consecutive seasons, as well as being the only player to hit 20+ goals in five consecutive league seasons. In four of those five seasons, he was Premier League’s top scorer.

While Shearer scored more goals and spent longer in the league, Henry was a once in a lifetime striker and lit up English football that no one to this day has ever replicated, leaving behind a legacy that will be hard for anyone to match.

The 10 Best Premier League Strikers of All Time, Ranked

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