Best of the 2010’s: The six most lethal Premier League strikers of the decade

Whatever your abiding memories of the past decade of Premier League football, the 2010’s has certainly been an era to remember. English football’s top division has played host to some elite talents, with a series of forwards having defined the decade.

We’ve decided to look back at some of the most memorable goalscorers to have plied their trade on these shores in recent years, here are six of the most lethal Premier League strikers of the 2010’s…

Jamie Vardy – 97 goals

At the turn of the decade Jamie Vardy was turning out for non-league Stocksbridge Park Steels, a world away from the glitz and glamour of the Premier League.

Fast forward ten years and Vardy is recognised as one of the division’s most lethal forwards, having scored almost 100 goals in English football’s top flight and currently leading the race for this season’s Golden Boot.

In that time his journey would take him from Halifax Town to Fleetwood, before he would help fire Leicester City to promotion and then to an improbable title triumph, scoring in a Premier League record 11 consecutive fixtures during that memorable run to the championship in 2015/16.

Vardy’s electric pace and composed finishing has elevated him from the lower tiers to the height of the English game and he is now the fourth-highest goalscorer in Leicester’s history, the 32-year-old the epitome of a footballing rags-to-riches tale.

Robin van Persie – 98 goals

The Dutchman would begin the decade at Arsenal where he could claim a clean sweep of individual honours following a prolific campaign in 2011/12, scoring 30 Premier League goals to scoop the Golden Boot in addition to the PFA Player’s Player of the Year and Football Writer’s Footballer of the Year.

Disillusioned with the North London side’s inability to challenge for major honours he would defect to rivals Manchester United, where his signing would prove to be an inspired one.

Van Persie would win a second successive Golden Boot after firing Sir Alex Ferguson’s side to the title in that debut campaign, part of a haul of goals that saw him score 98 times in the top-flight over the past decade.

Possessing a rifle of a left foot that could also produce moments of great subtly, Van Persie is one of the most naturally talented forwards of recent times and comfortably amongst the finest the Premier League has seen.

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Romelu Lukaku – 113 goals

The big Belgian would score regularly at a host of Premier League clubs throughout the past decade, enjoying prolific loan spells at the likes of West Brom and Everton before joining the latter on a permanent deal from Chelsea in 2014.

Lukaku’s time at Goodison Park would see him score 68 league goals in just 141 appearances, becoming just the fifth player after Robbie Fowler, Michael Owen, Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo to score 50 Premier League goals before their 23rd birthday.

The powerful forward’s form would attract plenty of interest and he would join Manchester United in a £75m deal in 2017, scoring 42 goals over two seasons in all competitions before leaving for Inter Milan last summer.

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Wayne Rooney – 114 goals

Despite bursting onto the scene as a precociously talented teenage man-child some 17 years ago, perhaps the best two individual seasons of the Manchester United legend’s career came during the past decade.

Rooney at his peak was a whirlwind of a street footballer, combining relentless energy and drive with sublime technique and developing a highlight reel of goals that few in Premier League history could match.

He would scoop a PFA Player’s Player of the Year and Football Writer’s Footballer of the Year double following a 34-goal campaign in 2009/10, before matching that tally again two years later in the two most prolific seasons of his career.

The forward would cement his position as the greatest goalscorer for both club and country over the course of the past decade, with only Sergio Aguero and Harry Kane having scored more Premier League goals during that time than the former England captain.

Harry Kane – 134 goals

Difficult to imagine now, but the England captain was not always tipped to reach the very top of English football.

Kane would endure mixed fortunes during four loan spells before being handed his opportunity at Spurs in the middle of the past decade, grasping it with both hands and becoming a symbol of a new era for the North London side.

The 26-year-old has scored 179 goals in just 272 appearances for his boyhood club, winning two Premier League Golden Boot awards and a PFA Young Player of the Year award.

He has been similarly prolific on the international stage, scoring 32 goals in just 45 caps, including top-scoring at the 2018 World Cup where he became just the second Englishman after Gary Lineker to win the tournament’s Golden Boot.

Only Sergio Aguero has scored more goals than the Spurs star over the course of the past ten seasons, though Kane is likely to be a perennial contender for the Golden Boot in the coming seasons as he bids to break a host of goalscoring records.

Sergio Aguero – 173 goals

The highest scoring Premier League player of the best decade, few forwards have possessed such ruthlessness and ice-cold temperament in front of goal as Aguero.

Since arriving in English football from Atletico Madrid in 2011, Aguero has fired Manchester City to nine major honours including four league titles, hitting 244 goals in all competitions to become the highest goalscorer in the club’s history.

The highest scoring non-European in Premier League history, Aguero is now just two goals short of eclipsing the legendary Thierry Henry as the most prolific foreign player the league has ever seen and he is one of just two players alongside the Frenchman to have scored 20+ goals in five consecutive seasons.

None of his goals were more crucial than the stoppage-time winner that secured City’s first Premier League title in 2012, an iconic moment from the iconic Argentine forward.

Read: Best of the 2010’s: Each top six side’s Player of the Decade

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