JOE BERNSTEIN: Where is Aguero in top 10 Premier League strikers?

JOE BERNSTEIN: With 257 goals, ‘Fox in the box’ Sergio Aguero has been one of the best Premier League strikers for a decade… but is he THE best? Here’s where the City legend ranks in my top ten

  • Sergio Aguero announced on Monday night that he is leaving Manchester City
  • The striker has been a central part of City’s success across their recent history
  • But where does he rank among the pantheon of great Premier League strikers? 

Sergio Aguero will leave Manchester City at the end of the season among the Premier League’s greatest-ever strikers. 

But where exactly would he rank in that elite list of attackers who have flourished in England’s top tier? 

Sportsmail assesses the runners and riders – and delivers its verdict.

Sergio Aguero announced on Monday he will leave Manchester City when the season ends

1: THIERRY HENRY (Arsenal 1999-2007 & 2012)

Arrived at Arsenal as an inconsistent winger and didn’t score in his opening seven games. After that he couldn’t stop and became the club’s record goalscorer after an astute move by Arsene Wenger to turn him into a striker.

Henry remains the only player to have won the Premier League Golden Boot four times and his graceful style help popularise English football around the world. He redefined the striker’s role by often drifting to the left where he could cut inside with devastating effect. 

Finished with a strike rate of a goal every 121 minutes and the most important member of Arsenal’s 2004 Invincibles who went a full season unbeaten.

Thierry Henry thrilled the Premier League and was a key part of Arsenal’s Invincibles setup

2: ALAN SHEARER (Blackburn 1992-96, Newcastle 1996-2006)

When you consider all the great strikers that have lit up the Premier League and consider Shearer has scored 25% more goals than any of them, it’s a testimony to his career, particularly as he didn’t play for a truly outstanding club team.

Shearer’s calling card was his explosive shot from either foot but he was courageous in the air and ruthless in one-on-one situations, each goal greeted by a trademark hand in the air. Shearer’s tally of 34 when Blackburn won the league in 1995 has not been bettered. 

The following year he became the world’s most expensive player – the last Englishman to have that accolade – and went on to become the record goalscorer in hometown club Newcastle United’s history.

Newcastle legend Alan Shearer is the highest ever scorer in the history of the Premier League

3: WAYNE ROONEY (Everton 2002-04 & 2017-18, Man Utd 2004-17)

Burst onto the scene with a wondergoal for boyhood idols Everton aged 16 and went on to live up to the hype by scoring a record number of goals for Manchester United and England, winning every club trophy available including five Premier League titles and the Champions League.

Rooney boasted incredible technique and could make goals as easily as score them. His overhead kick winner against Manchester City was voted the best Premier League goal in history and there were other thunderous volleys and strikes from inside his own half

Wayne Rooney’s Manchester derby overhead was voted the best in Premier League history

4: SERGIO AGUERO (Man City 2011-2021)

His title-winning goal against QPR would have been enough on its own to earn the Argentine his statue outside the Etihad but it is only one of 257 he has scored in a remarkable decade with Manchester City.

Aguero’s ‘fox in the box’ finishing was phenomenal with his strike rate of a goal every 108 minutes the best out of the leading Premier League strikers. His eight hat-tricks is another record which included five in 20 minutes against Newcastle in 2015. 

Surprisingly it wasn’t until Pep Guardiola’s time in 2018 that he was first selected by his fellow players in the PFA team of the year.

Aguero’s lethal finishing means he’ll always be remembered as a Premier League great

5: ERIC CANTONA (Leeds 1992, Man Utd 1992-97)

King Eric was part of the Leeds team that won the last First Division title, he then crossed the Pennines and helped Manchester United win the first Premier League and establish a dynasty.

Cantona was not only cool and always played with his collar up, he became the main role model for emerging younger talents like David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and the Neville brothers to follow. 

English defenders were not used to forwards to played between the lines and Cantona had a field day dropping into No 10 positions one moment, then appearing in the box. He had all the tricks and flicks but when you needed someone with aerial power, there were few better with his head.

