The Premier League has been running for over 27 seasons following its formation in 1992, and since that time we've been witness to some incredible moments and goalscoring exploits from the league's top players.


Here we take a look at 31 of the most clinical finishers in Premier League history.


Last updated June 4, 2019


30. Ruud van Nistelrooy (Tied)

Manchester United's Ruud van Nistelrooy

95 Goals


We kick off our list with The Ruud Devil himself - Ruud van Nistelrooy. The Dutchman joined ​Manchester United in 2001 from PSV Eindhoven, and immediately set about making himself a legend at Old Trafford.


Displaying an uncanny ability to remain calm in the penalty area and in one-on-one situations with the keeper, Van Nistelrooy scored 23 goals in his debut season with the Red Devils. He finished with 95 in the league for the club before he left for Real Madrid.


30. Yakubu (Tied)

Yakubu

95 Goals


Yakubu Aiyegbeni, known as Yakubu, is the top-scoring Nigerian in Premier League history.

'The Yak' played for ​Everton, Middlesbrough, Portsmouth and Blackburn during his time in the league, scoring in double digits for each club. He bagged the most for Portsmouth, scoring 29 in 67 top-flight matches.


29. Emmanuel Adebayor

Emmanuel Adebayor

97 Goals


Adebayor often played the villain during his time in England, a role he seemed to cherish as he managed to piss off almost every fan base in the league (see above photo for proof, as Adebayor celebrates scoring in front of the fans of his former team, Arsenal - he scored at the opposite end of the pitch, by the way).


That didn't stop him from scoring some excellent goals though, as he comes in 29th overall.


28. Matthew Le Tissier

Southampton v Arsenal

100 Goals


Le Tissier is a club legend at ​Southampton, and with good reason. Not only did the Englishman spend his entire Premier League career with the Saints, he's also their record goal scorer in the league with 100 goals - and it's not even close.


James Beattie is second with 68 goals.


27. Didier Drogba

Didier Drogba

104 Goals


Regardless of whether you loved him or hated him, Drogba knew how to put the ball in the back of the net.


​Chelsea relied greatly on Drogba's goals as he helped them win four Premier League titles during his time with the Blues, while he also won four FA Cups, three League Cups and one UEFA Champions League.


26. Darren Bent

Sunderland's English striker Darren Bent

106 Goals


In his prime, Darren Bent was a prolific striker.


Bent played for seven different teams in the Premier League, scoring 32 during his two seasons at Sunderland.


25. Paul Scholes

Paul Scholes of Man Utd

107 Goals


Scholes spent his entire professional career at Manchester United, working his way up from the academy to accumulate 499 appearances in the Premier league - and racked up 107 goals in the process.


He is one of the few midfielders to score 100 or more goals in the English top flight.


24. Peter Crouch

Peter Crouch

108 Goals


At 6ft 7in, one would expect Crouch to have scored a large number of his goals with his head.


In fact, Crouch is in the Guinness World Records book for the most headed goals in the Premier League with 53 - seven more than Alan Shearer in second.


23. Ryan Giggs

Ryan Giggs and Jocelyn Angloma

109 Goals


One of the few other high-scoring midfielders in Premier League history was Scholes' teammate, Ryan Giggs, who also spent his whole career with the Red Devils.


Just as impressive as Giggs' goal-scoring tally are his appearance and assist numbers in the league - 632 and 162 respectively.


22. Emile Heskey

Emile Heskey

110 Goals​


Heskey never scored more than 14 goals in a season, but thanks to his longevity and his ability to find the net for the five clubs he played for (Leicester City, ​Liverpool, Birmingham, Wigan and Aston Villa) the big striker accumulated his impressive tally over 19 seasons in the Premier League.


21. Dion Dublin

Dion Dublin of Aston Villa strikes the ball

111 Goals


Dublin had his most successful season in the league when he bagged 18 goals for Coventry City during the 1997/98 campaign, winning the golden boot in the process.


He also enjoyed spells with Manchester United and Aston Villa, as well as earning a few caps for England.


