Most Goal Involvements in a Premier League Season
With Mohamed Salah already on 25 goal involvements in just 20 appearances for Liverpool so far this season, can he go on and break the all-time Premier League record in a season? We look back at the players with the most goal involvements in a single Premier League campaign.
Alan Shearer in 1994-95 (47)
34 Goals, 13 Assists
Alan Shearer is the Premier League leader for both goals scored (260) and goal involvements (324), with nearly 15% of his total competition goals and assists coming in 1994-95 as he helped his Blackburn Rovers side to the Premier League title.
Shearer is the last player to score as many as 34 goals in a single English top-flight season, with his feat replicating that of Andrew Cole from the season before – albeit in a 42-game campaign.
With his 34 goals in 1994-95, he won the Premier League Golden Boot – the first of three in succession within the competition. With Blackburn Rovers winning the league, he also became the first of nine players to win the Golden Boot and win the Premier League title with his club in the same season.
His 13 assists were the third-most in the Premier League during 1994-95, behind only Matt Le Tissier (15) and Darren Anderton (14), while it was his best-ever season for creating goals – he never posted more than seven in any other campaign.
A frightening aspect of Shearer’s 1994-95 season is that his output reduced in the final two months of the campaign – scoring just three and assisting one in his final seven appearances on the way to winning the title with Blackburn.
Andrew Cole in 1993-94 (47)
34 Goals, 13 Assists
Andrew Cole put in an outstanding shift during his debut Premier League season in 1993-94, with 34 goals and 13 further assists – two tallies he was never able to reach again in a single top-flight campaign.
Cole managed to either score or assist in 11 successive league games for Newcastle United between January and April 1994 and ended the 1993-94 season as both the top scorer and top assister in the Premier League – something that has only been done once more in the competition, by Harry Kane in 2020-21 (23 goals, 14 assists).
Cole scored in 26 different Premier League appearances for Newcastle in 1993-94, which is a season record in the competition by a player.
Thierry Henry in 2002-03 (44)
24 Goals, 20 Assists
Only one player in the history of the Premier League has both scored 20+ and assisted 20+ goals in a single season. Step forward Thierry Henry.
The Arsenal forward had an astonishing season in 2002-03, with 24 goals and 20 assists – but this wasn’t enough to help the Gunners to the Premier League trophy, as they lost out to Man Utd by five points, despite being the highest scoring team in the division (85 goals).
Henry didn’t win the Golden Boot in this campaign, either. United’s Ruud van Nistelrooy ousted him by a single goal (25), but the Frenchman did collect the PFA Players’ Player of the Year ahead of the lethal Dutch striker.
Overall, Henry played in 37 of Arsenal’s 38 Premier League matches in 2002-03 and was involved in a goal every 75 minutes on average.
Luis Suárez in 2013-14 (43)
31 Goals, 12 Assists
Luis Suárez missed the opening five matches of 2013-14 through suspension but made up for lost time when he returned to the Liverpool side. He played in all 33 of their matches in the Premier League season following his suspension, being involved in 43 goals overall – more than any other player in 2013-14. Even more impressive, none of his 31 goals came from the penalty spot.
The Uruguayan striker was on 39 goal involvements by March 22, with eight Premier League matches remaining for the Reds in the season – but could only muster four more in these eight appearances (three goals, one assist), as Liverpool fell short (well, slipped over) of the Premier League title at the last hurdle. Manchester City won the league by two points, despite Brendan Rodgers’ side leading the competition by five points ahead of their 36th game of the season at home to a weakened Chelsea side. We all know what happened next.
Suárez could have had even more with a bit more luck – he hit the woodwork nine times (four more than any other player), while only Chelsea’s Eden Hazard (93) and Man City’s Samir Nasri (92) created more chances than he did (88).
Of all players to have played at least 2000+ minutes in a Premier League season, Suárez’s 70 minutes per goal involvement average in 2013-14 is the best seen in the competition.
Mohamed Salah in 2017-18 (42)
32 Goals, 10 Assists
Liverpool fans would have been excited with the signing of Mohamed Salah in the summer of 2017 from Serie A side Roma, but they couldn’t have dreamt of a better debut season from the Egyptian forward.
Salah was involved in 42 goals in 36 appearances – 10 more goal involvements than any other player, while he also picked up the 2017-18 Golden Boot in the Premier League thanks to his 32 goals.
Across all competitions, Salah scored 44 times for Liverpool in 2017-18 – this equalled Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record for Man Utd from 2002-03 by a Premier League player across all club competitions in a single season. Salah added 11 goals in the Champions League and another in the FA Cup to his 32 goals to take him to 44 overall. Only Ian Rush (47 in 1983-84) has ever scored more competitive goals in a season for Liverpool, but Salah’s 44 goals came from 13 games fewer (52 v 65).
