There have only been twenty-eight players to have scored one hundred or more Premier League goals since 1992. Here is a look at the great, good and odd names on the list to rekindle a few fond memories.
28: Matt LeTissier – 100
Southampton’s finest racked up exactly 100 Premier League goals for The Saints throughout a wonderful career. An absolute gem of a player, he seldom scored a boring goal and was a regular on Match of the Day’s goal of the season awards. Admired by Rooney, Scholes and Xavi to name but a few, there have been few more gifted English players.
27: Didier Drogba – 104
Love him or hate him, Drogba was a lethal centre-forward. The powerful Ivorian was one of Chelsea’s greatest ever players. He often made light work of many a respected Premier League defender; there is no arguing about his record in front of goal. His diving and theatrics were a tad irritating, to say the least though.
26: Romelu Lukaku – 105
It’s 105 and counting for Manchester United’s massive Belgian forward. He is often cited for his alleged poor work rate, but the former Everton and Chelsea man always cuts a reserved and mature figure whenever a microphone is thrust under his mouth. On his day, he is the best of this type in the league, and you cannot argue with his return.
25: Darren Bent – 106
Remember this guy? For a few years, Bent looked as though he could break into the next tier of quality. However, failed big-money moves to Spurs and Villa saw him struggle and widely ridiculed. Not a terrible player by any stretch, but transfer fees of nearly £35 million combined was crazy for such a run of the mill forward. Not a bad Premier League record though.
24: Paul Scholes – 107
Oldham’s finest and one another throwback to the nineties and early noughties sees Paul Scholes rock into this list. His name even rhymes with goals, and he was full of them for a time. It was true he got less prolific as his career wore on, but Scholes was a truly remarkable player. Immensely gifted and with an eye for the spectacular, he helped his club dominate proceedings for over a decade.
23: Peter Crouch – 108
One of the most likeable guys in football – Peter Crouch is at number 23 on this illustrious list. He finally shook off the lazy observation of “great touch for a big man” after good spells with Liverpool and Spurs. He was excellent in front of goal and popular everywhere he went.
22: Ryan Giggs – 109
The Welsh winger is arguably one of the Premier League’s greatest players. Chipping in with regular goals and endless silky dribbles for what seemed like fifty years, the Cardiff born attacker is also one of the greatest to have ever stepped out on to the Old Trafford pitch. A true icon for his club and the league they dominated.
21: Emile Heskey – 110
Feel free to Google it if you must, but Emile Ivanhoe Heskey makes in at number 21 on this list. Despite never actually appearing to score, Heskey was a man employed by five different Premier League clubs during his long career. An excellent header of the ball, and Owen’s favourite/only strike partner, Heskey was just nowhere prolific enough throughout his career.
20: Dion Dublin – 111
If you need a man to chip in with goals and give you real estate advice, Dion is your man! The Coventry and Villa legend was a talented finisher and popular man in any dressing room. His enthusiasm and professionalism won him many admirers, but a return to the very top after his release from Manchester United just didn’t materialise.
19: Harry Kane – 113
Shearer’s successor? Harry Kane has races to 113 goals in just 160 games. That’s an incredible goal return and with his best years still ahead of him he will no doubt rocket up this list.
18: Ian Wright – 113
Another throwback to the fun-house years of the Premier League! Wright was a massively popular figure who dominated Highbury for years with predatory finishing and real character. Only Henry has more goals for The Gunners.
17: Steven Gerrard – 120
One of the most naturally gifted footballers to ever come out of Liverpool’s academy; Gerrard is 17th on this list. The ferocious midfielder was prolific in his peak years and has a many a thirty-yard screamer in his scrapbook! He was pretty smart from set pieces too which added to his record quite nicely.
16: Dwight Yorke – 123
Yorke formed one-half of one of the all-time great Premier League partnerships. The Trinidad born forward was ice cold and prolific for Villa and United. He is still very much off of John Gregory’s Christmas card list though.
15: Nicolas Anelka – 125
Anelka collected Premier League club contracts like some collect stamps! For a while, he popped up here there and everywhere, quite often at the top of the footballing tree. He was always a quality player and shrugged off the troublemaker reputation to become one of the best and most skilful finishers in the league on his day.