Eric Cantona’s positional play was unlike anything the Premier League had seen at the time

6: HARRY KANE (2009- )

No player is bigger than their club but Harry Kane comes pretty close. Mr Tottenham has scored more than 200 goals for his boyhood heroes and is currently chasing Mo Salah to win a third Golden Boot. 

The prospect of him leaving Spurs in the summer to win trophies is enough to give their fans nightmares.

Kane is a brilliant finisher with right foot, left foot or head but has added assists to his game this season – he and Son Heung-Min have already broken the record for any pair combining to score in a single Premier League season.

Harry Kane has scored prolifically at Tottenham and now faces questions on his future

7: MICHAEL OWEN (Liverpool 1996-2004, Newcastle 2005-09, Man Utd 2009-12, Stoke 2012-13)

Because of the way his career tailed off with injuries, it is easy to forget how bright Owen’s star burned when he was at his peak. His incredible speed allied to a calmness in front of goal saw him become the Premier League’s leading scorer at just 18 before achieving world fame at that summer’s World Cup in 1998.

Three years later, he helped Liverpool win three trophies and became European Player of the Year – still the last British player to achieve that, some feat when you consider who else was in the Golden Generation. 

He scored 158 goals for Liverpool without winning the league but rectified on a personal level as part of the Manchester United side that were champions in 2011.

At his peak, Michael Owen was one of the finest finishers to have graced the Premier League

8: LUIS SUAREZ (Liverpool 2011-14)

Spent only three seasons in England, far shorter than any other candidate, but he had an incredible impact, for good and bad. Liverpool were at a low ebb when he signed from Ajax – just three weeks earlier Roy Hodgson had been sacked with the club close to the relegation zone – but Suarez’s desire and outrageous ability lifted the gloom.

He scored 82 goals in three seasons that were interrupted by bans for racially abusing Patrice Evra and biting Branislav Ivanovic. His performances in 2013-14 almost single-handedly earned Liverpool the title but at the World Cup that summer he got into biting trouble again and Liverpool let him join Barcelona.

In just three years with Liverpool. Luis Suarez produced a string of unforgettable moments

9: DIDIER DROGBA (Chelsea 2004-12, 14-15)

Provided the physical presence that allowed Jose Mourinho’s side to end a 50-year wait to be champions. And having won it in 2005, they retained the crown the following season with Drogba an increasing influence. Drogba was the ultimate big match player and scored nine goals in 10 cup finals for Chelsea, most notably his header in the 2012 Champions League final against Bayern Munich.

Though not as prolific in terms of goals-per-game and some other strikers, Drogba’s ability to hold the ball up and keep defenders at bay was instrumental to Chelsea’s success under Mourinho and other managers. Midfielder Frank Lampard is fifth in the all-time scorer’s list but he would be the first to credit Drogba for often creating the havoc so he could find space.

Didier Drogba was a huge reason behind Chelsea’s success under Jose Mourinho


To an array of other fabulous strikers from past and present, such as Jamie, Vardy, Andy Cole and Robbie Fowler who unfortunately didn’t make our cut.. 

10: ROBIN VAN PERSIE (Arsenal 2004-12, Man Utd 2012-15)

Has one player dominated a single season quite like van Persie did in Sir Alex Ferguson’s final campaign of 2012/13? 

Fergie signed van Persie from Arsenal specifically to reclaim the league from Manchester City and the Dutchman succeeded in spectacular fashion, scoring 31 goals as an otherwise average United ran away with the title.

For a period, van Persie was peerless. He and Shearer are the only players to win consecutive Golden Boot titles with different clubs and few players caught the ball more sweetly than his left foot. 

Perhaps the most iconic of his 148 Premier League goals was the stunning volley against Aston Villa from Rooney’s 45-yard chipped pass. 

Robin van Persie’s first season at Manchester United is possibly unrivalled in dominance

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