It’s a record that hasn’t changed hands since December 1993; these are the Premier League’s all-time leading goalscorers…
Top 10 Premier League Scorers of All Time
- Alan Shearer – 260 goals
- Harry Kane – 213 goals
- Wayne Rooney – 208 goals
- Andrew Cole – 187 goals
- Sergio Agüero – 184 goals
- Frank Lampard – 177 goals
- Thierry Henry – 175 goals
- Robbie Fowler – 163 goals
- Jermain Defoe – 162 goals
- Mohamed Salah – 154 goals
1. Alan Shearer – 260 Goals
Incredibly, Alan Shearer will have been the Premier League’s all-time leading scorer for 30 years in December. Obviously his 260 goals were stretched over a much greater period than just August 1992-December 1993, but it was then that he got himself out in front and no one has overtaken him since.
Teddy Sheringham had been top of the leaderboard for a chunk of 1993 until Shearer went past him, though Shearer had previously also held the lead in the inaugural Premier League season prior to a nasty knee injury.
A few pretenders to his crown have threatened to challenge in the intervening years, but Shearer’s record appears safe for a while yet after the summer departure of Harry Kane.
At the rate Erling Haaland is scoring, it probably won’t be that long until we’re pondering whether he’ll be the one to knock Shearer off his perch. But the modern-day footballer changes club and/or league so frequently that it’s also not out of the question that Shearer’s record remains intact for decades more.
While Shearer is of course most closely associated with hometown club Newcastle, for whom he scored 148 of his Premier League goals over a 10-year period, he also netted 112 in just 138 games for Blackburn Rovers, where he won his only league title in 1994-95.
A product of Southampton’s academy, Shearer went home to Newcastle in 1996 and spent the rest of his career at St James’ Park, where he continues to be deified by fans.
2. Harry Kane – 213 Goals*
Has Harry Kane kissed goodbye to his chances of breaking Shearer’s record? There are certainly many who think so since he moved to Bayern Munich in the summer.
It’s fair to say, few could blame him for his decision to make such a move; Kane’s had a dire lack of success on a team level for a player so talented, and at Bayern it seems a certainty he’ll win something.
But would breaking the Premier League goals record actually have given him a greater legacy? That was the chief counterargument to him moving to the Bundesliga, as he’s only 47 goals behind Shearer.
Of course, what’s to say Kane doesn’t enjoy two or three years in Germany and then return to England when he’s 32 or 33? Given his game has never been about raw pace, he presumably stands a good chance of playing well into his 30s just like Shearer.
The graphic below, which provides a snapshot of Kane’s trajectory prior to leaving Spurs, certainly suggests he was on course to overtake Shearer.
If he were to return to England with Spurs, he could extend the record he currently holds of the most Premier League goals for a single club (213) – Kane also holds the record for most Premier League goals scored in a calendar year (39).
3. Wayne Rooney – 208 Goals
Considering he only ever managed 20 or more Premier League goals in a season twice, the fact Wayne Rooney was for a time the second-highest scorer in the competition’s history says a lot about his longevity.
But at the same time, it could be argued he began to fade much earlier than would’ve been expected; he left Manchester United in 2017 when he was 31 having scored only 13 Premier League goals in his final two seasons, an output impacted by his conversion to a midfielder that seemingly came about due to no him longer being as reliable or explosive to play up top.
Nevertheless, in his prime there were few better all-round footballers in the world, let alone in the Premier League. Rooney could do it all, and he tried to as well.
Just as capable of scoring screamers as he was tap-ins, Rooney left an indelible mark on English football, Everton and Manchester United, for whom he is the all-time leading scorer (all competitions) with 253 goals. He’s also scored 74 more Premier League goals for United than any other player.
It seems only a matter of time until he’s back in the Premier League as a manager.
4. Andrew Cole – 187 Goals
Another former Man Utd striker, Andy Cole played a prominent role in the club’s finest hour as he was one of four reliable goalscorers they had in the 1999 treble-winning campaign.
He netted 93 times in the Premier League for United, just shy of half of his overall output. He also scored for Newcastle, Blackburn, Fulham, Man City and Portsmouth in the competition.
In fact, Craig Bellamy (seven) is the only player in Premier League history to score for more clubs than Cole (six).
But for many, he’ll be most associated with Sir Alex Ferguson’s brilliant United sides of the mid-to-late 90s and his on-pitch rapport with Dwight Yorke – less so with Teddy Sheringham…
5. Sergio Agüero – 184 Goals
A few others may have scored more Premier League goals than Sergio Agüero, but has anyone netted a more iconic one than him?
Agüero of course scored the goal that secured Manchester City their first Premier League title in 2012, a dramatic late winner against QPR that also sparked probably the most recognisable commentary in Premier League history courtesy of Martin Tyler.
But while that may be Agüero’s most memorable contribution to the Premier League, his influence went much deeper than that.
He’s arguably the best goalscorer the Premier League’s ever seen, at least pre-Erling Haaland. The Argentinian’s 184 came at a rate of one every 108 minutes; of players to score 70 or more, his record is comfortably the best, ahead of Thierry Henry (one every 122 minutes).
A heart condition forced his early retirement in 2021 shortly after joining Barcelona, but make no mistake, his legacy at City and in the Premier League remains potent.
6. Frank Lampard – 177 Goals
The Premier League’s most prolific midfielder of all time, Frank Lampard became a Chelsea legend across a 13-season spell at Stamford Bridge after signing from West Ham in 2001.
