Who has scored the most goals in the English Premier League?

As a kid who fell in love with the beautiful game about the same time as the old English Division 1 became “The Premier League” I will always have bias toward the league. Many players who have flourished elsewhere have fallen short when stacked against the top to bottom pace and quality the Premier League has provided since its inception. Some facts that I take for granted, I’ve come to realise are news to others! For example – who is the English Premier Leagues top goal scorer of all time?

Who has scored the most goals in the English Premier League? Alan Shearer has scored the most goals in the English Premier League. He scored a total of 260 goals for both Newcastle and Blackburn Rovers. He did this over 441 games registering an excellent goals per game rate of 0.6. Alan Shearer would win the Premier League title just once, for Blackburn Rovers in 1994. Prior to the creation of the Premier League Alan Shearer played for Southampton scoring 23 goals in 118 games in the old English First Division.

It is believed by many that Alan Shearer is the greatest Premier League goalscorer of all time and that his 260 goals will never be surpassed, or at least not for a long long time. However there is more than one way to measure greatness when it comes to goalscoring and there is a player on course to break Alan Shearer’s long standing record. 

Below we take a look at other candidates for the greatest Premier League Goalscorer Crown and find out exactly who is on course to take Alan’s record off his hands.

Who is the greatest English Premier League Goal Scorer  – Goals Per Game

One of the simplest ways to see who the best goalscorers are is to look at how many times they net per game. Being prolific is only greatness if you can do it season after season. Obviously we want to weed out the Johnny come latelys so we’ll have a cut off for minimum games played.

1Thierry Henry1752580.6819992012
2Harry Kane1662450.6820122021
3Sergio Agüero1842750.6720112021
4Alan Shearer2604410.5919922006
5Ian Wright1132130.5319921999
6Robin van Persie1442800.5120042015
7Jamie Vardy1182450.4820142021
8Michael Owen1503260.4619972013
9Andy Cole1874140.4519932008
10Romelu Lukaku1132520.4520112019
11Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink1272880.4419972007
12Robbie Fowler1633790.4319932008
13Wayne Rooney2084910.4220022018
14Les Ferdinand1493510.4219922004
15Didier Drogba1042540.4120042015
16Darren Bent1062760.3820012014
17Matt Le Tissier1002700.3719922002
18Robbie Keane1263490.3619992012
19Dion Dublin1113120.3619922004
20Teddy Sheringham1464180.3519922006
21Nicolas Anelka1253640.3419972014
22Jermain Defoe1624960.3320012018
23Dwight Yorke1233750.3319922009
24Frank Lampard1776090.2919962015
25Steven Gerrard1205040.2419982015
26Peter Crouch1084680.2320022019
27Emile Heskey1105160.2119952012
28Paul Scholes1074990.2119942013
29Ryan Giggs1096320.1719922014

As you can see, Alan Shearer, despite having the most total Goals in the English Premier League, falls to (a still very respectable) 4th in the Goals Per Game Table above. Replaced by the retired Thierry Henry at the top. With two current and very much in form players in between them. Manchester City’s lethal Argentine striker Sergio Aguero, who has now moved away from the Premier League, presumably for the end of his career, and Tottenham & Englands Harry Kane.

It could be argued that Thierry Henry is the English Premier League’s greatest goalscorer based on this ranking. However he is less than 0.1 GPG ahead of Shearer who totalled a full 85 goals more than him. That’s 3 or 4 seasons worth of goals, even for these guys and besides – Harry Kane is only a hatrick or a couple of braces away from surplanting Henry on top of this list and Aguero has seemingly declared only 0.1 GPG from Henry having netted 9 more times. So we’ll say that Alan shearer remains on top for now.

Let us take a look then at the possibility of him being caught.

Can anyone catch Alan Shearer as the Premier Leagues top goal scorer?

The obvious main candidates based on the Goals per game charts were Harry Kane and Sergio Aguero. Until the end of the 2021 season they were both still active in the Premier League, in form and playing for teams that have a clear pathway to sustained success. We know they have an almost identical GPG ratio. However Aguero has now departed the Premier League to line up for Barcelona in La Liga, so we can expect his numbers to remain where they are. Harry Kane is heavily involved in transfer talks away from Spurs, but is under contract for at least the next 3 seasons. So let’s assume Kane stays in the Premier League and take a look at what separates these two geat modern strikers.

Aguero has 18 more goals (184) than Kane (166), due to his having played in almost a full season’s worth of games (30 games more). 

Importantly Aguero was born on the 2nd June 1988, Kane was born 5 years later on 28th July 1993. Aguero is 32 and coming towards the end of his physical prime. At the same age Alan Shearer had scored 221 Premier League goals. So it seems that if the mighty Alan Shearer is going to be supplanted at the top of the Premier League goalscorers table it will be by the younger Harry Kane, especially now Aguero has seemingly left the Premier League for good.

But is this even possible? Let alone likely? Let’s take a look!

Alan Shearer vs Harry Kane – Who will be the all time top Premier League Goal Scorer

Let’s take a look at Alan Shearer vs Harry Kane head to head. I think the best way to look at their Goal records head to head is to view it by their age. We have taken the stats from the season their birthday falls into and run a side by side comparison as seen in the table below:

20Not PremNot PremNot Prem3100.3
21Not PremNot PremNot Prem21340.6
Sub Total1391860.71662410.7Current Totals
Career Total2604410.62905050.6Current Totals

It is clear from this that Harry Kane and Alan Shearer are on almost identical pace. Kane has just completed his age 27 season. At this point you can see that Kane and Shearer both had scored 0.7 GPG. Kane has grabbed 27 more goals, in 55 more games.

In the seasons following turning 27 Shearer played in 255 games, scoring 121 goals. That’s a smaller GPG than he had previously, coming in at 0.47. This is probably an expected drop off as a player ages. Although Shearer did manage to average an impressive 31 Premier League Games in the 8 seasons after he turned 27 before he retired at 35.

Excluding Kane’s debut season where he broke into the Spurs team unexpectedly, he has averaged 33 League Games per season, slightly more than Shearer who averaged 31 both before and after he turned 27.

Let’s make some assumptions. Let’s assume Kane plays another 8 seasons in the Premier League, the same as Shearer did. Let’s assume he continues his 33 games per season average he has held in his career so far, as Shearer didn’t see a drop off either. Let’s drop his GPG ratio down from 0.7 to match Shearer’s post age 27 rate of 0.47.

That mean’s Harry Kane is projected to play in 264 more Premier League games, scoring 124 more goals. Giving him a grand total at the end of his age season (same age Shearer retired) of 290 goals. This means if Harry Kane declines in a similar way to Alan Shearer, he will finish his career with around 30 more goals than Alan Shearers current Premier League record of 260. He will achieve this with an identical Premier League Goals Per Game record of 0.6. The difference largely comes in Shearer’s first 5 seasons being played in the Old First Division, scoring 23 goals. This is slightly tapered by the fact that Harry Kane didn’t play for Spurs in the Premier League until his age 20 season. Meaning he only had 2 seasons more than Shearer to get the record, where he scored 24 goals.

In conclusion it is highly likely that if Harry Kane stays in the Premier League he will eclipse Alan Shearer’s Premier League goals record in the 2027/28 season when he turns 34. Of course, a massive part of Shearer’s success was his longevity, can Kane sustain his form that late into his career? Only time will tell. Set a reminder in your diary for sometime in December 2027 and see if we were right.


Life long Portsmouth Fan and have followed football since 1993. Is there a better sport on earth?

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