Although very much a team game, there is no doubting that individual brilliance contributes heavily to any success a team may have – with goals ultimately winning games, titles and trophies.
Almost 30,000 goals have been scored since the Premier League’s inception in 1992 – with England’s top flight having been graced with many great goalscorers over the years, both homegrown and from abroad.
Here, we run you through the 11 English players who have scored the most Premier League goals in the competition’s history.
11. Steven Gerrard – 120
The first midfield entry of this list comes in the guise of former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard.
The Rangers boss spent 17 years with the Reds, scoring 120 Premier League goals during an illustrious career on Merseyside. In his pomp, Gerrard was widely regarded as one of the best central midfielders in the world – though his talents would go unrewarded domestically as he failed to land a league crown with Liverpool.
He did however win the big one with his boyhood club, inspiring his side to overturn a 3-0 deficit against AC Milan to win the 2005 Champions League final in Istanbul.
10. Harry Kane – 136
A meteoric rise to superstardom for Tottenham striker Harry Kane has seen England’s current captain blaze his way past the 100 goals mark in the blink of an eye.
Kane cut his teeth with various loan spells at lower league level, before returning to north London to star for Spurs in their 2013/14 Europa League campaign. From then on, it’s been full steam ahead for Kane – with back-to-back Premier League golden boots, as well as the World Cup golden boot, tucked under his belt.
Given his age, Kane has every chance of becoming the leading goalscorer in Premier League history.
9. Teddy Sheringham – 146
Next up on this list of prolific goalscorers is former Tottenham and Manchester United striker Teddy Sheringham.
The elegant forward led the line exceptionally for both aforementioned clubs, enjoying a successful career on the international stage too. He won multiple Premier League titles with United, playing a huge part in their treble winning 1998/99 campaign.
Sheringham scored 146 goals over the course of his career – becoming the oldest Premier League goalscorer in history when he scored for West Ham against Portsmouth in 2006 aged 40 years and 266 days.
8. Les Ferdinand – 149
Next up is former QPR, Tottenham and Newcastle striker Les Ferdinand – who, over the course of his career, notched 149 Premier League goals.
He was most prolific during a five year spell between 1992 and 1997 (scoring 101 goals during that time), which led to a £6m move to Tyneside. His consistent form helped Newcastle run Manchester United close during the 1995/96 title race, and earned him the PFA Players’ Player of the Year award.
Ferdinand would win only one honour during the course of his career though – the 1999 League Cup with Tottenham.
7. Michael Owen – 150
One of the greatest talents of his generation, it seemed as if there would be no limit to what Michael Owen could achieve when he burst onto the scene for Liverpool back in 1997.
Owen’s unbelievable speed and acceleration made him almost unplayable during the early years of his career – quickly earning him 118 Premier League goals by the age of 24. Continued hamstring troubles would derail his progress though, and Liverpool, recognising the problem may never go away, opted to sell him to Real Madrid for just £8m.
He returned to the Premier League a year later with Newcastle, but after suffering a serious knee injury while on England duty, he would never be the same player – eventually finishing off his career at Stoke City on 150 goals.
6. Jermain Defoe – 162
Lethal in front of goal, quick to read the game and seize on any opportunity afforded to him – traits that perfectly sum up the abilities of Jermain Defoe.
He has found the net on 162 occasions during his Premier League career, and continues to perform at the highest level with Bournemouth despite his advancing years. He has scored goals wherever he has gone, impressing at West Ham, Tottenham (twice), Portsmouth and Sunderland during a near two decade long Premier League career.
Perhaps his biggest achievement in recent years was breaking back into the England setup aged 34 – where he scored the last of his 20 international goals against Lithuania in a 2018 World Cup qualifier.
5. Robbie Fowler – 163
Known as ‘God’ to those who support the red half of Merseyside, former Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler was a truly phenomenal finisher.
Never blessed with blistering pace, he instead relied on predatory instincts to put himself in the right place at the right time – putting teams to the sword with his precise and unerring accuracy in front of goal.
Fowler scored 163 times during his time at Anfield, and also spent time with Leeds and Manchester City before returning to Liverpool for one last hurrah during the 2006/07 season.
4. Frank Lampard – 177
As goalscoring midfielders go, Frank Lampard is right up there with the very best – if not, the best.
The former Chelsea, West Ham and Manchester City star redefined the attacking midfielder role during his 20-year top flight career – bombing forward at any given opportunity to score goals as the Premier League evolved into an era of playing just one central striker.
Lampard scored an incredible 177 times – reaching double figures in 10 consecutive seasons for Chelsea to cement his status as not only a Blues legend, but a Premier League one too.
3. Andrew Cole – 187
Former Newcastle and Manchester United striker Andrew Cole will forever be remembered as one of the most lethal finishers in Premier League history.
Known as ‘Cole the Goal’, he terrorised defences with his blistering pace and deadly finishing ability during the early 1990s, eventually earning himself a move to Old Trafford in 1995. He won multiple Premier League titles with United, and more than played his part during their 1998/99 treble winning campaign.
He would continue to score regular goals right up until his retirement, enjoying successful spells with Blackburn, Fulham and Manchester City among others – eventually finishing his career with 187 strikes to his name.
2. Wayne Rooney – 208
After emerging on the Premier League stage at just 16 years of age, it seemed as if Wayne Rooney might just take the Premier League world by storm.
And boy did he do just that. 208 goals later, Rooney is widely regarded as one of the most talented players to have ever played Premier League football – and for good reason. His exceptional control, understanding of the game and finishing ability tore defences to shreds for well over a decade, helping Manchester United to an abundance of Premier League title victories.
What makes Rooney’s achievements all the more impressive is that he withdrew into a deeper role as his Premier League career progressed, but that didn’t stop him from regularly contributing to the scoresheet – with a 27 goal tally during the 2011/12 campaign his most impressive showing.
1. Alan Shearer – 260
Sitting top of this list with a remarkable 260 Premier League goals is legendary striker Alan Shearer.
The former Newcastle and Blackburn favourite simply had it all – pace, power, strength and an exceptional footballing brain. Put together, all of those elements helped create one of the greatest goalscoring machines that English football has ever seen.
Shearer shone at the highest level for nearly two decades, piling in with the goals with right foot, left foot or with his head – demonstrating great loyalty to his beloved Newcastle in the process. The greatest goalscorer the Premier League has ever seen, Shearer’s place in history is secure, and it’ll take somebody rather special to knock him off his perch at the top of this list.
Sourced from the official Premier League website and accurate as of date of publication.