Best Strikers in Premier League History
Since the start of the Premier League in 1992 some of the world's best players have played in it, including some of the best forwards and strikers. There have been some really world class players among the best premier league strikers ever that have competed for the coveted Golden Boot trophy or just managed to have an impact on the game of football overall.
Although it was a really difficult task we have tried to compile a list of best forwards in Premier League of all time. We have taken their goals, assists, trophies and overall impact on football and the Premier League as a whole into account. So let's find out who made the list:
Greatest Strikers in Premier League History
Every striker on this list have impacted their team each on their own ways, making every player unique from the rest, but let’s see who comes on top of the EPL top strikers ever, shall we!?
10. Dwight Yorke / Andy Cole
Manchester United have had some of the best strikers in Premier League play for them in the Premier League era. In fact, some of which are on this list, but it these two players were something else as everyone that came after eventually were compared to them.
In football we quite often see strong partnerships that propel their teams into glory and although these two were exceptional players on their own, as a unit they were unstoppable. Yorke and Cole up front were a different level of threat than either of them were individually and what made it even better was the fact that they relished this and didn’t let ego or rivalry get the better of them.
Although their partnerships didn’t last long, they helped Manchester United secure their famous Treble, winning the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League, in 1998-99 season. Both Yorke and Cole scored in the semi-final of UCL against Juventus as well as numerous goals in the EPL. Yorke became back to back Golden Boot winner in 1998-99 and 1999-00 and Cole was just one goal behind him on both occasions.
Because physically they were of the same stature, Beckham and Giggs could deliver any good pass to either of them and the result would be the same and that was a goal, whether it was long balls, crosses or just through balls. What made their bond special was the fact that often times these two assisted each other, being able to find each other without even looking, either with one two passes or through balls. Dwight Yorke has managed to score 123 goals in 375 appearances and Andy Cole, 187 in 414 appearances as they have become two of the greatest strikers in Premier League history.
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9. Luis Suarez
After selling their Talisman Fernando Torres in the January of 2011, Liverpool was aggressively trying to replace him and invest in buying strikers. They ended up paying £22.8m for Luis Suarez and £35m Andy Carroll. Fortunately for Liverpool though Suarez’s performances were miles better than Carroll who ended up being a flop at Anfield despite costing Liverpool more.
When he first came to Liverpool, Suarez was infamous for playing dirty and biting players. His reputation didn’t improve during his time there but there is no denying his ability on the pitch. The Uruguayan wasn’t a straightaway success at Anfield, scoring only 15 times in his first 18 months, but the appointment of manager Brendan Rogers was the catalyzing factor in him being among the EPL top strikers ever.
Luis Suarez thrived under Rogers’ new tactics, linking up with Sturridge and scoring 23 goals in 2012-13 season and 31 in the 2013-14 season which won him the Golden Boot in both EPL and Europe, A prize that not many strikers on this list have won. Liverpool managed to mount a title challenge that year but it ended in heartbreak as they capitulated towards the latter part of the season and lost the title to Manchester City. Suarez ended up scoring 69 goals in his 110 games for Liverpool, having a Goals-per-game ratio of 0.63.
Luis Suarez is the perfect modern striker which makes him unique among best premier league strikers of all time. Suarez can score with both his feet and his head, He can dribble past defenders. He is incredibly fast and has a great shooting range. He has the ability to create magical moments in the game by scoring astonishing goals from impossible angles or range. Despite having a lot of disciplinary issues Suarez managed to make his mark on the Premier League history by becoming one of the best strikers in Premier League history.
8. Didier Drogba
In the years following the acquisition of Chelsea by Roman Abramovic, Chelsea tried to sign a great striker that would complete their team and with the advice of their new manager, they opted to sign a power commanding striker. Didier Drogba was that player and he went on to become one of the best premier league strikers ever.
Drogba added that very much needed grit to Chelsea’s attack, something that Mourinho’s teams were known for. That grit helped Chelsea in being a team that was hard to beat and could get results even when the opponents were playing very defensively. Drogba was just the sort of attacker that could score a goal even when Chelsea were not playing well, the kind of goals that brought points to the team and made them champions.
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Drogba managed to do just that by becoming back to back champions of the Premier League in his first two seasons with Chelsea. He won the league twice more in 2009-10 and 2014-15. Although The Ivorian was never a prolific goal scorer, in fact only twice he managed to score more than 20 goals a season, something that a lot of best strikers in Premier League history do occasionally.
Drogba loved to score in big games which made him a fan favorite. He managed to score 104 goals in 254 Premier League game for Chelsea but perhaps his most important goal for the club came in the Champions League final of 2011-12 season that drew the game against Bayern Munich which they later won on penalties. because of that goal and many others, he has become one of the greatest strikers in Premier League history.
