Kane, Shearer, Drogba: Who is Premier League’s best ever striker?

  • Rob Swan

The Premier League has been home to some of the world’s most formidable and prolific strikers since 1992.

Alan Shearer, Thierry Henry, Wayne Rooney, Luis Suarez, Didier Drogba… the names of past and present superstars roll off the tongue.

But who are the best strikers of the Premier League era?

FourFourTwo ranked the top 30 in order, along with their appearances, goals and titles statistics.

Let’s take a closer look at their list…

30. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Games: 235 Goals: 91 Titles: 6

Manchester United’s current manager was a student of the game who would often analyse matches from the subs’ bench before entering the fray to make a game-changing impact.

One of the greatest finishers in United’s history.


29. Jermain Defoe

Games: 496 Goals: 162 Titles: 0

Only seven players have scored more goals in Premier League history than Jermain Defoe, the diminutive centre-forward who played for West Ham, Tottenham, Portsmouth and Sunderland.


28. Jurgen Klinsmann

Games: 56 Goals: 29 Titles: 0

Jurgen Klinsmann had two short spells with Tottenham in the 1990s and was just as famous for his diving celebration as his goals.


27. Romelu Lukaku

Games: 252 Goals: 113 Titles: 0

Romelu Lukaku averaged almost a goal every other game during stints with Chelsea, West Brom, Everton and Manchester United. The Belgian is currently enjoying a successful stint with Inter Milan.


26. Carlos Tevez

Games: 202 Goals: 84 Titles: 3

Perhaps best remembered for various controversial incidents, let’s not forget that Carlos Tevez was one hell of a striker. The ex-West Ham, Man United and Man City star lifted the Premier League trophy on three occasions.


25. Les Ferdinand

Games: 351 Goals: 149 Titles: 0

Les Ferdinand, the former England international, is ‘only’ 5ft 11in tall but is undoubtedly one of the best headers of the ball we’ve seen during the Premier League era.


24. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink

Games: 288 Goals: 127 Titles: 0

Few players in Premier League history have been able to hit a ball quite like Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. The power he could generate from his shots was insane. Goalkeepers must have hated playing against him.

The Dutchman is best remembered for his spells with Chelsea and Leeds United.


23. Jamie Vardy

Games: 236 Goals: 115 Titles: 1

Jamie Vardy’s extraordinary career has been well-documented in recent years. The former non-league striker, who turned 34 in January, seems to be getting better and better with age.


22. Diego Costa

Games: 89 Goals: 52 Titles: 2

We’ll all remember Diego Costa more for his on-field antics than his goals, but the Spain international was a superb striker for Chelsea.


21. Nicolas Anelka

Games: 364 Goals: 125 Titles: 2

Nicolas Anelka played for six different Premier League clubs: Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City, Bolton, Chelsea and West Brom. The Frenchman scored goals wherever he went but was a somewhat complex character, as highlighted by the 2020 Netflix film ‘Anelka: Misunderstood’.


20. Dimitar Berbatov

Games: 229 Goals: 94 Titles: 2

It could certainly be argued that no player in Premier League history has possessed a better first touch than Dimitar Berbatov, who was a joy to watch during his spells with Tottenham, Manchester United and Fulham.


19. Fernando Torres

Games: 212 Goals: 85 Titles: 0

English football fans saw two very different versions of Fernando Torres: the unstoppable Liverpool version, and the bitterly disappointing Chelsea version. At his peak, though, the Spaniard was incredible.


18. Gianfranco Zola

Games: 229 Goals: 59 Titles: 0

A magician who always played with a beaming smile on his face, the lovable Gianfranco Zola will forever be remembered fondly by Chelsea supporters as well as the wider football community.


17. Harry Kane

Games: 237 Goals: 160 Titles: 0

Harry Kane, 27, needs 100 goals to equal Shearer’s all-time Premier League record. There is talk, however, that he might be open to leaving Tottenham this summer.


