Which players have reached a half century of Premier League goals the quickest? Can Erling Haaland become the fastest player to 50 Premier League goals? We assess the data from across the history of the competition.

Andrew Cole: 65 Games

The match between Manchester United and Ipswich Town in March 1995 saw more than one Premier League record broken. Man Utd won the game 9-0, which saw them become the first team to score nine goals in a Premier League match, while striker Andrew Cole grabbed five of them to take him to 50 Premier League goals.

Cole had only scored five goals across a spell of 19 games in the competition before this match at Old Trafford, but his fifth of the afternoon took him to 50 in Premier League in just his 65th appearance – the quickest ever player to the landmark. He was also the first player to score five goals in a Premier League match, while he became the first to do so in the English top flight since Tony Woodcock in October 1983 for Arsenal versus Aston Villa.

Cole – who had scored 43 Premier League goals in 58 games for Newcastle United before heading to Manchester – ended his Premier League career with 187 goals, while it took him 120 games to score another 50 and reach 100 strikes in the competition – his total of 185 games to score 100 Premier League goals is the joint-ninth quickest.

andy cole fastest to 50 premier league goals

Alan Shearer: 66 Games

No article on Premier League goalscoring records would be complete without an appearance from the leading scorer in the history of the competition and one of the greatest top-flight goalscorers of all time.

Alan Shearer became the first player to reach 50 goals in the Premier League with his two goals versus Everton in September 1994 – the first of those hitting the landmark, before adding a penalty later in the game for number 51.

The former Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle striker saw Cole beat this 66-game record by one appearance just six months later, but he won the race to the century in the competition – netting 100 goals inside his first 124 games in the competition. That’s 17 games quicker than any other centurion in Premier League history.

Shearer ended his career with a record 260 Premier League goals, with an additional 23 in the top flight before the introduction of the Premier League in 1992. His overall tally of 283 top-flight goals is the fifth most in English league history.

alan shearer fastest to 50 premier league goals

Ruud van Nistelrooy: 68 Games

Coming in a close third behind Cole and Shearer is Dutch striker Ruud van Nistelrooy, who scored his opening 50 Premier League goals inside 68 appearances.

He reached his half century in August 2003 thanks to a goal against Newcastle, the first Manchester United goal in a 2-1 comeback win after Alan Shearer had opened the scoring for the hosts at St James’ Park.

That 50th goal was the 10th successive Premier League appearance that Van Nistelrooy scored in for United, breaking a competition record. Unfortunately for the Dutchman, he failed to score in his next appearance versus Wolves just four days later and eventually saw Jamie Vardy break his record with an 11-game scoring run between August and November 2015 for Leicester City.

Van Nistelrooy left the Premier League after five seasons with Manchester United and will be forever stuck on 95 goals in 150 appearances. Only three players hit the century of Premier League goals in fewer than 160 games – a bit longer in England and Van Nistelrooy could have ranked highly for this statistic, too.

While he might only be the third quickest to 50 Premier League goals, he holds the record for the fewest appearances to reach 50 goals in the UEFA Champions League (62), which was four games faster than Lionel Messi (66).

Ruud van nistelrooy fastest to 50 premier league goals

Fernando Torres: 72 Games

Many might forget just how impressive Fernando Torres was in the Premier League across his opening three seasons. He set the record for the fastest Liverpool player to reach 50 Premier League goals, while his 72-game effort is the fourth quickest among all Premier League players.

Torres reached the 50-goal landmark in the Premier League in December 2009 versus Aston Villa, and eventually ended his Liverpool career with 65 goals in 102 league appearances.

Following a £50 million transfer to Chelsea in January 2011, Torres’ goals dried up. He scored just 20 times in 110 Premier League appearances for the London club, with his minutes per goal ratio falling from 121 mins at Liverpool to 340 mins per goal at Chelsea.

fernando torres fastest to 50 premier league goals

Mohamed Salah: 72 Games

Mohamed Salah equalled Torres’s 72-game record with a brace in Liverpool’s stunning 4-3 comeback win over Crystal Palace at Anfield in January 2019.

The Egyptian forward’s second goal of the game saw him reach 50 in the Premier League, with 48 of those coming in a Liverpool shirt after two previous goals for Chelsea in 2014.

While Salah may have taken seven appearances more than Shearer to reach 50 Premier League goals, he holds the record for the fastest Premier League player to 50 goals in terms of minutes played, reaching 50 inside just 5,374 minutes – six minutes quicker than Shearer (5,380).

Until the 2022-23 campaign, Salah also held the record for the most goals in a 38-game Premier League season (32), and recently became Liverpool’s all-time top Premier League goalscorer, overtaking Robbie Fowler’s tally of 128 goals for the club.

mohamed salah fastest to 50 premier league goals

The Next Quickest to 50 Premier League Goals

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: 79 games
Sergio Agüero: 81 games
Thierry Henry: 83 games
Kevin Phillips: 83 games
Diego Costa: 85 games

Could Erling Haaland Break the Record?

Erling Haaland looks set to not only break the Premier League record for the quickest to 50 goals in the competition, but he could potentially smash it.

The Manchester City striker is currently on 43 goals in 40 Premier League appearances, having played just 3,215 minutes in the competition under Pep Guardiola at the club.

Haaland needs just eight more goals to reach 50 in the English top-flight and he’s still 26 games off Andrew Cole’s tally of appearances (65) when he reached 50 goals in the Premier League.

No player has reached 10 goals (six games), 20 goals (14 games), 30 goals (27 games) or 40 goals (39 games) in fewer appearances than the Norwegian, while Haaland’s 36-goal tally in the 2022-23 Premier League campaign – his first in England – broke the record for the most goals in a single Premier League season.

Erling Haaland Premier League Goal Record Opta

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