They say scoring goals is the hardest job in football, so to do so with extreme regularity in the Premier League puts a player in a pretty exclusive group.
Good footballers come and go and lord knows we all love a flash in the pan. Flashy boots, a few skills in the locker, capable of a wonder goal – you know the type.
But what matters most at the very top level is consistency; especially for strikers. And those who can find the back of the net regularly are a commodity.
In an era of forwards worth hundreds of millions of pounds, record breaking goal tallies and the pressure being on teams to find the next big thing – no, not Brock Lesnar, he’s probably not ideally suited to the modern game – and with the transfer window looming, it feels fitting to take a look at the forwards with the best goal per game ratios in the Premier League since 2000.
10. Diego Costa
His spell at Wolves has been largely forgettable, but prime Costa was an absolute menace to the Premier League. The kind of striker that would do anything for a goal. Anything.
An absolute b*stard of the highest order, you hate to love him. He was brilliant.
9. Robin van Persie
Van Persie took himself from famed striker who deserved better to Premier League winner and club legend at Manchester United by being ruthless and leaving Arsenal for pastures new.
That decision transformed how we view him a decade later. Titles or not, though, he’d have still retired with this rather excellent firing rate.
10 years ago today, Robin van Persie scored a first-half hat trick against Aston Villa to seal Manchester United’s 20th league title.
8. Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Only in the Premier League for a season and loose pocket change of a second, Ibrahimovic still managed to fire himself into this top 10 which is testament to his frightening abilities and longevity.
He was devastating in 2016-17 for Jose Mourinho’s United, and that was with being criticised for not finishing all the chances he was fed.
Just a shame he still insists on calling himself a lion and not cutting off that ponytail. Let it go, mate.
7. Mohamed Salah
A far cry from the player who barely made a splash at Chelsea all those years ago, Salah is a Premier League legend and continues to come up clutch for Liverpool.
Sure, father time is finally perhaps catching up, but he’s still capable of putting any defender in the league on skates on his day. Scintillating.
Mohamed Salah has scored the MOST left-footed goals in Premier League history 107
Salah has scored 21 goals with his right foot and his goal against Manchester City is his favorite one.
6. Luis Suarez
It’s a shame that his behavioural issues often reared their head, because a striker as good as Suarez deserves serious flowers.
Made the jump from Eredivisie to the Premier League look like a piece of cake, ripped apart England and then headed to Barcelona to do more of the same. Glorious footballer at his best.
5. Ruud van Nistelrooy
Before Erling Haaland, there was Ruud the dude. The Dutchman arrived to the Premier League in 2001 and struck fear into every defender he came up against.
Van Nistelrooy’s eye for goal, coupled with his technique and consistency was frightening. It’s mesmerising to think that he left United with only one Premier League title to his name. How they could do with him now.
4. Harry Kane
Having already become England’s leading scorer, Kane is charging towards the all-time Premier League scoring record currently held by Alan Shearer (260).
Banter him all you like for not yet having a trophy to his name, if and when he escapes the grasp of Tottenham, that legacy will look immense. Kane is the real deal.
3. Sergio Aguero
Scorer of one of the most memorable goals in sweet, sweet Barclays history – sorry, Manchester United fans – Aguero was an absolute freak in his prime.
That centre of gravity combined with his range of finishing made him nigh on unplayable. Left flank, right flank, in the box or from distance, he could make the net ripple with ease.
2. Thierry Henry
Something something va va voom. Look, there aren’t really the words to do Henry justice as to just how silky yet equally menacing he was.
The guy was an absolute freak in the best way possible. That technical excellence and flair combined with such an output shouldn’t be legal. We’ll never see someone like him again.
1. Erling Haaland
No, that isn’t an error and yes you’ve read those stats correctly. In his first season in England, 22-year-old Haaland is very much on course to shatter the record for Premier League goals in a single season.
When we talk about freaks, he most certainly is one of the highest order. No he doesn’t elegantly stroll around the pitch taking defenders for a ride like Henry did, but he scores goals at a frankly alarming rate.
He’s got a long career ahead of him, but if he sustains anything like this sort of form, he’ll go down as one of the greatest ever. Alien.