19. Romelu Lukaku (tied)

Romelu Lukaku

113 Goals


There's a lot of transfer talk surrounding the Belgian at the moment, and one wonders if he will be playing in the Premier League next season as Inter are thought to be interested in his services.


Lukaku joined the Red Devils in 2017 after spending the previous four seasons with Everton, where he scored 68 goals. Lukaku's tally is boosted from stints at Chelsea and West Brom.


19. Ian Wright (tied)

Ian Wright,Lee Dixon

113 Goals


Before 'Wrighty' was a TV and radio pundit covering the beautiful game, he endeared himself to ​Arsenal fans for eternity by scoring 104 league goals for the club, helping them win the 1997/98 title.


He spent six seasons with the Gunners before moving on to West Ham to close out his career, scoring nine goals for the Hammers.


18. Steven Gerrard

Steven Gerrard

120 Goals


Gerrard is a name synonymous with Liverpool, where he helped the club win the Champions League, Europa Cup, two FA Cups and three League Cups. He was also named as the best player in Europe in 2005 and the English Footballer of the Year in 2009.


Though he never added the Premier League title to his CV, Gerrard did rack up 504 appearances and 92 assists to go along with his 120 goals in the league for the Reds.


17. Dwight Yorke

Dwight Yorke 1st goal

123 Goals


The greatest player from Trinidad and Tobago in the nation's history, Yorke won the Premier League in three consecutive seasons with Manchester United (1998/99, 1999/00, 2000/01).

Yorke's first season with United was his most successful.


He won the Golden Boot with 18 goals in the league, was named Player of the Season and also lifted the FA Cup and Champions League trophy as part of the famous squad under manager Alex Ferguson that won the treble.


15. Harry Kane (tied)

Harry Kane

125 Goals


​Tottenham's frontman had somewhat of a quiet season in the league this past campaign, 'only' scoring 17 goals - though he was hampered with injury throughout the year.


It marked a significant drop in his output from previous seasons, scoring 30, 29 and 25 in his last three league campaigns with Spurs. Expect him to return to plus-20 goals again next season.


15. Nicolas Anelka (tied)

Nicolas Anelka of Chelsea celebrates his

125 Goals


Anelka was never a stranger to controversy throughout his career, whether it was refusing to train, disrespectful goal celebrations or publicly criticising coaches and teammates.


But when it came to banging in the goals, Anelka excelled. He scored 10 goals or more in seven seasons during his time in the league, winning the Golden Boot after the 2008/09 season with Chelsea (19 goals).


14. Robbie Keane

FBL-ENG-LEGENDS-TOTTENHAM-INTER

126 Goals


The sole Irishman on this list, Keane currently acts as the assistant manager for his national side. But it was in the Premier League where Keane made his name, playing for five different clubs as he racked up 126 goals. He also has one of the most iconic celebrations in Premier League history.


13. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink

127 Goals


Hasselbaink introduced himself to the league with a bang during the 1997/98 season, scoring 16 goals with ​Leeds. He scored 18 the next season, then 23 with Chelsea the following, winning the Golden Boot each time.


12. Robin van Persie

FBL-ENG-PR-MAN UTD-FULHAM

144 Goals


With a flair for the spectacular (just check out his volley against Charlton), Van Persie became the top-scoring Dutchman in Premier League history on the back of some marvellous goals.


He won the Golden Boot in back-to-back seasons, netting 30 for Arsenal in the 2011/12 season and 26 for Manchester United in the subsequent campaign.


11. Teddy Sheringham 

Teddy Sheringham

146 Goals


As well as being the 10th highest scorer in Premier League history, Sheringham holds the honour of being the oldest goalscorer in league history.


Sheringham, at 40 years and 268 days old, scored for ​West Ham in a 2-1 defeat to Portsmouth at Upton Park on 26 December 2006.


10. Les Ferdinand

Les Ferdinand

149 Goals


Ferdinand played 14 seasons in the Premier League, six of them with Tottenham, where he scored 33 goals. His best season came at Newcastle in the 1995/96 season, scoring 25 times.


