The five greatest Premier League strikers of all time
With rebellious footballer Mario Balotelli having just left for AC Milan, fans across the country have praised his time in the Premier League by claiming he is a “legend”. The Premier League has produced some unforgettable players for the right reason and here is a list of them.
The greatest striker in Premier League history has to be the type of player you can’t argue with when it comes to pointing out stats and facts. Who better for striker stats than the all-time top scorer in Premier League history?
That man is, of course, Alan Shearer. The Newcastle United hero retired from the beautiful game with an impressive 260 goals to his name. Many often wondered why Shearer never joined Manchester United when given the chance, claiming he could have “won it all” under Sir Alex Ferguson.
Shearer won the Premier League with Blackburn Rovers in 1995 and showed his loyalty to Newcastle by rejecting the money and glory for a prestigious career with his hometown club, despite never lifting a trophy whilst at St James’ Park.
Shearer goes down as the most prolific Premier League striker of all time. “Legend.”
Arsenal is the only team to be unbeaten in a whole season. So who better to emphasise their untouchable status at the time, than Thierry Henry? The Frenchman had class, flair, pace and the overall ability to score goals for fun.
Predominantly used a wide player in his early years at Highbury, Arsene Wenger was able to nurture arguably the most gifted striker to have ever graced the turf of England’s top flight of football.
Thierry thoroughly deserves his place in the striker’s Hall of Fame.
Arsene Wenger’s French revolution had acquired a Dutch twist to it when the current Gunners boss took over in 1996. During the tenure of Bruce Rioch, Dennis Bergkamp was purchased for £7.5 million from Inter Milan – and was instantly recognised by Wenger for being incredibly talented.
The Dutch maestro produced one of the greatest Premier League goals of all time, when his skilful turn and shot was applauded by all that witnessed it at St James’ Park. It was a showcase of what Bergkamp was all about.
Dennis had the ability to make everything look effortless and despite not being the most prolific striker, he was able to show incredible levels of vision and the way in which he controlled a footballer was nothing short of mesmerising.
In 1992, Manchester United bought a striker in the form of Eric Cantona. Purchased from fierce rivals Leeds United, Eric was set to embark on a career that brought controversy and brilliance – from a striker who could do the talking on the pitch as well as off it.
Banned for the remaining four months of the 94-95 season, Cantona had to make up for his kung-fu kick on a Crystal Palace fan. The fiery Frenchman went on to become one of the greatest players of the century, with his elegant yet feisty approach to the game.
Armed with skill and aggression, Old Trafford was able to witness a genius at work. Despite never being close to breaking records for goalscoring, Cantona was much like Bergkamp in his ability to pick a pass – with a natural ability to control the ball with minimal effort.
Most certainly a crazy character, but one that made the most of his time in English football. Sorry, Mario.
The final player to make the list is a legend in his own right. Robbie Fowler began his career at Liverpool, becoming a fans favourite in the process. To this day, Fowler remains the only striker to have ever scored 30-plus goals in his first three full seasons in England, scoring 98 goals and furthering that feat with an impressive 116 goals in three-and-a-half years.
On the pitch, Robbie Fowler was the constant entertainer. With his goal and his cheeky approach to winding up the opposition, the former Leeds United star will go down as one of the greatest finishers of all time.
Allegedly forced out of Liverpool by Gerard Houllier, but never forced out of the hearts of Liverpool fans and neutrals across the country. The 90s was a good time for English football and Fowler was a massive part of its success.
Thomas Bradley, football correspondent