Several prolific goalscorers have made a name for themselves ever since the Premier League’s inception in 1992, with the likes of Andy Cole and Alan Shearer setting the tone early on, both hitting 34 goals when the competition involved playing 42 matches.
That has since been reduced to 38 games, but it hasn’t stopped a handful of stars reaching similar heights over the years.
We take a look at the ten players with the most goals in a 38-game Premier League season.
1. Mohamed Salah – 32 goals (2017/18)
The Egyptian’s return to England was met with both joy and scepticism, with some believing his time at Roma was a sign of great things to come, and others believing that his failed spell at Chelsea was about to be repeated at Anfield.
But no-one could have imagined what was to come next, with Salah smashing in 32 goals from right wing. He banged in almost 40% of Liverpool’s goals in the campaign, helping the club secure fourth spot and qualification to the following season’s Champions League, which the Reds would go on to win.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo – 31 goals (2007/08)
Ten years before Salah burst onto the Premier League scene properly, it was a young Ronaldo catching the eye of everyone with his scintillating displays in red, where he equalled the record for the most goals scored in a top-flight season.
Ronaldo netted 40% of Manchester United’s goals as they clinched their 17th league title, almost doubling his tally of 17 goals the season before. The Portuguese international would then go on to score the club’s only goal in the Champions League final, with Sir Alex Ferguson’s men defeating rivals Chelsea to secure the trophy.
3. Alan Shearer – 31 goals (1995/96)
The England legend may have gone done in history for his feats with Newcastle, but it was with Blackburn Rovers that he initially made his mark in the division, following up on his total of 34 goals in 42 games with 31 in 38 respectively.
The striker sits miles ahead of any other in the all-time rankings with 260 Premier League goals, with those early displays in blue and white as equally impressive as his performances in black and white stripes.
4. Luis Suarez – 31 goals (2013/14)
Salah’s feats just about managed to outdo those of fellow Liverpool hero Suarez, whose stunning efforts somehow still failed to bring a league title to Anfield. Manchester City clinched top spot by just two points at the expense of Brendan Rodgers’ side.
The Uruguayan stole all the individual headlines, however, clinching the Golden Boot, Player of the Season, PFA Players’ Player of the Year, and FWA Football of the Year awards, helping himself to three hat-tricks throughout the campaign.
5. Robin van Persie – 30 goals (2011/12)
The Premier League certainly needed a bright spark after a somewhat mediocre 2010/11 season, where the Golden Boot was shared by Manchester rivals Carlos Tevez and Dimitar Berbatov with 20 goals.
And Arsenal star van Persie was the man to provide such a spark, hitting the 30-goal mark to almost single-handedly help the Gunners secure a spot in the top four. The Netherlands attacker proved it was no fluke by hitting 26 in the following campaign, albeit in new surroundings at Man United.
6. Thierry Henry – 30 goals (2003/04)
Before van Persie became king of north London, it was Henry that truly epitomised what world-class strikers are made of, with the French forward kicking off a period of dominance in English football.
Shearer was the first to achieve three successive Golden Boots, with Henry following suit between 2003 and 2006. He hit totals of 30, 25 and 27 goals respectively, the first of which arrived in Arsene Wenger’s unforgettable ‘Invincibles’ season.
7. Harry Kane – 30 goals (2017/18)
Fortunately there is one man who has ensured that the Gunners haven’t had all the fun in front of goal in the capital, banging in 30 goals three years ago amid Tottenham’s aim to upset the status quo in English football.
The England international didn’t even win the Golden Boot, such was Salah’s efforts going forward, but it certainly helped cement his status as one of the top strikers in world football. Kane continued that fine form on the international stage that summer, with his six goals putting him top of the 2018 World Cup standings.
8. Kevin Phillips – 30 goals (1999/2000)
Before van Persie, Henry and Kane came Sunderland hero Phillips, who became the first player to reach the 30-goal mark since Shearer’s 31 five years prior. Such goals may now be a distant memory for fans of the Black Cats.
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have been dominating the European Golden Shoe for several years now, but it was Phillips’ name on the trophy at the turn of the century, and he remains the only Englishman to win the prestigious award.
9. Didier Drogba – 29 goals (2009/10)
After three years of English football dominance, Man Utd were finally knocked off their perch by Chelsea. Frank Lampard’s 22 strikes from midfield certainly helped the Blues to their third Premier League title, but Carlo Ancelotti’s outfit would have been helpless without main man Drogba.
The Ivory Coast international was one of the most feared strikers in world football at the time, furthering that reputation with 29 goals in 2009/10. The formidable forward left Stamford Bridge a legend, hitting heights of 104 goals and 54 assists in 254 appearances.
10. Harry Kane – 29 goals (2016/17)
Kane did manage to get his hands on the Golden Boot in 2015/16 thanks to his tally of 25, but it was the following season where he truly came to life, firing Spurs to second in the table with 29 goals.
His efforts saw him clinch a second successive Golden Boot, but more impressive perhaps is the fact that his goals arrived in just 30 league games, having missed a chunk of the season through an ankle injury.