There is one aim in football and that is to put the goal into the opposition net. We can over-complicate it as much as we want, but when it comes down to it, that is the prime objective. There is an argument then that whoever has scored the most goals, has been the game’s greatest player. So who does that accolade go to, and who runs him close?
Top of the tree comes the Geordie legend. Shearer was plying his trade before the huge influx of statistics. Data points such as expected goals (xG) had not yet been dreamed up, and there was no need for them. Shearer stands out on his own with an incredible 260 goals (plus a further 23 notched up in the topflight before it was rebranded). 112 of those came during his four seasons at Blackburn, and 148 from his 10 seasons at his hometown club Newcastle. Despite this, his only trophy in that time was a solitary league title with Blackburn in 1994/95, as well as two successive FA cup runners up medals with Newcastle.
The ultimate striker for club and country, Newcastle would dearly love to be able to get someone of his caliber in the January transfer window in order to stave off relegation and then push for the domestic and European honors that have eluded them for so long.
Comfortably in second placed as the greatest scorer comes Wayne Rooney, with 208 Premier League goals. 183 of those came in a Manchester United shirt, the rest split over his two spells at Everton. Equally as impressive as his goal tally is the number of assists Rooney notched up. At 106, he is third in the table of assists in Premier League history, meaning that he personally had a hand in 314 goals. It is little wonder Rooney’s list of honors includes five league titles, an FA Cup and a Champions League.
The second Manchester United and also the second Newcastle United player to feature in the top three, Andrew Cole bagged 187 goals. In a career that included spells at 14 different clubs, Cole consistently scored for almost all of them, winning five league titles, two FA Cups and a Champions League along the way. Cole also holds accolades for scoring the most goals in a single Premier League season (34).
The first and only one of two non-English players in the top 12, Aguero is also the only player inside the top six still playing, though after recent reports it is unclear how long that will be for. Just three behind Cole, the Argentinian found the back of the net 184 times. He also holds the record for the most Premier League hat-tricks with 12, one more than Shearer.
The first and one of very few players on the highest scorers list not to play up front, meaning by rights he should not feature in the best striker list. Lampard, however, was so prolific in front of goal, it would be a travesty not to mention his achievements. He scored 177 times, 147 of those for Chelsea, the club he went back and managed and for whom he won the league title three times, the FA Cup four times, as well as the Champions League. Along with those goals, Lampard is also credited with 96 assists, the 5th most in the history of the league.
Other notable mentions
One place and just two goals behind Lampard is Thierry Henry, his 174 goals all coming in eight seasons at Arsenal, including of course The Invincibles year. Harry Kane is next with 167, and at 28 years of age, looks like he will be climbing the ladder over the coming seasons. Kane is also the only player of the top thirty goal scorers to have got more goals away than in home matches. How far he progresses depends on whether he can hold on to the goalscoring form that has made him so famous.