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Premier League Top Goalscorers: Where Are They Now

In this article, we take a look at the Premier League Top Goalscorers from back in the day and find out where they are now.

Down the years, we’ve seen some of the best forwards of this generation gracing top flight English football with their prolific presence, earning that prestigious golden boot award.

However, that quality isn’t around forever, and eventually, their playing careers wind down and they go on to move into a different type of job.

Take a trip down memory lane and find out how they got on, some much loved stats and facts, and where they are now this present day…

10 – Les Ferdinand

Les Ferndinand MBE comes in at number 10 on the list. A fan favourite wherever he went, Ferdinand played for 6 Premier League clubs over a 13 year period. He was at QPR when the Premier League was formed, playing 110 PL games for the club, scoring 60 goals.

In the summer of ‘95 he moved up to Newcastle United for two seasons, where he made 68 PL appearances scoring 41 goals. He was very highly thought of by the Newcastle United supporters during his spell with the club and is known affectionately as ‘Sir Les’ on Tyneside.

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It was during this time that Ferdinand won the honors of being crowned the PFA Players Player of the year as well as being named in the Premier League PFA Team of the year.

In 1997 Ferdinand moved to Tottenham Hotspur, his boyhood club for a £6million fee. Over a 6 year period, he made 118 PL appearances, scoring 33 goals. With Spurs he won the League Cup in 1999 and in 2001 scored the 10,000th goal in Premier League history.

Sold in January of 2003, he moved to West Ham for an undisclosed fee. In 14 PL appearances he scored 2 goals and was unable to help prevent the clubs relegation before moving to newly promoted Leicester City on a free transfer in the summer.

He made 29 PL appearances scoring 12 goals despite being 37 years of age. After the Foxes were relegated at the end of that season, he rejected a new contract and joined Bolton Wanderers where he made his last premier league appearances, featuring in 12 games and scoring 1.

On 5 November 2008 Ferdinand joined fellow ex-Tottenham player Tim Sherwood on the coaching staff of Tottenham Hotspur, to work with the strikers. Ferdinand left the club on 19 June 2014. On 4 February 2015, Ferdinand became the director of football at Queens Park Rangers where he still holds this position.

Premier League appearances : 351

Premier League Goals : 149

9 – Michael Owen

In 1997 Owen burst onto the scene as a 17 year old where he scored on his Liverpool debut against WImbledon at Selhurst Park. He was at Liverpool for 8 years where he made 216 PL appearances, scoring 118 goals.

During his time at the club he won a collection of individual and team honours. In ‘98, he was named the Premier League player of the season, won the golden boot with 18 goals, won the PFA Young Player of the year, was named in the PFA team of the year, won BBC sports personality of the year as well as being voted Best Young Player Award at the world cup in France ‘98.

His most successful season with Liverpool was in 2001 where the club won the Charity Shield, the Football League Cup, the FA Cup, the Uefa Cup and the Uefa Super Cup.

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Since 1998, Owen had been top scorer for Liverpool in every season until he departed in 2004 where he joined Real Madrid during their galacticos era for an £8million fee.

After only one season at Real Madrid, Owen returned to the Premier League where he joined Newcastle United for a club record £16.8million fee. His time at Newcastle was hampered by injury, having injured his ACL in the opening minutes of the group match against Sweden in the 2006 World Cup. However he still managed to amass a total of 26 goals in 76 PL appearances for the club.

In 2009 Owen joined Manchester United on a free transfer, being given a ‘pay as you play’ deal due to his proneness to injury. He was at the club for three seasons where he made 31 PL appearances, scoring 5 goals. He won the Community Shield and Football League Cup in 2010, as well as the Premier League title in 2011 during his time at the club.

In 2012 Owen revealed that Manchester United wouldn’t be extending his contract and so joined Stoke on a one year contract where he scored 1 in 8 PL appearances. After the season Owen had decided to retire from professional football.

Since his retirement from football, Owen has become a racehorse breeder and owner and regularly features as a sports pundit and commentator.

He also owns several cars, a helicopter and enjoys horse racing and gambling. He has many race horses, trained by Tom Dascombe. He bred the horse Brown Panther which won a major race at Royal Ascot in 2011, and the 2015 Dubai Gold Cup.

Owen rode on Calder Prince at Ascot and finished second, beaten by Tom Chatfield-Roberts on Golden Wedding. He was one of 10 amateur riders to take part in the seven-furlong ‘Prince’s Countryside Fund Charity’ contest, which was attended by HRH Prince Charles and HRH Duchess of Cornwall.