7. Harry Kane
Tottenham as a club doesn’t have many football superstars in their history, or at least in the EPL era, but that title could arguably be given to two Tottenham players and those players are Gareth Bale and Harry Kane.
Being a product of Tottenham’s own youth academy, Kane broke out into the team in 2013-14 season, as Tottenham were struggling to replace Gareth Bale by buying foreign strikers that failed to perform. Kane repaid Spurs’ faith in him well when he scored 21 goals in 2014-15. Spurs knew they had a star on their hand. Harry Kane then went on to become the Golden Boot winner twice in a row between 2015 and 2017.
Kane has scored 143 goals in 211 Premier League appearances with an incredible 0.67 Goals-per-game ratio which shows why he is one of EPL best strikers. He hasn’t won any team award with Tottenham but he has managed to win individual awards like twice being named England’s best player of the year, the aforementioned Golden Boots and PFA fan’s player of the year in 2016-17. though perhaps his most important award is his World Cup Golden Boot in 2018 that cemented his place in world’s greatest footballers and also best strikers in Premier League history.
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6. Ruud van Nistelrooy
The Dutchman came to Manchester United to replace two others on this list, Yorke and Cole, and he managed to successfully do it without even needing a striking partner. Ruud van Nistelrooy was excellent in his short time in Manchester United, although surprisingly he won only one Premier League title with them.
He was the only real competition that Thierry Henry had at the time and he managed to get the better of him in one occasion, in 2002-2003 season where he won the Golden Boot by scoring 25, a goal more than Henry. He became the player of the year and was instrumental in Manchester winning the title.
van Nistelrooy was a goal poacher, an expert in the penalty box that would seldom lose chances of scoring. He was also quite physically strong and tall which made him a nightmare for defenders. All of this combined with David Beckham’s inch perfect crosses made scoring very easy for one of the best Premier League strikers ever.
He managed to score 95 goals in 150 Premier League appearances (0.63 GPG) for Manchester United and also managed to go toe to toe with one of the greatest strikers in football history and even outscored him on occasion which is a testament to him being one of the best strikers in Premier League history. He later shone in Real Madrid colors as well but for every football fan, his time at United will be remembered more fondly.
5. Wayne Rooney
The greatest Manchester United forward of the Premier League era and one of the greatest players in club’s history, Wayne Rooney is another United player among EPL top strikers ever. Rooneyaldo, as Everton fans passionately nicknamed him after the Brazilian Ronaldo, became one of the youngest ever goal scorers in EPL history in 2002, by being 5 days shy of 17 at the time.
After that goal Rooney never stopped as he went on to become one of the best Strikers in Premier League history. The following summer Manchester United in their ever present pursuit of finding new sensational strikers made a deal of around £25.6m for the player. Rooney had a hefty transfer fee to live up to and he went on to be worth every penny and then some!
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Wayne Rooney was very quick and was capable of powerful shots. He was relentless and didn’t seem to even tire by the end of the game. Although he only managed to score 20 goals a season only twice it was his consistency of scoring 10+ goals a season that made him the 2nd best goal scorer in Premier League history, only behind Alan Shearer.
Wayne Rooney has managed to score 208 goals in 491 EPL matches, 25 for Everton and the rest with United. He managed to win 5 EPL titles,1 Champions League and practically everything else on the club level with United and he will be remembered as one of the best strikers in Premier League history.
4. Sergio Aguero
The word Legend is quite often tossed around in football but there are a few players that truly deserve the title and Sergio Aguero is one of them. He has become a legend by scoring many memorable goals that are part of football folklore, like his famous goal against QPR in the injury time that made Manchester City champions after a 44-year wait.
But as you look at his numbers and the amount of trophies that Manchester City won with him, it becomes apparent that every one of his goals were as important as that. Aguero loves scoring, he is a proper goal scoring machine and the key in all of this is his consistency.
In his 9 seasons at City he managed to score more than 20 goals-a-season in 6 of those, only failing to do so in other seasons because of his numerous injuries. Aguero almost never experiences a loss of form after coming back from an injury which is a testament to his resilience.
One of the best Premier League strikers of all time, Aguero still plays in the EPL and he may even move up further up the list. By scoring 180 goals in 263 matches and having a 0.68 GPG ratio, the best amongst this list of players, Aguero has helped his team win 4 Premier League titles and numerous cup titles. he is already one of the best strikers in Premier League history and he isn’t even finished with the EPL.
