The Premier League has seen some of the best strikers in world football strut their stuff in the competition since its inception in 1992.
Harry Kane has been the main man over the last few seasons. But despite scoring 30 goals in 2022/23, he was blown out of the water by Man City’s new number nine Erling Haaland. The Norwegian broke all sorts of goalscoring records in his debut season in England, including the most goals ever scored in a single Premier League campaign.
But where do these modern greats rank among some of the most lethal finishers of seasons gone by?
We looked through the history of the competition (or since Opta started recording data) to find the players with the most goals and shots on target in Premier League history. Read on to also find out who scored the most in a single Premier League game and single season.
Best Premier League strikers ranked by goals scored:
Most goals since Premier League records began
Having scored 260 times for Southampton, Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United, Alan Shearer currently holds the record for the most goals scored in Premier League history. As well as the Premier League records for the most goals and assists (324), the most goals and assists in a single season (47) and the most winning goals in a year (12).
Shearer is also just one of two players to score 25+ goals in five different Premier League games alongside Harry Kane, who is hot on his heels in the race for his all-time record. The Spurs striker currently has 213 goals in 320 top-flight appearances and needs just 48 more to overtake Newcastle’s record goalscorer.
|Alan Shearer||Southampton, Blackburn, Newcastle||260|
|Harry Kane||Norwich, Tottenham||213|
|Wayne Rooney||Everton, Man Utd||208|
|Andrew Cole||Newcastle, Man Utd, Blackburn, Fulham, Man City, Portsmouth, Sunderland||187|
|Sergio Aguero||Man City||184|
|Frank Lampard||West Ham, Chelsea, Man City||177|
|Robbie Fowler||Liverpool, Leeds, Man City, Blackburn||163|
|Jermain Defoe||West Ham, Tottenham, Portsmouth, Sunderland,Bournemouth||162|
|Michael Owen||Liverpool, Newcastle, Man Utd, Stoke||150|
Most goals in single Premier League season
Erling Haaland’s first season in English football could not have gone better. The Norwegian won the Premier League Golden Boot, the Champions League Golden Boot, became the first player to be named the Premier League Player and Young Player of the Season in the same campaign, won the treble and scored 52 goals in 53 games.
As well as all that, Haaland set a new record for the most goals scored in a single Premier League season. He found the back of the net 36 times in 35 matches, breaking Alan Shearer and Andy Cole’s joint-record of 34 in a debut season. This will probably never be bettered. It’s not surprising that the Cyborg is already the odds on favourite to win the Premier League Golden Boot in 2023/24.
|2022/23||Erling Haaland||35||36||Man City|
|2007/08||Cristiano Ronaldo||34||31||Manchester United|
|2011/12||Robin van Persie||38||30||Arsenal|
Most goals in a single Premier League game
Five players hold the joint record for the most goals scored in a Premier League game, all finding the back of the net five times. Andy Cole was the first player to achieve the feat during the 1994/95 season when his five goals helped Manchester United to a record breaking 9-0 victory over Ipswich at Old Trafford. The Englishman is currently fourth in the Premier League goalscoring charts with 187 goals, an even more impressive record when you discover that only one them was from the penalty spot.
As well as being the all-time top goalscorer in the history of the competition, Alan Shearer is one of the five players to have scored five times in a single match. He scored a first half hat-trick against Sheffield Wednesday in 1999, before adding two late goals in an 8-0 victory.
In 2009, Jermain Defoe became the first-ever player to score five times in single half of Premier League football, including a seven minute hat-trick, as Spurs ran out 9-1 winners over Wigan at White Hart Lane.
Dimitar Berbatov became the fourth back in 2010 as Manchester United defeated Blackburn 7-1, before Sergio Aguero scored five times in just 20 minutes against Newcastle. The Argentinian had gone into the match without a Premier League goal in 424 minutes of football but found his shooting boots, beating Tim Krul five times from just seven shots.
|Andy Cole||Manchester United||Ipswich Town||04/03/1995||1994/95||5|
|Alan Shearer||Newcastle United||Sheffield Wednesday||19/09/1999||1999/00||5|
|Jermain Defoe||Tottenham Hotspur||Wigan Athletic||22/11/2019||2019/20||5|
|Dimitar Berbatov||Manchester United||Blackburn Rovers||27/11/2010||2010/11||5|
|Sergio Aguero||Manchester City||Newcastle United||3/10/2015||2015/16||5|
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Most shots on target in Premier League history
Most shots on target since Premier League records began
Since 2006/07, when Opta first started recording shot data, Harry Kane is the only player to have 500+ shots on target in that time, scoring 213 times from 523 shots on target. Wayne Rooney (467) and Sergio Aguero (423) are the only other players to hit the target 400+ times in that time period.
|Player||Team(s)||Shots on target|
|Harry Kane||Norwich, Tottenham||523|
|Wayne Rooney||Everton, Man Utd||467|
|Sergio Aguero||Man City||423|
|Robin van Persie||Arsenal, Man Utd||360|
|Mohamed Salah||Chelsea, Liverpool||356|
|Jermain Defoe||West Ham, Tottenham, Portsmouth, Bournemouth, Sunderland||342|
|Romelu Lukaku||Chelsea, West Brom, Everton, Man Utd||331|
|Jamie Vardy||Leicester City||300|
|Frank Lampard||West Ham, Chelsea, Man City||299|
|Raheem Sterling||Liverpool, Man City, Chelsea||295|
Most shots on target within a single Premier League season
The 2003/04 season was a memorable one for Arsenal fans. They became the first side in Premier League history to go a whole season unbeaten, becoming the Invincibles. Thierry Henry was one of the catalysts for their achievement, scoring 30 times and providing six assists in his 37 appearances. The Frenchman hit the target 93 times, setting a new Premier League record for the most shots on target in a single season (since records began in 2003/04, at least). Only Robin van Persie has come vaguely close since (82 shots on target in 2011/12).
|Season||Player||Games||Shots on target||Team|
|2011/12||Robin van Persie||38||82||Arsenal|
|2007/08||Cristiano Ronaldo||34||77||Man Utd|
|2011/12||Wayne Rooney||34||70||Man Utd|
Most shots on target within a single Premier League game
In 2011, Emmanuel Adebayor had a monumental battle with Ben Foster. The Togolese striker scored twice, assisted Gareth Bale, hit the target with nine of this 10 shots and missed a first half penalty as Spurs left the Hawthorns with all three points in a 3-1 win. This still remains a Premier League record for the most shots on target in a single game since records began in 2003/04.
|Player||Team||Opponent||Season||Minutes played||Shots on target|
|Emmanuel Adebayor||Tottenham Hotspur||West Brom||2011/12||90||9|
|Sergio Aguero||Manchester City||Tottenham Hotspur||2014/15||90||8|
|Jermain Defoe||Tottenham Hotspur||Wigan Athletic||2009/10||90||7|
|Wayne Rooney||Manchester United||Wolverhampton Wanderers||2011/12||90||7|
|Harry Kane||Tottenham Hotspur||West Bromich Albion||2016/17||89||7|