He has often stated an interest in become involved with non league side Chester in some capacity when he retires, as it was his local team growing up and his father played for the old Chester side which went out of business in March 2010 and was reformed at a lower level.

Premier League Appearances : 326

Premier League Goals : 150

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8 – Jermain Defoe

Jermain Defoe began his professional career at West Ham United, having signed from Charlton Athletics youth academy. He made his first team debut in 2000 and after a season-long loan spell at Bournemouth during the 2000-01 season in the old English Second Division, established himself in the West Ham line up. He made 74 PL appearances for the club, scoring 18 goals before the club was relegated in 2003.

In January of 2004 Defoe signed for Tottenham Hotspur in a reported £7million fee with Bobby Zamora going the other way in a part exchange deal. He spent four and a half seasons at Spurs, making 139 appearances and scoring 43 goals. It was at Spurs in 2008 where Defoe won his only trophy during his career, helping the club win the Football League Cup.

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In January 2008 Defoe signed for Portsmouth for a £7.5million fee where he scored on his debut in a 1-1 home draw with Chelsea. Unfortunately due to being cup tied he was unable to take part in Portsmouth’s FA Cup win and subsequently didn’t receive a winners medal. Defoe was only at the club for a year after making 31 PL appearances for Pompey, scoring 15 goals.

In January 2009 Defoe returned to Tottenham Hotspur where he stayed for 5 years before heading over to Toronto FC to play in the MLS. He made 137 appearances during his second spell at the club, scoring 48 goals.

In January 2015 he returned to England where he signed for Sunderland. Over the three seasons he spent at the club he made 87 PL appearances and scored 34 goals.

After Sunderland’s relegation in 2017, Defoe signed for Bournemouth where he had previously played as a youngster. He played 28 PL games for the club, scoring 4 goals before leaving for the Scottish Premier League to represent Rangers where he is still on the books today.

Premier League Appearances : 496

Premier League Goals : 162

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7 – Robbie Fowler

Robbie Fowler, best known for his tenure at Liverpool started his career at the club in 1993, despite growing up as an Everton fan. He burst onto the scene scoring 12 goals in his first 13 matches. He was at the club for 9 years where he made 236 PL appearances, scoring 120 league goals. He earned the nickname “God” from the Anfield crowd, becoming a club legend due to his finishing. During this time he won the PFA Young Player of the Year award in both 1995 and 1996.

In 2001, Fowler moved to Leeds for a £12 million fee in search of first team football, having been pushed down the ranks with Michael Owen and Emile Hesky taking the first team spots at Anfield. For the two seasons he was there he made 30 PL appearances and scored 14 goals.

Due to financial difficulties at Leeds and continuing injury problems, Fowler was sold to Manchester City in a £3 million deal, rising by a further £3 million depending on appearances. He struggled with fitness during his time at the club, however over a four year period managed to score 21 goals in 80 PL appearances.

In January of 2006, Fowler returned to Liverpool on a free transfer after signing a contract to the end of the season. After scoring 5 goals in 14 PL appearances Fowler earned himself another one year contract and totalled 30 PL appearances during his second stint at the club, scoring 8 goals over the two year period.
Fowler signed for Cardiff City in summer of 2007 to play in the Championship before returning to the Premier League after a trial with Blackburn Rovers in May 2008 where he made his final 3 Premier League appearances, scoring no goals.

Since leaving Blackburn Fowler went on to have spells in both the Australian and Thai football leagues before retiring in 2012. Recently Fowler has taken his hand to management, taking the helm at Brisbane Roar in Australia in 2019. However with the coronavirus halting the season, he decided to leave the club as he didn’t want to be away from his family.

Premier League Appearances : 378

Premier League Goals : 163

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6 – Thierry Henry

Thierry Henry, often debated as one of the greatest strikers of all time as well as one of the greatest players to ever grace the Premier League, joined Arsenal from Juventus in a £11 million fee.

Brought in as a replacement for fellow French forward Nicolas Anelka, Henry was immediately moulded into a striker by Wenger, a move that would pay rich dividends in years to come. However, doubts were raised about his ability to adapt to the quick and physical English game when he failed to score in his first eight games.

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After several difficult months in England, Henry even conceded that he had to “be re-taught everything about the art of striking.” These doubts were dispelled when he ended his first season at Arsenal with an impressive goal tally of 17 PL goals in 31 games. Arsenal finished second in the Premier League behind Manchester United, and lost in the UEFA Cup Final against Turkish club Galatasaray.

