Goals win games and points win prizes, but which Premier League stars have been the most valuable to their sides throughout the league’s history?
This season has seen several players develop a habit for scoring crucial winning goals, with Crystal Palace’s Jordan Ayew and Liverpool’s Sadio Mane leading the way with five apiece – directly contributing ten additional points to their side’s respective tallies during the campaign.
We’ve looked through the archives to discover which players have proven the biggest difference makers throughout Premier League history, the players whose goals have won the most points during a single campaign.
Here are the players that singlehandedly secured the most points in a Premier League season:
Alan Shearer – 1995/96 – 31 goals (25 points)
The greatest goalscorer in Premier League history was at his peerless peak during the mid-nineties, winning three successive Golden Boot awards and becoming the first – and so far only – player to score 30+ league goals in more than one season.
Shearer’s final season at Blackburn was the third season in succession the forward finished as the division’s leading scorer, scoring a single season record of five hat-tricks and firing 31 goals for the defending champions despite a disappointing defence of their crown.
The former England captain’s goals contributed directly to 25 points for Rovers who eventually finished seventh – Shearer later departing at the end of the season to join boyhood club Newcastle in a world-record deal.
Alan Shearer – 1994/95 – 34 goals (26 points)
That man again in at number four, a season which saw Shearer match the Premier League record for most goals in a single season – a landmark that is yet to eclipsed.
The Geordie goal-machine proved hugely influential during a historic season for Blackburn in 1994/95, scoring prolifically as the Lancashire side’s heavy investment helped upset the order of English football’s established elite.
Shearer scored 34 league goals as Kenny Dalglish’s side pipped Manchester United to the title on the final day of the season, winning a second of three successive Golden Boots and being named as the PFA Player of the Year and Premier League Player of the Season.
Shearer’s invaluable haul contributed to 26 points for Rovers, who finished just a single point ahead of runners-up United.
James Beattie – 2002/03 – 23 goals (27 points)
Included as part of an ill-fated transfer that took Kevin Davies to Blackburn, Southampton certainly got the better end of the deal following Beattie’s impressive six-and-a-half-year spell on the South Coast.
The powerful forward scored 68 Premier League goals in 201 appearances for the Saints, with the highlight of his Southampton career undoubtedly a prolific season during 2002/03.
Despite failing to score in the first nine league fixtures of the season, Beattie hit a purple patch to fire Gordon Strachan’s side to the FA Cup final and an eighth-placed finish, ending the season as the division’s leading English scorer and behind only Ruud van Nistelrooy and Thierry Henry in the scoring charts.
Beattie’s 23 league goals contributed directly to 27 points for Southampton, securing the club’s then highest ever finish in the Premier League and qualification for the UEFA Cup.
Robin van Persie – 2012/13 – 26 goals (27 points)
Having seen Manchester City rise from their status of ‘noisy neighbours’ to Premier League champions, Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson made a statement of intent signing with the capture of Robin van Persie from Arsenal in 2012.
The Netherlands international had just collected a clean sweep of Player of the Year honours alongside the Premier League’s Golden Boot during a fine final season at the Gunners, and headed to Old Trafford as the missing piece in Ferguson’s title jigsaw.
The move proved an inspired one for both Van Persie and United, the forward scoring 26 goals to fire the club to a record-extending 20th league title and win a second successive Golden Boot in the process.
Highlights of the season included a stoppage-time derby winner against Man City and hat-tricks against both Southampton and Aston Villa – the latter securing the title and cementing Van Persie’s place as an instant fans’ favourite.
The Dutchman’s goals contributed directly to 27 points for the champions, with only one player in Premier League history having ever won more in a single season.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) May 2, 2016
Alan Shearer – 1993/94 – 31 goals (32 points)
Featuring for the third time in this list, Alan Shearer is the player whose goals have singlehandedly won the most points in a Premier League season.
Shearer’s record-breaking season was his second as a Blackburn player, returning from a long term ACL injury to win the division’s Golden Boot for the first time in his storied career.
The forward scored 31 league goals as Kenny Dalglish’s side finished as runners-up, including a prolific run of 20 goals in just 16 games throughout the festive period to fire Rovers into title contention.
Shearer’s goals accounted for 32 of Blackburn’s 84-point haul, his performances seeing him named as the FWA Footballer of the Year at the end of the season.