10) Drogba – Drogba’s numbers don’t do him justice – on first inspection, 104 goals in 254 Premier League games doesn’t seem that impressive. But the Ivorian was the driving force behind four of Chelsea’s five Premier League triumphs. His unique skill-set – pace, strength and superb technical ability – was instrumental in the establishing of the Blues’ golden era.
9) Harry Kane – The reason for Kane’s inclusion on this list is simple: with 128 goals in 182 Premier League games and given that the England captain is only 26, he might well go on to break Shearer’s record of 260. Detractors might point to Kane’s lack of trophies, but his goalscoring prowess is almost unparalleled in the modern era.
8) Denis Bergkamp – Bergkamp was a vital cog in the ‘invincible’ Arsenal machine. Like Drogba, his numbers are a little deceiving (87 goals in 315 EPL games), but this is due to the fact he pioneered a ‘second striker’ role, one not too dissimilar to the ‘false 9’ we see nowadays. His penchant for spectacular goals propels him into 8th place in this list.
7) Ruud Van Nistelrooy – Given that the Dutchman played for Sir Alex Ferguson’s Man United for five years, it’s surprising he only won the league once. Nevertheless, in this time he scored nearly a century of goals and had 20 goal campaigns in every season bar 2004/2005. Had he stuck around a little longer, he might well be higher up this list. The ultimate ‘box-player’.
6) Wayne Rooney – Man United and England’s all-time leading goalscorer, Rooney’s frenzied, bulldog-like approach took its toll on him in his later career. Had his body not caught up with him, he might be out on his own at the top of this list. The physical embodiment of tenacity, but also of virtuosity and technique too. Over the course of 16 Premier League seasons, Rooney more than earns his 6th place ranking. Oh, he’s got five PL winner’s medals in his cabinet, too.
5) Eric Cantona – Iconic. Class. Mesmerising. What more can be said about the enigmatic four-time Premier League-winning Frenchman than hasn’t already been said before? Not only was Cantona revolutionary in his flair and his ability, but as the Premier League’s first true foreign superstar, he paved the way for hundreds of others – many of them in this list, in fact. In doing so, he changed the course of Premier League history.
4) Luis Suarez – Luis Suarez only played three full Premier League season. But his final one, 2013/14, is arguably the greatest single campaign enjoyed by a player in the Premier League era. Controversial he might be, but Suarez was spell-binding in his relatively brief time on Merseyside, scoring 69 times in 110 games.
3) Alan Shearer – Pretty simple reasoning behind this one. Alan Shearer has been the Premier League’s top goalscorer for over 26 years – staggering, really. With 260, he is way in front of his closest rival, Wayne Rooney. He won one title with Blackburn in 1994/1995 and his trademark, arm-raised celebration was frighteningly common during his 19 Premier League seasons.
2) Sergio Aguero – Sergio Aguero’s goals-per-game ratio is absurd. He’s netted 170 times in 243 PL appearances from 2011 up until the present day. Definitely the most consistent goalscorer on the list, there’s a case to be made that he is actually underappreciated, relative to his feats. He has spearheaded the Manchester City revolution, one of the defining events in modern football, and for that alone he is worthy of intense praise.
1) Thierry Henry – Henry is without a doubt the most talented striker the Premier League has ever seen. The Frenchman scored 176 goals in 254 games but was so much more than just a goalscorer. He brought elegance to the field of play and was a delight to watch for nearly a decade of Premier League history. A leading light in the ‘Invincibles’ team, he has cemented his legacy as one of the Premier League and world football’s greatest.