Premier League’s greatest ever strikers ranked from ‘God Tier’ to ‘Just Decent’

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Some of the greatest strikers of the past few generations have plied their trade in the Premier League.

Every football fan can reel off the names of various legendary Premier League goalscorers. For many of us, these are the players that made us fall in love with the beautiful game while growing up.

Alan Shearer is still the league’s all-time leading scorer on 260 goals, followed by Wayne Rooney (208) and Andy Cole (187).

Sergio Aguero (177) recently overtook Thierry Henry (175) to pull level with Frank Lampard, while Robbie Fowler (163), Jermain Defoe (162), Michael Owen (150) and Les Ferdinand (149) complete the top 10.

We thought we’d try and rank 35 of the greatest ever Premier League strikers into five different tiers - and believe us when we tell you it was *a lot* harder than it sounds. (By the way, it's worth noting that all the players featured had already been pre-selected on Tiermaker).

Taking their goals, overall quality and impact into consideration, here’s how we’ve ranked them…

And remember, it’s all down to personal opinion - there are no right or wrong answers here!

Just Decent

Romelu Lukaku

Mark Viduka

Dion Dublin

Emmanuel Adebayor

Kevin Phillips

Mark Hughes

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

These seven players were all top Premier League centre-forwards in their own right but narrowly miss out on the fourth tier (Quality) for various reasons.

Romelu Lukaku (113) and Dion Dublin (111) are the two players in this category to score over 100 Premier League goals but weren’t always great.

Manchester United v Southampton FC - Premier League

Kevin Phillips enjoyed one fantastic season with Sunderland in 1999/00 where he scored 30 goals, wrapping up the Golden Boot in the process.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was brilliant for Man Utd but often played as a substitute.

Mark Viduka was a tad underrated - but only a tad - while Emmanuel Adebayor has blown hot and cold too many times to be considered anything other than ‘just decent’.

Tottenham Hotspur v Queens Park Rangers - Premier League

Quality

Diego Costa

Jermain Defoe

Jamie Vardy

Les Ferdinand

Robbie Keane

Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink

Dimitar Berbatov

Dwight Yorke

Teddy Sheringham

Nicolas Anelka

A packed category, this one, featuring superb goalscorers.

All of these strikers were top class and scored tons of goals for their respective teams but, for one reason or another, we couldn’t bring ourselves to put them into the ‘World Class’ category.

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Les Ferdinand and Teddy Sheringham are both in the top 11 Premier League goalscorers of all-time list, so it feels a little harsh not bumping them up. But when you see the names featured in the next category, you’ll understand why.

The rest of them have all been fantastic goalscorers down the years, too.

Man U v Sunderland

World Class

Fernando Torres

Ruud van Nistelrooy

Ian Wright

Luis Suarez

Robin van Persie

Carlos Tevez

Gianfranco Zola

Eric Cantona

Michael Owen

In fairness, we could easily have described all nine of these strikers as legends. Indeed, many football fans already do refer to them as legends.

But we needed a separate category - one down from ‘Legendary’ - so world-class will have to suffice.

Fernando Torres was sensational for Liverpool but terrible for Chelsea, hence why he’s not higher.

Ruud van Nistelrooy smashed it for five seasons at Man Utd but didn’t stay in England long enough to break the 100 Premier League goals milestone.

Manchester United's Ruud van Nistelrooy

Ian Wright is an Arsenal hero but 113 goals is the same tally as Lukaku and fewer than the likes of Steven Gerrard and Dwight Yorke.

Luis Suarez was a genius but, like Van Nistelrooy, wasn’t in the league long enough to become either ‘Legendary’ or ‘God Tier’.

Michael Owen was extraordinary during the early years of his career but wasn’t the same player after returning to England following a spell at Real Madrid.

Michael Owen of Liverpool celebrates scoring

Gianfranco Zola was a magician - an absolute joy to watch - but only scored 59 Premier League goals, which is the same name number as Niall Quinn and one less than Gylfi Sigurdsson.

And on a similar note, Man Utd icon Eric Cantona ‘only’ managed to score 70 Premier League goals - the same number as Christian Benteke.

It feels like we’ve downplayed their achievements now, but we’re just listing reasons why we couldn’t put them into the ‘Legendary’ category.

Legendary

Sergio Aguero

Harry Kane

Didier Drogba

Wayne Rooney

Robbie Fowler

Andy Cole

Dennis Bergkamp

All seven of these strikers are bonafide Premier League heroes who will never be forgotten.

Wayne Rooney, Andy Cole and Sergio Aguero are second, third and fourth respectively on the list of the league’s all-time leading goalscorers.

Aston Villa v Manchester City - Premier League

Dennis Bergkamp scored 87 goals but is unquestionably one of the greatest players the Premier League has ever seen.

Robbie Fowler is still referred to as ‘God’ by Liverpool supporters at Anfield.

Didier Drogba is also an icon, one of the greatest players in Chelsea’s history.

And Harry Kane (currently on 136 goals) might one day break Alan Shearer’s record to become the Premier League’s record goalscorer.

Tottenham Hotspur v Burnley FC - Premier League

God Tier

Alan Shearer

Thierry Henry

And finally, we have the greatest two strikers the Premier League has ever seen: Alan Shearer and Thierry Henry.

Shearer’s record of 260 Premier League goals - scored with Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United, remember - is absolutely remarkable.

Newcastle United v Aston Villa

Henry, meanwhile, is considered by many as the greatest player the Premier League has ever seen.

Between 2001-2006, Arsenal’s French forward was unstoppable and on a different level to any other player in English football.

Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal

When it comes to Premier League strikers, Shearer and Henry deserve to be in a category of their own.

Here’s our Premier League striker’s tier list in full…

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