Robin van Persie in 2011-12 (39)
30 Goals, 9 Assists
Robin van Persie’s final season as an Arsenal player was his greatest – 30 goals and an additional nine assists in the Premier League saw him finish not only as the Premier League Golden Boot winner, but the Dutchman also led the way for total goal involvements (39).
The Gunners’ striker could only help his side to third place, still 19 points behind Manchester City and Manchester United, who could only be separated by goal difference.
This was the first season that van Persie had managed to score more than 20 Premier League goals, but it was also the first time that he’s played over 28 games, such was his bad luck with injuries before 2011-12.
His goals in 2011-12 were worth 24 points to Arsenal, more than any Gunners player in a single Premier League season and one more than Thierry Henry’s 23 in 2003-04. He also scored against 17 different clubs for Arsenal this season, which is a joint record in a single campaign alongside Andy Cole in 1993-94, Alan Shearer in 1994-95, Ian Wright in 1996-97 and Mohamed Salah in 2017-18.
Van Persie moved to Manchester United for 2012-13 and won the Premier League Golden Boot yet again, with 26 goals. In doing so, he became only the second player to win back-to-back Golden Boot awards in the competition with different clubs after Alan Shearer, while he also became the last player to win the award for a team that also won the Premier League title.
Didier Drogba in 2009-10 (39)
29 Goals, 10 Assists
Didier Drogba helped his Chelsea side to the Premier League title under Carlo Ancelotti in 2009-10, with an astonishing 39 goal involvements in his 32 appearances. The Ivorian striker began the season well, scoring in eight of his first 11 appearances (nine goals), with an additional five assists.
The Chelsea forward scored more goals away (15) than he did at Stamford Bridge (14) in 2009-10 – the only player to score more goals away from home in a single Premier League season is Kevin Phillips (16) in 1999-00.
Drogba is one of three Chelsea players to have won the Premier League Golden Boot, alongside Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink in 2001-02 and Nicolas Anelka in 2008-09, but the only one to have a Premier League winners’ medal in the same season. Drogba’s success in 2009-10 followed a previous Golden Boot in 2006-07, but from nine goals fewer (20).
Following this 29-goal season in the Premier League, Drogba would go on to score just 20 more times in the competition across 88 games in three seasons. However, the following campaign of 2010-11 would see him post 13 assists, which was his career high in a single PL season.
Thierry Henry in 2004-05 (39)
25 Goals, 14 Assists
Only one name appears on this list twice, and that’s Thierry Henry. Unfortunately, just like in 2002-03, Henry’s personal feats didn’t help Arsenal to win the Premier League title.
Henry’s 39 goal involvements in 2004-05 only helped the Gunners to second place, 12 points off winners Chelsea, who picked up their first Premier League title under the management of Jose Mourinho in his debut season in charge.
Unlike 2002-03, however, Henry did win the Premier League Golden Boot in this campaign with his 25 goals. He’d won it twice before (2001-02, 2003-04) and this was his third time winning the award, eventually going on to win a fourth the following campaign in 2005-06. No player has won the Premier League Golden Boot on more occasions than Henry (4).
20 of his 39 goal involvements came in his opening 13 games of the season, making his efforts of 19 in the final 19 appearances look ordinary in comparison. However, with hat-tricks in consecutive appearances against Portsmouth and Norwich City in March and April 2005, Henry is one of only six players to achieve this feat in Premier League history, alongside Les Ferdinand (1992-93), Ian Wright (1993-94), Didier Drogba (2009-10), Wayne Rooney (2010-11) and Harry Kane twice (2016-17 and 2017-18).
Can Salah Break it in 2021-22?
Following Liverpool 2-2 draw with Chelsea at the weekend, Mohamed Salah has an incredible 25 goal involvements in 20 league appearances, with 16 goals and nine assists. The Egyptian leads both the scoring and assist charts in the Premier League – can he replicate the feats of Andrew Cole in 1993-94 and Harry Kane in 2020-21 by topping both come the end of the campaign?
In Premier League history, no player has been involved in more than 25 goals before Christmas Day, with Alan Shearer’s feats in 1994-95 (25 – 16 goals, nine assists) being the most. Salah equalled the feats of Thierry Henry (24) in 2004-05 and Luis Suárez (24) in 2013-14 before Christmas in a season, before his 25th goal involvement with a strike in Liverpool’s draw at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea.
After scoring a goal on December 16 against Newcastle United, it was the 15th successive Premier League appearance that he’d contributed a goal involvement, equalling the competition record held by Jamie Vardy from December 2015. He was unable to break a standalone record, however – failing to score or assist in a meeting with Spurs just three days later. It was the first time since August 21 that he’d failed to score or assist in a Premier League appearance.
Salah is likely to miss just two Premier League games for Liverpool with his participation in the Africa Cup of Nations for Egypt, meaning he’ll have a maximum of 16 matches to break the record. With 22 goal involvements needed to match the record of 47 set by both Alan Shearer in 1994-95 and Andrew Cole in 1993-94, it’s a big ask. But if anyone can do it, it’s Salah.
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