Football Features

Harry Kane hunts down the greats: How many goals till he passes Aguero, Rooney and Shearer?

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 20:29, 11 March 2022 | Updated: 21:27, 24 November 2022

Harry Kane has now scored 176 Premier League goals. That’s one more than Thierry Henry.

After an inconsistent start to the season following the failed move to Manchester City, Kane appears to be back on track under Antonio Conte, looking fit and ferocious while scoring consistently.

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And scoring consistently has been a hallmark of Kane’s career in the Premier League, where since breaking through with 21 goals in 2014/15, the striker has never scored fewer than 17 in a league season and has even hit the hallowed 30-goal mark (in 2017/18).

This consistency is how Kane has been able to surpass several Premier League legends. Last season he rocketed past Robin van Persie, Teddy Sheringham, Les Ferdinand, Michael Owen, Jermain Defoe and Robbie Fowler as he steamrollered his way into the top 10 Premier League goalscorers list.

He was seventh at the start of the season. Now he’s sixth as his brace against Everton saw him leapfrog Arsenal icon Thierry Henry. But which Premier League goalscoring great is next in his sights? And who lies beyond that? We’ve had a look at the five men with more Premier League goals than Harry Kane and when (or if) he might break their goalscoring records.

5. Frank Lampard

  • Clubs: West Ham, Chelsea, Manchester City
  • Games: 609
  • Goals: 177

When will Kane pass Lampard in Premier League goals? At the weekend, potentially. Spurs visit Old Trafford with Kane needing just two goals to leapfrog the Chelsea legend and the way Manchester United are playing right now, that’s definitely achievable.

If not in Manchester, then perhaps on the south coast as Spurs travel to Brighton midweek to face the Seagulls. The next time Kane takes the field at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium (against West Ham in three weeks), he may already rank fifth.

Not only will Kane pass Lampard, but he’ll do it in much less time, likely taking just 269 or 270 games to do what Lampard did in 609. But then of course Lampard was a midfielder, so the fact that he’s this high at all speaks volumes of his brilliance as a player.

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4. Sergio Aguero

  • Clubs: Manchester City
  • Games: 275
  • Goals: 184

When will Kane pass Aguero in Premier League goals? Kane could surpass Aguero this season. He is currently just eight goals behind the City legend, and with 12 games to play in the Premier League this season it seems likely Kane will move into fourth by the summer. And when he passes Aguero, he will set a record himself. Aguero has scored more Premier League goals for one club than any other player, and so when Kane hits his 184th for Spurs, he’ll become the new single-club supremo.

Aguero is the only striker who can honestly claim to be better than Harry Kane for the last decade. The Argentine captured five Premier League titles and scored his 184 goals at an astonishing rate of 0.67 per game without being a regular penalty-taker. If he were a bit more physically resilient, it’s not a stretch to say he would have challenged Shearer’s supremacy.

3. Andy Cole

  • Clubs: Newcastle, Manchester United, Blackburn, Fulham, Manchester City, Portsmouth, Sunderland
  • Games: 414
  • Goals: 187

When will Kane pass Andy Cole in Premier League goals? There is an outside chance Kane overtakes Andy Cole this season. He is currently 11 goals behind the Manchester United legend and, with 12 games to play, will need a superhuman surge in form to go third in the all-time list this season. He’s done it before, of course, like when he scored 10 in seven to end 2016/17.

Cole never had a scoring burst quite like that one, but he was a remarkably consistent goalscorer. In 1993/94, his only full season for Newcastle, he scored a preposterous 34 goals in 40 Premier League games. And what’s even more impressive is that not a single one of Cole’s 187 goals came from the penalty spot.

Cole is one of the great unheralded Premier League strikers. A prolific goalscorer in his pomp who won everything there is to win at the club level and did so showing a wide-ranging skill-set that would have served him well in the modern game. Whether Kane gets beyond him this season or at the start of next, he will still be able to hold his head high in fourth.

2. Wayne Rooney

  • Clubs: Everton, Manchester United
  • Games: 491
  • Goals: 208

When will Kane pass Rooney in Premier League goals? Assuming Kane ends this season on around 185 Premier League goals, he would be 24 away from surpassing Rooney’s total of 208. He last went that high in 2017/18 when he scored 30, but he did manage 23 just last season so it’s plausible that the end of 2022/23 could be loaded with drama surrounding Harry Kane’s attempts to pass Wayne Rooney.

But if Kane misses out in 2022/23, and it’s not inconceivable that he falls just short, he should easily pass his former England captain at the start of 2023/24, just after turning 30 years old. Rooney, by contrast, was well into his 32nd year when he scored his last league goal.

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That said, Rooney is a beacon of consistency and longevity, having scored in double figures for all but four of his 16 Premier League seasons (his first two at Everton and then his final two with Manchester United). Yet Rooney only ever cracked the hallowed 20-goal-a-season mark twice, scoring 26 times in 2009/10 while bagging 27 in 2011/12.

What knocks Rooney’s legacy as a goalscoring great (and why no one thinks of him as actually being second on this list) is that those moments when he was at his most deadly, United were at their least dominant. 14 is his highest goal total in a title-winning season, while he’s won the league scoring as little as 11 times (in 2010/11).

1. Alan Shearer

  • Clubs: Blackburn, Newcastle
  • Games: 441
  • Goals: 260

When will Kane pass Shearer in Premier League goals? There’s no guarantee Harry Kane will surpass Alan Shearer, at all. Multiple things have to happen for that to be the case. Firstly, Kane has to stay in the league, which seems likely. Secondly, Spurs have to retain at least a semblance of the quality they have right now (or, ideally, improve). Thirdly he has to have the good fortune to steer clear of major injuries and, finally, he needs to have the motivation to keep on playing deep into his 30s.

Right now, the Englishman is 85 goals away from the record. Kane’s average through his seven full campaigns as a starter is 22 goals per season. If he keeps scoring at around that rate then it should take him four seasons to surpass Shearer, with the record coming at some point during 2026/27, depending on how lethal he had been in previous campaigns. That will take him to 33 years of age, which is about when most world-class players have their last world-class season.

It would be a fitting way for Kane to leave Spurs, by breaking the record and then going into semi-retirement in a weaker league (like the MLS, perhaps?). But the thing is, if he’s still in North London by 2027, one would expect he intends to retire at Spurs. If that’s the case he could go on and stretch the record out even further depending on how long he plays. His goal tally should drop as he ages. But as Rooney has demonstrated, simply showing up and scoring is enough to set records. As long as you keep on doing it.