During his time at Arsenal, Henry picked up the following club honors:
Premier League: 2001–02, 2003–04
FA Cup: 2001–02, 2002–03
FA Community Shield: 2002, 2004
UEFA Champions League runner-up: 2005–06

As well as individual honors:

PFA Players’ Player of the Year: 2002–03, 2003–04
PFA Team of the Year: 2000–01 Premier League, 2001–02 Premier League, 2002–03 Premier League, 2003–04 Premier League, 2004–05 Premier League, 2005–06 Premier League
FWA Footballer of the Year: 2002–03, 2003–04, 2005–06
Premier League Player of the Season: 2003–04, 2005–06
Premier League Golden Boot: 2001–02, 2003–04, 2004–05, 2005–06
UEFA Team of the Year: 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006
European Golden Boot: 2003–04, 2004–05
French Player of the Year: 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006

Henry was a key figure in Arsenals ‘Invincibles’ in the 2003-04 season where he scored 30 PL goals in 37 appearances. Arsenal have yet to win the league since.

In 2007, Henry moved to Barcelona in a €24 million move. He spent three years at Camp Nou before moving to New York Red Bulls during which he returned to Arsenal during the off season on loan in 2012, where he made four PL appearances, scoring one goal.

Since retiring from playing in 2014, Henry has gained managerial experience with roles at Arsenal’s Youth team and being the Belgium assistant manager before taking his first job as a first team manager at Monaco where he lasted only for months with a disappointing 20% win ratio. In November of 2019 he signed to manage Montreal Impact in the MLS where he is still currently in charge.

Henry spent a few years as a pundit with Sky Sports, joining the team in 2015, before leaving in 2018 to concentrating on his coaching badges.

Premier League Appearances : 254

Premier League Goals : 174

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5 – Frank Lampard

Frank James Lampard OBE is widely considered to be one of the greatest Chelsea players of all-time and one of the greatest midfielders of his generation. A creative and technically gifted box-to-box midfielder, Lampard began his career in 1995 at West Ham United, the club where his father, Frank Lampard Sr also played. He made 148 PL appearances for the Hamers, scoring 24 goals before moving to London rivals Chelsea in 2001 for £11 million.

In his thirteen years with the team, Lampard established himself as a prolific scorer from midfield, becoming Chelsea’s all-time leading goalscorer, with 211 goals scored in all competitions, 147 of which were in the Premier League. With Chelsea, he won three Premier League titles, a UEFA Champions League title, four FA Cups, a UEFA Europa League title, and two Football League Cups.

In 2005, Lampard was named the FWA Footballer of the Year and finished runner-up for both the Ballon d’Or and the FIFA World Player of the Year awards. He is the only midfielder to have scored more than 150+ goals in the Premier League and is fourth in the Premier League’s all-time assists table with 102 to his name.
Lampard also holds a number of Chelsea and additional Premier League records, and has won the FWA Tribute Award and a PFA Fans’ Player of the Year award. During his career, he was named in the PFA Team of the Year three times, finished as the Premier League’s top assist provider three times, and was named in the FIFPro World XI.

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Lampard was released by Chelsea in 2014, after which he signed for league rivals Manchester City on a free transfer. He made 32 PL appearances for the club, scoring 6 goals – one of which against former club Chelsea, in a game that ended in a draw ending Chelsea’s perfect start to the season. At the end of the season Lampard moved over to Major League Soccer club New York City before retiring in 2017.

After retiring, Lampard served as a team captain on the ITV sport panel show ‘Play to the Whistle’ from 2015 until 2017. He has also written a number of children’s books. He began his coaching career with Championship club Derby County in 2018, leading the club to the final of that season’s play-offs. He was appointed as Chelsea’s head coach a year later.

Premier League Appearances : 609

Premier League Goals : 177

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4 – Sergio Aguero

Aguero started his career in his native Argentina – joining the youth system of Independiente at the age of 9. He became the youngest player to debut in the Argentine Primera Division at 15 years and 35 days old. He made 56 appearances for the club, scoring 26 goals over 4 seasons before making a move to Atletico Madrid for a €20 million fee.

Aguero spent 5 years at Atletico, playing 234 games and scoring 101 goals before moving to Premier League club Manchester City in July 2011 for an undisclosed fee thought to be in the region of £35 million.

