The very best attacking players contribute goal and assists on a consistent basis, capable of regularly deciding games by making or taking chances.
There’s been no shortage of brilliant footballers throughout the Premier League’s history, but which stars have been the most prolific when it comes to goal involvements in comparison to their time on the pitch?
Excluding the benefit of penalties, we’ve ranked the five Premier League footballers with the best ever minute-per-goal-involvement ratios.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – 109
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was a reliable source of goals during a long career at Manchester United, scoring 126 goals in 366 appearances during a period of domestic dominance for the Red Devils.
Arriving as a relative unknown from Molde for a fee of just £1.5m, Premier League defences soon became acquainted with Solskjaer’s goalscoring instincts as the Norwegian established himself as one of Sir Alex Ferguson’s great bargains.
On this day in 1996, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer joined @ManUtd from Molde 🇳🇴🔴
— United Zone (@ManUnitedZone_) July 29, 2020
Solskjaer often found himself as a ‘Super Sub’ for the Red Devils, including scoring a four-goal haul off the bench against Nottingham Forest in 1999.
His ability to score goals from the bench contributed to a record of a goal or assist every 109 minutes excluding penalties, the fifth best ratio in Premier League history.
Luis Suarez – 104
Luis Suarez racked up the goals during a memorable three-and-a-half year spell in the Premier League, scoring 69 goals in 110 league appearances for Liverpool.
Suarez developed into one of world football’s finest during his time on Merseyside with the 2013/14 campaign his most prolific, scoring 31 goals in just 33 appearances as the Reds finished as runners-up in the Premier League.
— Premier League (@premierleague) December 4, 2018
That season saw Suarez win the Premier League’s Golden Boot and both the PFA Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year awards, having averaged a goal or assist every 69 minutes for Brendan Rodgers’ side.
He departed that summer for Barcelona in a £75m deal and won four league titles and the Champions League during his time in Catalonia, with only Lionel Messi and César Rodríguez having scored more goals for the Spanish side.
Mohamed Salah – 104
Mohamed Salah ranks alongside Suarez after recording a goal or assist every 104 minutes in the Premier League.
Salah broke the record for Premier League goals in a 38-game season during his debut campaign with Liverpool in 2017/18, netting 32 times for the Reds with just one of those goals coming from the penalty spot.
The fourth time in five seasons with the Reds he has reached that figure 🇪🇬👑 pic.twitter.com/wsUQXlYMNe
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) March 13, 2022
The Egyptian has twice won the Premier League’s Golden Boot and is leading the race for a third award this season, his 20 league goals a huge seven more than both Diogo Jota and Son Heung-Min.
This season the 29-year-old has been in electric form for the Reds, averaging a goal or assist every 90.5 minutes when excluding his five penalties scored.
Sergio Aguero – 97
Excluding penalties, just two players have ever averaged less than 100 minutes per goal or assist with Sergio Aguero ranking second among the Premier League’s goal greats.
Aguero became Manchester City’s all-time record scorer during a prolific career at the Etihad, scoring 260 goals in all competitions and winning five Premier League titles as the club turned into the division’s dominant force.
— Premier League (@premierleague) July 28, 2021
The Argentine is the highest scoring overseas player in Premier League history and ranks fourth overall, with only Thierry Henry bettering his goal-per-game ratio among players to have scored over 100 goals.
In terms of minutes-per-goal alone, however, Aguero leads the rankings having netted every 108 minutes during his time in English football.
Thierry Henry – 94
Thierry Henry, for many, remains the benchmark for Premier League greats having reigned supreme as the division’s finest footballer during his peak years at Arsenal.
Henry averaged a goal or assist every 94 minutes when excluding penalties, a phenomenal return that contributed to Arsenal’s greatest successes of the modern era.
The Frenchman won a record four Premier League Golden Boots with the Gunners, inspiring the North Londoners to two league titles and winning a host of individual accolades.
Henry’s most productive season came during the 2002/03 campaign as he scored 24 goals and provided a record 20 assists, with only Lionel Messi having since recorded 20+ in a single season for both metrics in a top-five European league.