16. Dwight Yorke

Games: 375 Goals: 123 Titles: 3

Dwight Yorke starred for Aston Villa and Man United before moving on to Blackburn, Birmingham, Sydney FC and Sunderland.


15. Andy Cole

Games: 414 Goals: 187 Titles: 5

You can’t talk about Yorke without mentioning Andy Cole, who struck up an incredible partnership with his fellow centre-forward at Old Trafford.


14. Robbie Fowler

Games: 379 Goals: 163 Titles: 0

One of the most natural finishers the Premier League has ever seen, Robbie Fowler is still referred to as ‘God’ at Anfield.


13. Michael Owen

Games: 326 Goals: 150 Titles: 1

World-class during his early years at Liverpool – resulting in him winning the 2001 Ballon d’Or and earning a move to Real Madrid – Michael Owen struggled with injuries towards the end of his career but still managed to win his one and only Premier League title with Manchester United.


12. Robin van Persie

Games: 280 Goals: 144 Titles: 1

Winner of the Premier League Golden Boot award with both Arsenal and Manchester United, Robin van Persie was world-class during his peak years.


11. Teddy Sheringham

Games: 418 Goals: 146 Titles: 3

One of the most intelligent strikers we’ve seen during the Premier League era, Teddy Sheringham must have been a joy to play alongside.


10. Ian Wright

Games: 213 Goals: 113 Titles: 1

A pure out-and-out goalscorer, Ian Wright is one of the greatest strikers to ever play for Arsenal.


9. Ruud van Nistelrooy

Games: 150 Goals: 95 Titles: 1

A ruthless finisher, Ruud van Nistelrooy was unbelievable inside the penalty box for Manchester United. His incredible goals-to-games record speaks for itself.


8. Didier Drogba

Games: 254 Goals: 104 Titles: 4

Arguably Chelsea’s greatest ever player, alongside Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba was the ultimate big-game performer. Whenever the Blues desperately required a goal, the Ivorian striker was usually on hand to provide it.


7. Luis Suarez

Games: 110 Goals: 69 Titles: 0

One of the most revered forwards of the current generation, Luis Suarez was sensational for Liverpool and it was no surprise when Barcelona came knocking in 2014 – despite the fact he was about to serve a lengthy ban for the third biting incident of his career.


6. Dennis Bergkamp

Games: 315 Goals: 87 Titles: 3

We mentioned Berbatov’s first touch earlier, but Dennis Bergkamp’s was at least on par with the Bulgarian’s. The Dutchman wasn’t able to make the Premier League’s ‘100 club’ but some of the stuff he produced in an Arsenal shirt was nothing short of remarkable.


5. Wayne Rooney

Games: 482 Goals: 208 Titles: 5

Wayne Rooney burst onto the scene as a wonderkid with Everton and went on to become Manchester United and England’s all-time record goalscorer. A magnificent all-round footballer.


4. Eric Cantona

Games: 156 Goals: 70 Titles: 4

One of the Premier League’s first truly great foreign imports, Eric Cantona spent five unforgettable seasons with Manchester United and helped to transform the Red Devils into a trophy-winning machine following his move from Leeds in 1992.


3. Sergio Aguero

Games: 271 Goals: 181 Titles: 4

Scorer of arguably the most iconic goal in Premier League history, Manchester City hero Sergio Aguero is on course to surpass Andy Cole’s tally of 187 goals to become the third-leading goalscorer of the Premier League era.


2. Alan Shearer

Games: 441 Goals: 260 Titles: 1

Alan Shearer’s record of 260 goals is particularly insane when you consider he scored an additional 23 league goals for Southampton in the old First Division prior to 1992. No player has managed to come within 50 goals of Shearer’s record so far.


1. Thierry Henry

Games: 258 Goals: 175 Titles: 2

But the best striker of the Premier League era – and, indeed, probably the best overall player, too – is Thierry Henry. Winner of the Premier League Golden Boot award on four occasions, the Frenchman was unplayable during his peak years with Arsenal.

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