Ferdinand also bagged the 10,000th goal in Premier League history when he netted for Spurs against Fulham in December 2001.


9. Michael Owen

Michael Owen scores the second goal

150 Goals


At 5ft 8in, Owen was never the most imposing striker on the pitch. But he relied on his pace to win two Golden Boots in his career, to go along with a Player of the Season award in 1998 after scoring 18 goals for his boyhood club Liverpool.


He went on to win the league with Manchester United in 2011, and also played for Newcastle and Stoke.


8. Jermain Defoe

Jermain Defoe

162 Goals


Quick trivia: Who has the most Premier League goals in one half, is tied for the most goals in a single Premier League match, AND has the most league goals as a substitute?


Answer: Obviously it's Defoe, who scored five goals in the first half for Tottenham against Wigan in 2009 as Spurs won 9-1, simultaneously grabbing two records in the process. He also has 24 goals (to date) as a substitute.


7. Robbie Fowler

Robbie Fowler

163 Goals


Fowler made his Liverpool debut in 1993, aged 18. He'd go on to play 11 seasons for the Reds, scoring 128 goals in 266 appearances.


He enjoyed his best scoring season during the 1995/96 campaign, when he finished with 28 goals.


6. Sergio Aguero

Manchester City's Argentinian striker Se

164 Goals


Aguero has never scored fewer than 12 goals in the league, surpassing 20 goals in six separate seasons - including 21 this past season.


Arguably his most famous goal came against QPR in 2012 as the Argentinian scored in stoppage time to give ​Manchester City the title on goal difference from their rivals Manchester United. He's also one of five players to have scored five goals in one Premier League match.


5. Thierry Henry

Arsenal's French striker Thierry Henry c

175 Goals


When you think of Thierry Henry, you recall the blistering pace and exquisite finishing of the Frenchman which saw him win four consecutive Golden Boots from 2001 to 2006.


But the Arsenal legend, who won the league twice with the Gunners, also holds the record for the most assists in a season - 20.


4. Frank Lampard

FBL-ENG-PR-CHELSEA-STOKE

177 Goals


Did you know that Lampard holds the record for the most goals scored from outside the box in the Premier League era (41)?


'Super Frank' was a master of arriving late into the box and slotting home. He was so efficient at it that many have considered Lampard to be a striker that happened to play in midfield, and one can argue that he paved the way for a new generation of attacking midfielders in the league.


3. Andy Cole

Man U v Southampton

187 Goals


A five-time Premier League champion, Cole was the first player to score 30 goals or a more in a single season - his first.


Cole's 34 goals in the 1993/94 season came when there were still 22 teams in the league, meaning he had 42 matches to get to that mark, but it doesn't make it any less impressive. Cole is also one of five players to have scored five goals in a single match.


2. Wayne Rooney

FBL-ENG-PR-MAN UTD-SWANSEA

208 Goals


One of only two men to breach the 200-goal barrier in the Premier League, Rooney banged in the goals on a regular basis for Everton, Manchester United, and then Everton once more before he made the move to MLS. Rooney made his senior debut with the Toffees in 2002 when he was just 16, but was sold to Manchester United for £25.6m in 2004.


From 2004 to 2017, Rooney would score 183 league goals, setting the record for most league goals at a single club. Sadly for him, his final tally wasn't even close to catching the next man..​.


1. Alan Shearer

Alan Shearer of Newcastle takes a shot a goal

260 Goals


That's because Alan Shearer is 52 - yes, 52 - goals ahead of Rooney. Shearer's list of records in the Premier League is extensive:


Most goals in a season: 34 (tied with Andy Cole)


Most hat-tricks: 11 (tied with Sergio Aguero)


Most goals in a single match: 5 (tied with five others)


Most goals scored from inside the box: 227


Most penalties scored: 56


Shearer spent 14 seasons in the league, winning the title with Blackburn in 1995. He retired in 2006 with his hometown club, ​Newcastle United, as the highest scorer in Premier League history.