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Winning titles and securing European places unsurprisingly dominates the headlines in the English top-flight year in, year out, but such situations only arise with the presence of a world-class finisher in your side.
Fortunately, supporters up and down the country have witnessed some of the very best goalscorers up close over the years, with the likes of Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy just two in a long line of current attackers who are continuously surpassing the heights expected of them.
They will be eyeing a spot in the top ten of the all-time Premier League goalscoring charts, but for now, it is very much set in stone, and has been for quite some time.
We take a look at those at the top of the pile.
1. Alan Shearer – 260 goals
The epitome of the complete centre forward, Shearer clinched the Premier League Golden Boot for three consecutive seasons while leading the line for Blackburn Rovers, scoring 34, 31 and 25 goals respectively, helping his club to a league title along the way.
The Newcastle legend is way out on his own at the top of the leaderboard, and even leads the all-time scoring charts at two separate clubs, with both the Magpies and Rovers fortunate enough to have such an icon as a major part of their history.
2. Wayne Rooney – 208 goals
Another Premier League legend, Rooney first burst onto the scene in the top-flight as a 16-year-old for Everton, with a stunning strike ending Arsenal’s 30-match unbeaten run. It was a sign of things to come, and from that moment on he became one of the most feared strikers in world football.
Also proven at international level as England’s all-time top scorer with 53, the 34-year-old is now captain of Championship side Derby, pulling the strings in midfield after a similar role at MLS club DC United.
3. Andrew Cole – 187 goals
Cole’s lengthy list of Premier League clubs include Newcastle, Blackburn, Man City and Fulham, but it is with Man United that his formidable presence in front of goal will be remembered most fondly.
Half of his tally was recorded with the Red Devils, with his often crucial efforts helping Sir Alex Ferguson’s men dominate English football at the end of the 20th century. The striker lifted five league titles, two FA Cups and the Champions League during his eight years at Old Trafford.
4. Sergio Agüero – 180 goals
Aguero’s limits know no bounds, and he’s now finished as City’s top scorer in eight of the last nine seasons, with an injury-hit campaign last time out providing the only anomaly. Add to that the fact he’s recorded at least 20 league goals in six of those seasons, and it’s no wonder that he finds himself so high on the list.
As the only current Premier League player in the top ten, the Argentine is certainly in the driving seat in terms of where he finishes up in the all-time standings. Although Aguero isn’t among the top five favourites to win the golden boot this season, he should still score enough to ease his way into the top three.
5. Frank Lampard – 177 goals
The new generation of Chelsea fans will know Lampard as their exciting, enthusiastic young manager, but older supporters will know just how special a player he was, with his stunning long-range efforts and dead-ball abilities second-to-none back in his days on the pitch.
As the only midfielder in the top ten, it’s evident just how talented he was, and more importantly how much he had an eye for goal. He ended his playing career with spells at Man City and New York City, having left the Blues as their all-time record goalscorer on 211.
6. Thierry Henry – 175 goals
Quite simply one of the greatest strikers the game has ever seen, and one whose time at Arsenal will never be forgotten. An incredible eight years in north London saw the striker net 228 times in 375 games, well ahead of any to come before or indeed after.
The former French international is another to try his hand at management upon retirement from playing. Having started out as a youth coach with the Gunners, Henry then had brief spells with the Belgium national team and Ligue 1 side Monaco, but now finds himself in charge of MLS outfit Montreal Impact.
7. Robbie Fowler – 163 goals
Not many have lived the dream quite like Fowler, who became a legend at his boyhood club thanks to his sublime efforts up front, despite supporting their fierce rivals Everton growing up. Two spells at Anfield saw him record 183 goals, leaving him sixth in their all-time scoring charts.
The striker was a fan favourite wherever he went, having also played at Manchester City and Leeds among other clubs before spells in Australia and Thailand. At 45, he was most recently enjoying his managerial career at A-League side Brisbane Roar, before the current pandemic saw his time in the country and subsequently at the club come to an end.
8. Jermain Defoe – 162 goals
Still going strong at the age of 37 in the Scottish Premiership with Rangers, former England international Defoe has enjoyed an illustrious career, terrorising defences and linking up expertly with his various strike partners over the years.
The pacey forward was a Premier League regular for the best part of two decades, enjoying success in front of goal everywhere he went. But he will be best known for his time in north London with Spurs, where he scored 143 times in 363 appearances for the club.
9. Michael Owen – 150 goals
Hugely prolific for club and country, he is widely regarded as one of the best goalscorers of his generation thanks to his agility and technical ability. Owen may have lost the respect of Liverpool fans after sealing a move to fierce rivals Manchester United, but the striker will hope that his legacy is that of club legend, having netted 158 times in 297 appearances for the Reds.
The former England international now works as a pundit and commentator having retired with Stoke in 2013, with spells at Real Madrid and Newcastle coming in between his time at Anfield and Old Trafford.
10. Les Ferdinand – 149 goals
The Queen’s Park Rangers and Tottenham Hotspur legend picked up just one major honour in his career in England, clinching the League Cup with the latter in 1999. But he will be remembered for his displays in the final third as opposed to his trophy collection, with Newcastle fans holding him in particularly high regard thanks to his 45 goals in 74 Magpies appearances.
Upon retiring in 2006, Ferdinand headed back to Spurs in a coaching role to work with the strikers at the club, before returning to another of his former teams QPR, where he currently serves as their director of football.