The latest edition of The Long Ball’s list series “Magnificent Seven” is today focused on the greatest Premier League strikers to have ever come from England. Here’s the 7 who made the list…
7. Ian Wright (Arsenal, West Ham – 1992-1999 – 214 games, 113 goals)
Wright may not have the longevity of others on this list but his goal record is one not to be ignored. At a rate of less than 1 goal every 2 games, Wright established himself as a dangerous scoring machine for Arsenal and, in just 6 years, broke Arsenal’s goal scoring record (since broken by Thierry Henry). Wright was an electric striker who was deadly in front of goal. If he had been around in the Premier League for longer then who knows how many goals he would have scored.
6. Les Ferdinand (QPR, Newcastle, Tottenham, West Ham, Leicester, Bolton – 1992-2005 – 351 games, 149 goals)
A bustling, physical striker, Ferdinand was the focal point of his clubs’ attacks with his no nonsense approach and fine aerial ability. His goal to games ratio of 0.42 is one of the best in Premier League history and he is the eighth highest scorer Premier League history. Perhaps one of the few blemishes on his fine career is his lack of a Premier League winners medal however his record speaks for itself. His power, heading and finishing set him apart as one of the most dangerous strikers in the early years of the Premier League.
5. Michael Owen (Liverpool, Newcastle, Manchester United, Stoke – 1997-2013 – 325 games, 150 goals)
Bursting onto the scene at just 17 with Liverpool, it seemed that Michael Owen was destined for greatness. And for a while it looked as though he was going to achieve it. However, the final few years of his career saw injuries and lack of playing time contribute to Owen not being revered as he once was by football fans hence a lower place on this list. At his best, he was an electric striker who was capable of making a difference in any game and against any defence. He was also one of the best, if not the best, at finishing chances in the Premier League. Owen also managed to get a Premier League winners medal in 2011 with Manchester United and is also a two time Golden Boot winner.
4. Andrew Cole (Newcastle, Manchester United, Blackburn, Fulham, Manchester City, Portsmouth, Sunderland – 1993-2008 – 414 games, 188 goals)
The Premier League’s 2nd top scorer is regarded as one of the most deadly strikers of all time. One of a select few to score 5 in a game, Cole also jointly holds the record for most goals scored in a single season (34) and is a 5 time Premier League winner with Manchester United. His career in later years was not nearly as prolific or successful and he is not as loved as others on the list which contributes toward his lower position. He is without doubt one of the best strikers in the Premier League’s history. Just don’t call him Andy.
3. Wayne Rooney (Everton, Manchester United – 2002-present – 345 games, 156 goals)
Wayne Rooney has been one of the stars of the Premier League over the last decade ever since bursting onto the scene with that goal against Arsenal at just 16. He would earn a £30 million move to Manchester United at just 18 and has since won 5 Premier League titles at Old Trafford. A technically brilliant footballer, Rooney is capable of playing a number of roles for United and excelling at each one. He is already 6th on the all time goal scoring list for the Premier League and, at just 27, has seemingly achieved it all.
2. Robbie Fowler (Liverpool, Leeds, Manchester City, Blackburn – 1993-2008 – 378 games, 162 goals)
While Fowler is not the best all-round player on this list, he is possibly the most revered. Nicknamed “God” by the adoring Anfield crowd, Fowler proceeded to tear apart Premier League defences during the 90s with his clever movement and deadly finishing. He is still the record holder of the fastest hat trick in the Premier League and was one of a select few who could beat Peter Schmeichel consistently (including these two at Old Trafford). His spells at Leeds and Manchester City were not as prolific however Fowler was still a clinical scorer. Controversy followed Fowler around throughout his career – “Spice Boys”, a News of the World sex scandal, responding to accusations of drug use by snorting the line – but his record shows what a great player he was. He is still the only player to score 30+ goals in his first three full seasons in England and was a two time winner of the PFA young player of the year. Certainly one of the greatest.
1. Alan Shearer (Blackburn, Newcastle – 1992-2006 – 441 games, 260 goals)
A physical centre forward, Shearer is widely regarded to be the greatest striker in Premier League history – and for good reason. He is the all time leading scorer in the Premier League with an incredible 260 goals as well as firing unfancied Blackburn to the title in 1995. Shearer was a great finisher both with his feet and in the air, making him a nightmare to defend. He managed to fire his way to three consecutive Golden Boot awards in 1995, 1996 and 1997 as well as being the most expensive player in the world at one point following his £15 million move to Newcastle. While many English strikers have been considered greats by their fans, Shearer is the one who is considered a true legend by nearly all football fans (can’t imagine too many Sunderland fans agreeing with that). This makes Alan Shearer, without any shadow of a doubt, the greatest English striker in Premier League history.
There is the list of the best English strikers in Premier League history. This is, of course, a personal view. If you do not agree or wish to submit your own list then you can do so down below or over on Twitter. You can also send in your suggestions for future “Magnificent Seven” topics.