It took him a couple of years to really find his niche, but starting in 2003-04, Lampard reached double figures for Premier League goals in 10 successive campaigns.
His best season in that respect was 2009-10 when he scored 22 goals in the league. Although that total was second to Didier Drogba’s 29, which remains the most by a Chelsea player in a Premier League campaign, Lampard’s exploits were undoubtedly vital as Carlo Ancelotti’s men won the title.
That haul also ensured Lampard became only the third Chelsea player to score 20 or more goals in a single Premier League season after Drogba and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. Diego Costa – twice – is the only other player to achieve that for the Blues since.
Of course, Lampard did also score eight Premier League goals in a one-year spell with Manchester City in 2014-15, but it was at Chelsea where his impact was the most significant.
7. Thierry Henry – 175 Goals
After an unconvincing season in Italy with Juventus, Thierry Henry also had a difficult start to life in the Premier League after reuniting with Arsène Wenger, the manager who gave him his breakthrough at Monaco.
Henry didn’t score in any of his first seven Premier League games for Arsenal, finally breaking his duck against Southampton in match eight on 18 September, 1999. Another barren run lasting over two months followed that, yet he finished the campaign with 17 top-flight goals, a haul bettered by only Kevin Phillips (30), Shearer (23), Yorke (20), Cole and Michael Bridges (both 19).
Of course, any criticism of Wenger for parting with a significant sum (£11 million) to land Henry quickly vanished once the young forward found his feet, as he developed into one of the greatest players of his generation and a Premier League legend.
From 2001-02, Henry scored at least 24 goals in five successive Premier League seasons and helped the Gunners to two titles, including in 2003-04 as part of the Invincibles.
He still holds the record for the most Premier League Golden Boot wins (four).
8. Robbie Fowler – 163 Goals
In the early years of the Premier League, Robbie Fowler was one of the competition’s sharpest strikers, scoring as many as 28 in 38 games during the 1995-96 campaign.
However, injuries hampered him in the second half of his first spell with the Reds, eventually falling down the pecking order behind Michael Owen and Emile Heskey under Gérard Houllier.
Nevertheless, he departed Anfield in December 2001 having scored an impressive 120 Premier League goals in 236 games, moving on to Leeds United and then Manchester City.
He returned to Liverpool midway through the 2005-06 season, spending another 18 months at Anfield, scoring eight league goals, his last in the Premier League.
9. Jermain Defoe – 162 Goals
After coming through the ranks at West Ham in something of a golden era for the club’s academy, Jermain Defoe went on to enjoy a long career in the Premier League, playing at least once in every season from 2000-01 until 2018-19.
The majority of his time was spent at Tottenham, who first signed him from West Ham in February 2004, but much of this four-year spell was spent being rotated with several other high-profile forwards.
He eventually departed for Portsmouth in early 2008, reuniting with his former West Ham manager Harry Redknapp, who he would later follow back to Spurs after a reinvigorating 12 months on the south coast.
Ninety-one of Defoe’s Premier League goals came for Spurs, but he also went on to make a big impression at Sunderland towards the end of his career, scoring 34 times in 87 top-flight games.
Defoe’s last Premier League club was Bournemouth, for whom he scored four times in 28 games.
10. Mohamed Salah – 154 Goals*
Given he’s 31 and there’s been a fair amount of speculation around his future in the past couple of years, it seems unlikely Salah will ultimately threaten Shearer’s all-time record – though you never know.
Nevertheless, his goal for Liverpool in a 2-1 win at Crystal Palace in December 2023 put him in the top 10 – that was also Salah’s 200th goal for Liverpool. He’s since moved on to 154.
With two strikes against Newcastle, he hit the 150-goal landmark for Liverpool in the Premier League, becoming just the fifth player in the competition to score as many goals for a single club in the competition after Harry Kane for Tottenham (213), Sergio Agüero for Man City (184), Wayne Rooney for Man Utd (183) and Thierry Henry for Arsenal (175).
It’s also not implausible that he goes on to surpass Defoe and Fowler before the 2023-24 season is over; he’s got 15 already this term, so a total of 25 for the campaign would take him up to eighth.
Salah’s 154 Premier League goals have come at a rate of one every 131 minutes, which is the fourth-best rate among players to score 100 or more times in the competition behind Agüero (108 mins), Henry (122 mins) and Kane (126 mins).
He was the fifth-fastest player to reach the 150-goal landmark; with his 247 games behind only Shearer (212), Agüero (217), Kane (218) and Henry (220).
It now remains to be seen how deep into the top 10 Salah can get.
Other Premier League Players With 100+ Goals
Michael Owen – 150 goals
Les Ferdinand – 149 Goals
Teddy Sheringham – 146 Goals
Robin van Persie – 144 Goals
Jamie Vardy – 136 Goals*
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink – 127 Goals
Robbie Keane – 126 Goals
Nicolas Anelka – 125 Goals
Dwight Yorke – 123 Goals
Romelu Lukaku – 121 Goals*
Steven Gerrard – 120 Goals
Raheem Sterling – 120 Goals*
Son Heung-min – 115 Goals*
Ian Wright – 113 Goals
Dion Dublin – 111 Goals
Sadio Mané – 111 Goals*
Emile Heskey – 110 Goals
Ryan Giggs – 109 Goals
Peter Crouch – 108 Goals
Paul Scholes – 107 Goals
Darren Bent – 106 Goals
Didier Drogba – 104 Goals
Cristiano Ronaldo – 103 Goals*
Matt Le Tissier – 100 Goals
*Player still active