Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang made history this week after becoming the fastest player in Arsenal history to reach 50 Premier League goals, the Gabon international’s brace against Norwich in mid-week seeing him achieve the feat in just 79 appearances.
Aubameyang has scored prolifically since making the move to English football from Borussia Dortmund two-and-a-half years ago, winning a share of the Premier League’s Golden Boot last season and establishing himself as one of the division’s finest finishers.
The focal point of the north London side at present, the 31-year-old follows a long line of star strikers to have represented the Gunners in the Premier League era, and we’ve decided to rank the club’s very best.
Here are our rankings of Arsenal‘s five best strikers of the Premier League era:
Edging out Nicolas Anelka for fifth place in our list of the Gunners’ greatest Premier League goalscorers is the man of the moment himself, current captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The forward has enhanced his reputation as one of Europe’s premier forwards since making the move to the Premier League from German football, scoring prolifically for the north London side despite a period of much frustration and mediocrity.
Lightening quick and a cool finisher under pressure, Aubameyang’s goal tally has failed to dip regardless of whether he is deployed centrally or from the left, the Gabonese goalscorer the sole genuine world-class talent amid the Arsenal squad at present.
No player has ever reached a half century of Premier League goals for the club in quicker fashion, whilst only five players in the division’s history – Andy Cole, Alan Shearer, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Fernando Torres and Mohamed Salah – have reached the landmark in less games.
Winner of the Premier League’s Golden Boot last season, Aubameyang’s brace against Norwich saw him level Leicester’s Jamie Vardy as the leader for the accolade this time around.
Robin van Persie
Robin van Persie may not be remembered too fondly at the Emirates following his decision to leave the club for Manchester United, but the Dutchman undoubtedly belongs in the conversation of the club’s best Premier League strikers.
Arsene Wenger had spotted something in the temperamental young winger and secured a deal to sign Van Persie from Feyenoord shortly after Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’ campaign, believing the talented 21-year-old could thrive centrally as the long-term heir to club legend Dennis Bergkamp.
After a period of adaptation and several injury problems Van Persie began to flourish in a forward role, enjoying arguably the best period of his career during his final two seasons as an Arsenal player.
He scored an incredible 37 goals in all competitions during a sensational 2011/12 campaign, winning the Premier League’s Golden Boot award and being named as both the PFA Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year.
Van Persie combined incredible awareness and intelligence with sublime technique, his left foot a potent weapon and a tool which helped him finish his career as the all-time record goalscorer for the Netherlands.
One of football’s great late bloomers, Ian Wright overcame adversity to establish himself as the greatest goalscorer in Arsenal’s history and amongst the most popular players to have adorned the club’s colours.
Wright was a wonderfully natural finisher, rising from non-league football to star for Crystal Palace, scoring prolifically for the Eagles to earn a club-record move to Arsenal in the early nineties.
The initial seasons of the Premier League saw Wright shoulder the Gunners’ goalscoring burden, finishing as the club’s leading goalscorer for six successive seasons following his arrival and playing a major part in the north London side’s successes – including becoming the first side in history to win an FA Cup and League Cup double.
Wright was a fearless footballer who never lost his Sunday League edge, thriving amid confrontation and revelling in scoring goals, his 185 goals in all competitions eclipsing Cliff Bastin’s all-time record for the club.
Dennis Bergkamp’s arrival in the mid-nineties saw the duo form a fruitful partnership, the Dutchman’s vision perfectly complimenting Wright’s intelligent movement. Wright completed his set of domestic honours during his final season with the club, winning a domestic double under Arsene Wenger before a move to West Ham in 1998.
There’s a reason a statue of Dennis Bergkamp takes pride of place outside of the Emirates Stadium.
The former Netherlands international arrived as a marquee addition into the Premier League during the mid-nineties, Bergkamp amongst a host of foreign imports which helped English football reach new heights.
Bergkamp had starred at Ajax before a difficult period at Inter Milan, but a move to north London saw an extraordinarily talented forward establish himself as one of the greatest players of the Premier League era.
Arsene Wenger’s arrival as manager unlocked the very best of Bergkamp’s genius, the Dutchman playing a starring role as the Gunners won a domestic double under the Frenchman in 1997/98 – winning a PFA Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year double for his performances.
Bergkamp scored 120 goals in all competitions for the club and was often the heartbeat of the side’s best displays, possessing an elegant ability to both score and create and producing a series of magical moments.
A second domestic double in 2002 was followed by a role in the club’s famed unbeaten season two years later, Bergkamp the chief conductor of the best Arsenal sides of the modern era.
Arguably the greatest player in the history of both Arsenal and the Premier League, perhaps no player has ever stood as comfortably the best in the division quite like a peak Thierry Henry.
Henry’s eight-year spell in north London saw the star reign as the finest forward in English football, winning a record four Premier League Golden Boots and eclipsing Wright as the greatest goalscorer in Arsenal’s history.
The Frenchman arrived following a disappointing spell at Juventus where he was largely used as a winger, before being deployed by Arsene Wenger as a central forward and flourishing into one of the best players in world football.
He helped the side to a domestic double before starring during the club’s ‘Invincibles’ campaign, being named as the PFA Player of the Year on two occasions and winning three FWA Footballer of the Year accolades.
Henry would often drift to the left-flank and was equally as adept at creating chances for his teammates, redefining the role of a striker and displaying a style of play not witnessed previously on these shores.
An incredibly complete player possessing pace, creativity and a penchant for the spectacular, Henry holds the record for most assists in a single Premier League season and is one of just two players to have scored 20+ league goals in five consecutive campaigns.
Read – Remembering Thierry Henry’s incredible season in 2002/03
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