football

ANALYSIS: The Best Strikers Of All Time In The EPL

October 17, 2017

- Grant Whittington

Strikers in football are hot property – a priceless asset. Having someone up top with a clinical edge can often prove to be the difference between victory and defeat. The Premier League is currently home to a wealth of attacking talent with the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Harry Kane and Sergio Aguero finding the back of the net at will – in the case of Aguero’s Manchester City, they became the first top-flight team to score 29 times in their first eight league games of the season since Everton in 1894-95 following their 7-2 rout of Stoke City on Saturday.

This sensational goalscoring form of the Premier League’s red-hot frontmen has inspired us to delve back into the archives and analyse the goals-per-game ratios and potency of the many great centre-forwards that have graced England’s golden division since its inauguration in 1992.

Thierry Henry

Games: 258.
Goals: 175.
Goals Per Game: 0:68.

Not just a great goalscorer, but a scorer of countless great goals – the Frenchman was an unstoppable blend of scintillating pace and technical perfection. Henry was particularly instrumental in their 2003-04 campaign in which the Gunners became the first (and still only) Premier League side to go through the entire domestic season unbeaten. With 39 goals scored in all competitions, Henry led the league in goals scored and won the European Golden Boot.

Ruud Van Nistelrooy

Games: 150.
Goals: 95.
Goals Per Game: 0.63.

A master of being in the right place at the right time. The former Dutch international set a Premier League record during his tenure at Manchester United by scoring in eight consecutive top-flight games – this has since been eclipsed by Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy during the Foxes memorable title-winning campaign two years ago.

Van Nistelrooy also went on to enjoy success at Real Madrid, winning the Pichichi award as well as equalling the longest consecutive scoring streak in La Liga history with seven straight matches – he now manages the PSV Eindhoven youth team.

Alan Shearer

Games: 441.
Goals: 260.
Goals Per Game: 0:59.

On the sheer weight of goals alone, the Newcastle United icon has no peers. Despite just having a single Premier League title to show for his unrivalled endeavours, his record tally of 260 goals is unlikely to be overhauled anytime soon.

In many ways, Shearer was the ultimate centre-forward of the modern era – brave, decisive and capable of scoring all types of goals – bullet headers, three-yard tap-ins, free-kicks and stupendous volleys. Such was his merciless nature; we can even forgive him for that monotonous one-arm salute that he made famous after scoring.

Ian Wright

Games: 213.
Goals: 113.
Goals Per Game: 0.53.

Wright’s infectious enthusiasm and playful character should not overlook his callous finishing. The much-loved Arsenal goal machine spent seven years at Highbury (Arsenal’s former stadium) winning the Premier League, several domestic trophies and the European Cup Winners’ Cup in the process.

He also broke the club’s all-time scoring record with 185 goals in 288 appearances, an accolade he held for eight years before it was bettered by Henry.

Robin Van Persie

Games: 280.
Goals: 144.
Goals Per Game: 0.51.

The ‘Flying Dutchman’ came of age in his final season at Arsenal when he smashed home 37 goals in 48 appearances for the Gunners before Sir Alex Ferguson came knocking on the door.

The poise, grace and outstanding left peg of Van Persie proved pivotal in bringing the title back to the red half of Manchester as he topped the scoring charts with 26 goals to finally get his hands on the coveted Premier League trophy.

Despite numerous injury setbacks, his time with Arsenal and United still yielded a combined total of 144 league goals in 280 games.

The Current Breed

Harry Kane

Games: 124.
Goals: 84.
Goals Per Game: 0.67.

A Spurs fan, a Tottenham academy graduate and now idolised by the supporters of his boyhood club. The 24-year-old joined elite company last season with his third straight 20-goal season – Premier League legends Shearer, Henry and Van Nistelrooy are the only others to achieve such a feat.

Unerringly accurate in front of goal, Kane inevitably takes opportunities when they are presented to him. Recently earned a place on the 30-player Ballon d’Or shortlist after a stellar year for club and country – the Spurs and England talisman is strongly fancied to threaten Shearer’s daunting numbers.

Sergio Aguero

Games: 187.
Goals: 128.
Goals Per Game: 0.68.

The diminutive Argentine is now just two goals shy of becoming City’s record goalscorer. Aguero is the highest non-European scorer in the history of the Premier League, and reached 100 goals in the division faster than any player other than the aforementioned Shearer.

Blessed with a rapid burst of speed and immense power, the 29-year-old will always be remembered as the man who scored the most iconic goal in Premier League history during City’s thrilling title triumph in 2012.

Romelu Lukaku

Games: 192.
Goals: 94.
Goals Per Game: 0.48.

The formidable Belgian seems to have been around forever and yet he is still just 24 years of age. Is now just six shy of the Premier League century mark following a breathless start to life at Old Trafford which has seen him fire 10 goals in his first nine appearances following his £75m move in the summer from Everton.

His pace, power and strength can wreak havoc amongst the league’s best defenders, but Lukaku needs to find his cut-throat intuition in the big games against United’s fellow title contenders if he is to be considered truly world-class.

Who do you reckon will win the Golden Boot this season? Check out our list of recommended new bookmakers to compare the best odds. 

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