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The greatest goalscorers in Premier League history

Profile Picture: Josh Powell

March 1st, 2021

The Premier League has seen some of the greatest players ever grace its turf, and when it comes to exceptional goalscorers there is no short supply. There is a gift to finding the back of the net, whether it’s skill, technique, positioning and occasionally pure luck, and these 10 players have all of that in abundance.

Rather than just list the 10 players with the most Premier League goals in history, this list also incorporates their ratio of goals to games to get a better handle on who truly was the Premier League’s greatest goalscorer.

10. Jermain Defoe

Teams: Bournemouth, Sunderland, Tottenham, Portsmouth, West Ham
Appearances: 496
Goals: 162

Defoe has 162 Premier League goals to his name – the eighth highest goalscorer in PL history – and has a unique record of having scored the most goals as a substitute. If you need to bring on an impact player to grab a goal, there is nobody better. Defoe scored 91 goals for Tottenham, as well as finding the net for West Ham, Portsmouth, Sunderland, and Bournemouth.

9. Michael Owen

Teams: Stoke City, Manchester United, Newcastle United, Liverpool
Appearances: 326
Goals: 150

Michael Owen is the only Premier League player to score more than 100 goals and also win the Ballon d’Or, an award he picked up in 2001 after helping Liverpool win a treble of the UEFA Cup, FA Cup and League Cup. Owen won two Premier League Golden Boots and scored 118 goals in 216 games for Liverpool, before adding a few more to his tally with spells at Newcastle, Manchester United and Stoke.

8. Robbie Fowler

Teams: Blackburn, Liverpool, Manchester City, Liverpool, Leeds United
Appearances: 379
Goals: 163

Another Liverpool legend makes the list with Robbie Fowler. Nicknamed "God" by the Anfield faithful, Fowler is the seventh highest scorer in the league with 163 goals in 379 games – a ratio of 0.43 goals a game. 128 of those goals came at a historic spell with the Reds, before shorter spells with Leeds and Man City towards the end of his career.

7. Robin van Persie

Teams: Manchester United, Arsenal, 
Appearances: 280
Goals: 144

The highest ever scorer for the Netherlands, RVP is a two-time Premier League Golden Boot winner who is the 13th highest goalscorer in PL history with 144 in 280 games. That’s a phenomenal record of more than a goal every other game on average, as Van Persie bagged 96 with Arsenal and 48 with rivals Manchester United.

6. Andy Cole

Teams: Sunderland, Portsmouth, Manchester City, Fulham, Blackburn, Manchester United, Newcastle United
Appearances: 414
Goals: 187

Andy Cole scored Premier League goals for six different clubs and racked up a total of 187 goals in 414 games. Only two players in history have more top flight goals. An integral part of the Manchester United treble winning side of 1999, Cole is the fastest man to score 50 goals (taking him just 65 matches).

5. Harry Kane

Teams: Tottenham, Norwich City
Appearances: 233
Goals: 157

Tottenham star Harry Kane rightly makes the top five on this list. Currently the ninth highest goalscorer in league history, nobody has a better ratio than the Englishman who has 157 goals in 233 Premier League games. For four consecutive seasons between 2014 and 2018, Kane scored a minimum of 20 goals, bagging a whopping 30 in the 2017-18 season. A two-time Golden Boot winner, Kane is undoubtably one of the league’s best.

4. Thierry Henry

Team: Arsenal
Appearances:
258
Goals:
175

Arguably one of the greatest players ever to play in the Premier League, it was hard not to have Henry higher on this list. A record four-time winner of the Premier League Golden Boot, Henry scored 175 goals in 258 games for Arsenal, winning two titles including the unbeaten season with "The Invincibles." For five seasons in a row, Henry bagged at least 24 goals in the league and is Arsenal’s record goalscorer.

3. Sergio Aguero

Team: Manchester City
Appearances:
269
Goals:
180

When Diego Maradona is you father-in-law the pressure is on to excel – and Sergio Aguero certainly does. One of the deadliest finishers in world football, Aguero scored Manchester City’s most famous goal – a 96th minute winner against QPR to secure the league title in 2012. That is one of four league titles he’s won, and he has a total of 180 goals in 269 games for City.

2. Wayne Rooney

Teams: Everton, Manchester United
Appearances:
491
Goals:
208

The top two on the list are unrivalled. Wayne Rooney narrowly misses out on top spot with 208 goals to his name in the Premier League. Manchester United and England’s record goalscorer, Rooney is considered one of the greatest players of his generation. He is the only footballer to have scored at least 200 Premier League goals and provided at least 100 Premier League assists.

1. Alan Shearer

Teams: Newcastle United, Blackburn
Appearances:
441
Goals:
260

Shearer is the greatest goalscorer in Premier League history – nobody has more goals than him, and it doesn’t look like many will get close. Shearer has 260 Premier League goals and is the only player to score more than 100 goals for two different clubs – 112 goals for Blackburn and 148 for Newcastle. A winner of three consecutive Golden Boots, Shearer scored more than 30 goals a season for three seasons in a row between 1993 and 1996. He is without doubt, the best centre-forward of his generation.

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