Agüero made his debut for City on 15 August 2011 in a 4–0 Premier League victory over Swansea City. Agüero came on as a substitute in the 59th minute, scoring two goals and creating one. His 30-minute debut gained rave reviews among football journalists, with some suggesting it was one of the best in English football.

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On the last day of his debut season with the club, he scored a 94th-minute winner against Queens Park Rangers that earned City its first league title in 44 years and was named the Manchester City Player of the Year.

Aguero has been an ever present feature for Man city and has been instrumental in winning the following accolades for the club and himself:
Premier League: 2011–12, 2013–14, 2017–18, 2018–19
FA Cup: 2018–19; runner-up: 2012–13
Football League/EFL Cup: 2013–14, 2015–16, 2017–18, 2018–19, 2019–20
FA Community Shield: 2012, 2018, 2019
Manchester City Player of the Year: 2011–12, 2014–15
PFA Team of the Year: 2017–18 Premier League, 2018–19 Premier League
Premier League Golden Boot: 2014–15

In November 2017, Agüero became Manchester City’s all-time highest goal-scorer, scoring his 178th City goal against Napoli. He is currently the 4th highest goalscorer in Premier League history, and the highest non-English scorer in the history of the competition. He also holds the record for most hat-tricks in the Premier League, with twelve. With a few more years left in the tank there’s no doubt that we’d expect Aguero to climb higher in the league all time top scorers.

Premier League Appearances : 263

Premier League Goals : 180

3 – Andy Cole

Cole began his career as a youth player for Arsenal after leaving school in 1988. He signed professionally for the club in 1989 but made only one appearance before being loaned out to Fulham and Bristol City – the latter of which was made permanent as he signed for the Robins for £500k in 1992.

After a successful season at Bristol, proving himself to be one the the young hot prospects in the country, Cole was signed by Division One leaders Newcastle United, who broke their transfer record with a £1.75 million fee. He scored 12 goals in as many matches for the Magpies, securing their promotion to the Premier League.

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Cole scored 34 goals in 40 matches during Newcastle’s first Premier League season as they finished third and qualified for the UEFA Cup. Cole scored 41 total goals in all competitions – breaking the club’s goalscoring record which had been set by Hughie Gallacher nearly 70 years earlier.

After only a year and a half in the Premier League with Newcastle, in January 1995, Cole was suddenly sold in a shock deal to Manchester United for a deal worth £7 million – setting a new record for the most expensive British transfer at the time.

His time at Manchester United is what Cole is most widely known for. He spent six years of his career here, winning numerous trophies including five Premier League titles, two FA Cups, one Charity Shield and the Champions League – which he won with the famous treble winning team of 1999. He made 195 Premier League appearances for the club, scoring 93 goals.

After the arrival of Ruud Van Nistelrooy Coles time at United had come to an end and he was sold to Blackburn Rovers for £8 million in December of 2001. Within two months of arriving, he had collected a League Cup winners medal, scoring the winning goal for Blackburn in the final against Tottenham Hotspur. Cole stayed at Blackburn until the end of the 2003-04 season. Over the course of his time at the club he made 83 Premier League appearances, scoring 27 goals.

Cole spent the next 5 years moving from club to club, playing for Fulham, Man City, Portsmouth, Birmingham City, Sunderland, Burnley and Nottingham Forest, and at the end of 2008 Cole had decided to call it a day and retire from the game.

Upon retiring from playing Cole went into the coaching side of the game and worked as a forwards coach at Manchester United, Huddersfield Town, Macclesfield and Southend United. Away from the coaching side of the game he has also worked extensively in the media and has appeared as a match analyst for the BBC on their Final Score programme as well as working as a pundit and co-commentator for BT Sport, Middle East broadcaster beIN Sports, MUTV and Setanta Sports.

Premier League Appearances : 263

Premier League Goals : 180

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2 – Wayne Rooney

Rooney started his career by joining the Everton youth team at the age of 9 and made his professional debut for the club in 2002 at the age of 16. He made his senior debut on 17 August in a 2–2 home draw against Tottenham Hotspur, starting the match and assisting the first goal by Mark Pembridge.

Five days before his 17th birthday, on 19th October 2002, Rooney scored a last-minute winning goal against Arsenal. The goal ended Arsenal’s 30-match unbeaten run, and also made Rooney the youngest goalscorer in Premier League history, a record that has since been surpassed twice, by James Milner and James Vaughan.