14. Robbie Keane – 126
From one nomad to another! Keane was a rambling forward who turned out for six different Premier League clubs. A decent turn of pace and deceptively skilful, Keane was never up there with the elite strikers but was a regular on the scoresheet for almost a decade.
13. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink – 127
The man built like a bulldozer, Jimmy Floyd was a quality centre-forward in the era when it was acceptable to like Chelsea…Stronger than an Ox, and possessing a thunderous strike, Hasselbaink was a genuine hero at The Bridge.
12. Robin Van Persie – 144
The man responsible for Phil Jones’s Premier League winners medal! Van Persie was the one bright light up front for Arsenal in Wenger’s wilderness years. His move to United was smart and he continued to showcase his top class finishing, wonderful skill and fierce determination to win the only Premier League title of his career.
11. Teddy Sheringham – 146
Mr Sheringham could have been a lot higher on this list had he not chose to catch splinters on the Old Trafford bench for four years. He was though an outstandingly gifted player, capable of all types of finishes. The goals flowed wherever he went, even during bizarre loan spell in Sweden during the 80’s!
10: Sergio Aguero – 148
The most talented man on this list? A bold shout maybe, but you cannot deny the ludicrous talent of Kun Aguero. The Argentine has been immense for Man City and a top-class goalscorer. He looks like he could score from anywhere on the pitch at times. It’s 148 and still counting…
9: Les Ferdinand – 149
Ferdinand played in an era of some pretty hand forwards. The Londoner though was equal to most of them in his prime and pop up at number nine in this list, with one shy of 150. Les Ferdinand’s peak years came first at Newcastle’s entertainers and then at Spurs, his skill, power and lethal finishing meant he never looked out of place at the summit of the game.
8: Michael Owen – 150
Mr Glass Knees himself! A succession of cruel injury blows meant Micheal Owen was pretty much finished just when his career should have been at its height. The Liverpool academy graduate was a top talent, blessed with excellent technique, balance and speed. His antics in 2001 saw him win the Ballon d’Or and his tally of 150 goals in 326 games is pretty special as well. He is a naff pundit though.
7: Jermaine Defoe – 162
With 162 Premier League goals to his name, Defoe has been a dependable goal scorer for almost two decades. In his peak years, he was a potent, consistent striker who fell just short of being top class. You have to admire his professionalism though, many would have jacked it in by now, but he is still going in the Premier League at 36.
6: Robbie Fowler – 163
Just outside the top five is a man they called “God” at Anfield. Fowler was an outstanding finisher and immensely prolific in the mid-nineties. Deceptively skilfull and a real street footballer, Fowler’s record would have been even better had injuries not halted him in his prime.
5: Thierry Henry – 175
The only man to make the Renault Clio look cool! Thierry Henry was a force of nature for Arsenal. Wonderful speed, outrageous skill and jaw-dropping goals saw him rip up the old rulebook. The Premier League was unrecognizable after Henry and his Arsenal colleagues if the day made their mark.
4: Frank Lampard – 177
The highest scoring midfielder on here by far. 177 goals in 609 appearances is a ridiculously strong return for the Chelsea legend. For a while, it looked like Lampard could score at will. From absolute worldies to ice cold penalties, Lampard was a top class act for many a year at The Bridge.
3: Andy Cole – 187
Andy “Andrew” Cole – one of the most deadly finishers to grace the Premier League. Despite his odd bluntness for England, Cole was regularly banging in 20 plus goals a season for Newcastle and Manchester United. He and Dwight Yorke were the most feared duo of their day and helped deliver United to their glory years. They played some truly lovely stuff together as well, it was a relief for their rivals that they only had three years together!
2: Wayne Rooney – 208
Despite being number two on this list, and surpassing Sir Bobby Charlton as top scorer for both Manchester United and England, there is still a great deal of snobbery about Rooney. Most of it is nonsense though and people should put aside their odd reservations and acknowledge Rooney for the top class attacker he was. A wonderful touch, strength on the ball and an eye for the audacious, the former Everton and United man is a Premier League all-time great.
1: Alan Shearer – 260
The supremo! Whether you dislike or hate him as a pundit, there is no denying Shearer’s all-time class. A good old-fashioned number nine, blessed with skill, strength and one of the best head’s on a ball of any forward in any era, Sherear was world class. 260 goals in 441 games will take some beating, and to think he could have had a few more had that move to United materialized in 1996.