The Premier League has given the world some of the best football players. Ever since its inception in 1992, legendary players like Alan Shearer, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Thierry Henry have spent seasons here and enticed entire stadiums with jaw-dropping goals, brilliant assists, out-of-this-world dribbling skills, or just by being world-class showmen.
As is the case with all things football, it’s difficult to bring a topic like the best Premier League players into discussion without sparking a bit of debate.
Every fan, depending on the generation they grew up watching, their favourite club, and their personal preferences will pick a different player. But, if we’re to look only at the numbers, these are the top scorers that have dazzled Premier League fans over the years.
Alan Shearer (260 goals)
Alan Shearer is, by a landslide, the player with the most goals in Premier League. In his 18-year career in top-level British football, he scored no less than 260 goals, and more than half of them were for Newcastle United (148), where he played between 1996 and 2006.
Add another 30 goals during the World Cup, and you get quite the impressive track record. For most of his career, Shearer played as a centre forward, and his physical strength and strong shot definitely helped him break records.
For example, while at Newcastle, he was the top choice for striking penalty shots and free kicks. Alan Shearer retired in 2006, after appearing in 559 matches in Premier League, and went on to work as a BBC pundit.
Wayne Rooney (208 goals)
Between 2002 and the present day, Wayne Rooney scored 208 goals, and even though he impressed everywhere he went, the most acclaimed part of his career was at Manchester United.
While he played here, between 2004 and 2017, Rooney scored 183 goals, more than Shearer did at Newcastle.
He became Man United’s top scorer of all time and received many awards over the years, including England Player of the Year (four times), PFA Player of the Year, and was nominated for the FIFA Ballon d’Or in 2011.
These days, Wayne Rooney takes up a new challenge: managing Derby County.
Andy Cole (187 goals)
We couldn’t talk about the top goal scorers in Premier League without mentioning Andy Cole, another legendary Manchester United striker.
Andy Cole scored 187 goals throughout his career, which also included clubs like Newcastle United, Blackburn Rovers, and Fulham. Cole retired in 2008 after winning eight major trophies with Manchester United and being capped 15 times for the national team.
Sergio Aguero (181 goals)
Sergio Aguero’s presence on this list is definitely interesting, considering that he’s in good shape and still playing.
The 32-year-old Argentinian striker started playing at Manchester City in 2011, and he’s scored 181 goals in total, so he’s quite close to surpassing Andy Cole. But, apart from being one of the most promising talents in Premier League, “Kun” Aguero also broke records in the Argentine Primera División, where he debuted earlier than his father-in-law, the legendary Diego Maradona.
This summer, Sergio Aguero announced his departure from Manchester City, and he’s currently receiving offers from several top-tier European clubs. In a recent interview, his former coach, Pep Guardiola, said that Kun reminds him of Leo Messi and Maradona and that he can win matches on his own.
Frank Lampard (177 goals)
Younger football fans may know Frank Lampard as Chelsea’s coach between 2019 and 2021, but actually, the peak of his career was as a player at Chelsea, where he played as a midfielder between 2001 and 2014. While at Chelsea, he scored 147 games in 429 matches.
In total, Lampard scored 177 goals, which makes him the only midfielder in Premier League to have scored over 150 goals. After leaving Chelsea, Lampard was named in their Team of the Decade, and, in 2019, he became the first English manager to return as a manager within two decades.
Thierry Henry (175 goals)
Dubbed by many as the best player in the history of the Premier League, Thierry Henry scored 175 goals and stood out at Arsenal FC, where he played between 1999 and 2007.
Here, the French striker led the team into the 2006 UEFA Champions League final, and he became their top scorer, remaining unsurpassed to this day. After leaving Arsenal, Thierry Henry played at FC Barcelona for two years, then retired at the New York Red Bulls.
Robbie Fowler (163 goals)
Fowler seemed to have an innate ability to effortlessly send the ball into the net, and, even today, almost one decade after retiring, he’s still known for his fantastic striking ability.
In his career, Fowler scored 163 goals, and 120 of them were scored for Liverpool, the team where he reached peak performance and where he was dubbed as “God” by fans.
Robbie Fowler left Liverpool in 2001 and went on to play for many other teams (Leeds, Man City, Cardiff, just to name a few), but his fame remains inextricably linked to that of Liverpool.
Who are this season’s top scorers?
Anything can happen in the Premier League, and the current season might even shake up the list of top scorers of all time if Harry Kane continues his streak.
So far, he’s the player with the most goals this season – 19, for Tottenham. Kane has scored 162 goals so far, and fans are certain that he’ll outrank Fowler and become one of the top seven Premier League all-time scorers.
For the 2020/2021 season, he’s neck-and-neck with Mohamed Salah, who also scored 19 goals, for Liverpool.
Although Salah’s contract ends in 2023, rumour has it that he will leave Liverpool this summer, so it remains to be seen if his journey in Premier League will continue. In third place, we have Bruno Fernandes, who scored 16 goals for Manchester United.