Rooney played two full seasons for Everton, making 67 Premier League appearances, scoring 15 goals before moving to Manchester United in a £25.6 million move in the summer of 2004. It was the highest fee ever paid for a player under 20 years old as Rooney was still only 18 when he left Everton.

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It was at United that Rooney was widely considered to be one of the best players of his generation and is the record goalscorer for both the England national team and Manchester United. For 13 seasons he was at United, featuring regularly in the starting lineups throughout, where he made 393 league appearances and scored 183 league goals.

During his time at United he won the following honours :

Premier League: 2006–07, 2007–08, 2008–09, 2010–11, 2012–13
FA Cup: 2015–16
Football League/EFL Cup: 2005–06, 2009–10, 2016–17
FA Community Shield: 2007, 2010, 2011, 2016
UEFA Champions League: 2007–08
UEFA Europa League: 2016–17
FIFA Club World Cup: 2008
PFA Players’ Player of the Year: 2009–10
PFA Young Player of the Year: 2004–05, 2005–06
PFA Fans’ Player of the Year: 2005–06, 2009–10
PFA Team of the Year: 2005–06 Premier League, 2009–10 Premier League, 2011–12 Premier League
FWA Footballer of the Year: 2009–10
BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year: 2002
FIFPro Young Player of the Year: 2004–05
Premier League Player of the Season: 2009–10
After 13 years at United, Rooney moved back to boyhood club Everton for one season, making 31 PL appearances and scoring 10 goals, before moving to DC United in the MLS. After two seasons in the States he returned to English football to play for Derby in the Championship where he still plays today whilst also doing his coaching badges. He managed the england team at Soccer Aid 2020, which was held at Man Utd.

Premier League Appearances : 491

Premier League Goals : 208

1 – Alan Shearer

Alan Shearer, CBE, is widely regarded as one of the best strikers of his generation and one of the greatest players in the history of the Premier League. He played his entire career at the top level of English football, starting his career at Southampton in 1988 having graduated from the youth academy. After 5 seasons where he had made 118 League appearances for the club, scoring 23 goals, Southampton couldn’t fend off other clubs interest any more and sold him to Blackburn Rovers for £3.6 million, making him the most expensive player in English football at the time, at the age of 21 in the summer of ‘92.

With the Premier League coming to being for the start of the 1992-93 season, it marked the start of an incredible run for Shearer with Blackburn. Over the four years he played at the club he was named Football Writers’ Association Player of the Year in 1994 and won the PFA Player of the Year award in 1995. In 1996, he came third in both Ballon d’Or and FIFA World Player of the Year awards after helping Blackburn win their only Premiership title, scoring 34 league goals and snatching the title from Manchester United on the final day of the season. He made 138 league appearances for the club, scoring 112 league goals – 0.81 goals per game!

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After lifting the league title, Manchester United and Real Madrid were battling it out to sign him up. However, it was his boyhood club, Newcastle United where he ended up moving to where he remained until his retirement. He played 303 Premier League games for Newcastle, scoring 148 goals.

Despite a lack of club trophies, his won many personal accolades at both club and international level:

UEFA European Championship Golden Boot: 1996
UEFA European Championship Team of the Tournament: 1996
ESM Team of the Year: 1994–95
Ballon d’Or – Third place: 1996
Premier League Golden Boot: 1994–95, 1995–96, 1996–97
PFA Players’ Player of the Year: 1994–95, 1996–97
FWA Footballer of the Year: 1993–94
Premier League Player of the Year: 1994–95
FWA Tribute Award: 2001
English Football Hall of Fame: 2004.
Premier League 10 Seasons Awards (1992–93 to 2001–02)
Domestic and Overall Player of the Decade
Domestic and Overall Team of the Decade
Outstanding Contribution to the FA Premier League
Top Goalscorer (204)
Premier League 20 Seasons Awards (1992–93 to 2011–12)
Top Goalscorer (260)
PFA Team of the Century (1907–2007): 2007

After his retirement and following guest appearances, Shearer became a regular pundit for the BBC’s ‘Match of the Day’. He also formed part of the team which covered the World Cups and European Championships from 2006 onwards for the BBC.

In April 2009, Newcastle announced that Shearer would become their manager for the remaining 8 games of the season with relegation looming. Having won only 1 of the 8 games, Newcastle were relegated to the Championship and Shearer wasn’t offered another contract and he returned to work with the BBC.

Premier League Appearances: 441
Premier League Goals: 260

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