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3. Dennis Bergkamp
Dennis Bergkamp is one of the most unique players in football as well as being one of the best strikers in Premier League history. The Non-flying Dutcman was all class, flair and technique, rarely scoring a goal that was not beautiful. He was also one of the first genuine football superstars that came to the EPL and improved the league’s prestige by doing so.
Bergkamp came to a turbulent Arsenal in 1995 but it was after the appointment of Arsene Wenger in 1996 that Bergkamp was turned into the legend he is today, as one of the best forwards in Premier League of all time and greatest Arsenal players ever.
Unlike any other player on this list, Bergkamp seemed to thrive in assisting the goals more than scoring them. In fact, he is the only EPL top striker ever to have more assists than goals, by assisting 94 times and scoring 87 goals in the Premier League. He was a general and the mastermind in many of Arsenal’s strike partnerships, starting with his partnership with the legendary Ian Wright up until his final days alongside his fellow countryman Robin van Persie.
His unforgettable partnership with Thierry Henry became a career defining partnership as two of the best strikers in Premier League history linked up together to score and assist goals and create magic in Highbury stadium. Henry himself as he describes Bergkamp the best player he ever played with, apart from Messi, and Henry played with a lot of great players including Zinedine Zidane!
Whether because of his elegant control of the ball, his right foot curl shots or most importantly his great vision of creating chances, Dennis Bergkamp will be remembered as one of the greatest footballers of all time and one of the best Premier League strikers ever. His presence helped Premier League grow and be a place for superstars. Players like Henry, Pires, Ljunberg and van Persie were mentored by him in his style of play and picked up a lot his traits and for this, every Arsenal fan as well as any football fan should be grateful to have seen him play.
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2. Alan Shearer
Alan Shearer had only one job in his career and that was scoring goals. The Englishman is as perfect a center forward as you can get, being unstoppable in front of goal, scoring from even the smallest of chances and providing consistency. He hit every note of being a world class striker and it all started with the start of the Premier League in 1992-93 season.
Shearer had a breakout season just before the Premier League started in 1992 and in the summer of that year there was a race to sign the young Shearer. Blackburn Rovers won that race and Shearer started the road of becoming the top goal-scorer in Premier League history from there.
He managed to score 112 goals in 138 matches for Blackburn, helping them win the Premier League in 1994-95 season. Shearer scored a record 34 goals in single season that year, a record that is yet to be broken. He then joined his boyhood club Newcastle United in 1996 and spent the next 10 years of his career there until he retired from football.
Much could be said about Shearer’s individual achievements as he won the EPL Golden Boot 3 times among numerous other awards, but it’s his goal tally of 260 goals in 441 matches that will stand the test of time and is his greatest achievement, one that many of best strikers in Premier League history wanted to overtake but have failed and for this achievement alone he will be immortalized in EPL history.
1. Thierry Henry
There could be no denying Thierry Henry, if there ever was a theme for Henry’s playing career that would be it. No matter who you supported you either loved watching him play or you feared his every move. And whether the opponent was a small club or a big team, played defensively or total football, he would score and one thing was always clear: there could be no denying Thierry Henry!
The Frenchmen came to Arsenal on the back of being a World Cup champion and an unsuccessful 6 months in Juventus. 258 games and 175 goals later he left the club having become a football superstar and the best striker in Premier League history. But much happened in those 258 games!
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Arsenal fans called him the King and Va Va Voom, the first was because of his dominance on the pitch and his winning mentality and the second for his flair and technique as a player. Its fair to say that Henry was a player that had a style like Bergkamp’s but also scored as ruthlessly and as often as Shearer, which made him become the greatest striker in Premier League history.
Thierry Henry is the only player on this list to win the EPL Golden Boot 4 times and on 2 of those occasions he became European Golden Boot winner, consecutively. He managed to score more than 20 goals in every competition for Arsenal in every season he was at the club except the last one. And considering his short time in the EPL, relative to others on this list, and his achievements its no wonder he is our No.1 best Premier League striker of all time.
The beauty of it was that he was not all about scoring, he managed to assist almost half as much as he scored, becoming one of the best assist makers in EPL history. In fact, until recently his record of scoring 24 and assisting 20 goals in a single season in 2002-03 had not been broken and now only Lionel Messi has managed to do so.
Henry won 2 Premier League titles as well as several cup trophies with Arsenal having become one of the greatest strikers of all time. He was twice runner up to being the World’s Best Player but lost out to Zidane and Ronaldinho which speaks volumes to his quality. Legions of young players who saw him play would follow in his footsteps and style, some of which are today’s football superstars and that shows the influence he had on football and the fact remains, Henry would not be denied becoming the greatest striker in Premier League history.