The all time Premier League top goal scorers are a real mixed bag of massive talent. They were all top class on their day, and their varied abilities and skills shows just how ever changing the top flight has been since 1992.
Here’s a closer look and some appreciation for the top five goal scorers in Premier League history.
Theirry Henry – 175 goals
Arguably the most naturally gifted forward there has ever been in the Premier League. Henry reset the standard of what was expected from a striker, when he arrived at Arsenal in 1999.
The former Monaco and Juventus winger quickly hit the ground running for The Gunners. He bagged 26 in all competitions for Arsenal in his first season; a sign of things to come. The Frenchman would ultimately go on to be the club’s all time leading goalscorer and terrorize defenses across the country with his intense pace, quick feet and outrageous skill. His was a level of speed and skill that most defenders hadn’t really had to contend with beforehand.
Even top class defenders were left powerless as Henry would often glide past them at ease or go for the audacious, often leaving goalkeepers starring into space as a ball whizzed past them. He brought flair, style and eye catching brilliance to the league, a true great no matter where you loyalties lie.
Frank Lampard – 177 goals
Frank Lampard Jr was the quintessential prolific midfield goalscorer. His average of circa one in four is testament to how deadly he was for Chelsea in more than ten years in West London.
Between 2003-4 and 2012-13 Lampard managed double figures for Chelsea every season and was a regular on goal of the month compilations. His ability to hit thirty yard screamers though, sometimes masked how deceptively skilled he was in the box and in front of goal. He was also the main man from 12 yards as he rarely missed a penalty in his Premier League career. A huge influence on Chelsea and every attacking midfielder in the league since.
Andy Cole – 187 goals
Andy “Andrew” Cole is the textbook poacher on this list. Spanning almost a decade in the Premier League, Cole was prolific for Newcastle and Manchester United.
There was more to his game though, than mere tap ins. Cole was deceptively skillful, composed on the ball and born with an instinct to arrive at the right place, every time. Ferguson’s first great United side was fueled by Cole’s steady flow of goals. His partnership with Dwight Yorke helped carry the team to a famous treble in 1999 as nobody could match the relentless goal scoring talents of the United duo. While the lad from Nottingham fell just short of the world class bracket, his goal return was remarkable and bettered by only two men in the history of the Premier League.
Wayne Rooney 208 goals
The most divisive player on this list, Wayne Rooney is second to only one man in the Premier League goal scoring charts.
Many have tried hard to scrutinize or even dismiss altogether, Rooney’s qualities and achievements. Whatever people’s motivation, they do him a huge disservice in shrugging him off.
The Croxteth born, Everton academy graduate, is bonafide street footballer from the most working class of roots. His qualities should be celebrated. And there are many of them, by the way.
He possessed a wonderful football brain, and like many top players, the first two yards were in his head. His skill, first touch and strength on the ball, compensated for a lack of natural speed, not that it every truly hindered him. Rooney could score all types of goal and had an eye for the spectacular, see his overhead volley in the Manchester Derby or his wonder strike against Arsenal aged just sixteen as evidence of his wicked talent. True quality from a true great.
Alan Shearer 260 goals
The ultimate and undisputed number one; Alan Shearer was Premier League royalty for over a decade, as barely a weekend went by, when the Gosforth born striker failed to get on the score sheet.
Shearer came through the ranks at Southampton, where he turned a number of heads as a youngster. He was snatched by Kenny Dalglish in 1992 and led Blackburn’s rise to the title with a torrent of goals. A then, world record transfer to Newcastle in 1996 may not have yielded the trophies and glory that The Geordies so desperately wanted, but Shearer sill smashed home 206 goals for his hometown club. He also led the line for Newcastle in The Champions League and played in two FA Cup finals.
He was the embodiment of a traditional number nine. Strong, lethal in the air and a real nightmare to mark; he would have done well in pretty much any era. However, he also had real eye catching natural ability on the ball and was just as deadly on the ground as he was off it. His screamer against Everton on the volley from 25 yards in 2002 stands out amongst the many top class strikes, bullet headers and expert finishes.
A total record haul of 260 goals will take some beating and may yet last for many a year.