Alan Shearer retired from professional football more than a decade ago, but he still remains the all-time leading goalscorer in the Premier League with his tally of 260 strikes.
Shearer started his professional football career with Southampton and made his first team debut in the old First Division in 1988. He stayed with the Saints until 1992 before moving to Blackburn Rovers. The forward was on top of his game at Ewood Park as he went on to score 112 goals in 138 games – a remarkable strike rate of 0.81 goals per game.
He helped Rovers to the Premier League title in the 1994/95 season with his tally of 34 goals, nine more than second-placed Robbie Fowler of Liverpool. It was Ewood Park outfit’s first top flight title in 81 years and they have failed to add to their tally of three titles since.
The next move for the former England international came in the summer of 1996 when he went to his hometown club Newcastle United. He had an immediate impact on the fortunes of the Magpies as his 25 goals from 31 games guided them to the verge of the league title before a late season collapse saw the title slip away from them and go into the hands of Manchester United, with Newcastle having to settle for a runners-up spot.
Through the course of his nine-year stint with Newcastle United, Shearer racked up 148 goals in 303 games to take his tally of Premier League goals to 260 in 441 games. Shearer was lethal in the box, pouncing on the smallest of opportunities to give his side the advantage. His numbers speak for themselves. Shearer’s strike rate in the Premier League stands at 0.59 which is second only to Thierry Henry’s 0.68 (175 goals in 258 games) – taking only players with more than 150 goals in consideration.
However, it needs stating that Shearer played his entire career in the English top flight so when he started declining late in his career his strike rate went down. Henry, on the other hand, moved to Spanish outfit Barcelona late in his career, meaning his Premier League strike rate remained high as his decline began in Catalonia.
Of the active players, only Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney (194 goals) and Sunderland forward Jermaine Defoe (145 goals) are currently in the all-time top ten Premier League goalscorer charts. Rooney has been in steep decline for the past couple of seasons and his place in the Red Devils’ starting line-up has been constantly questioned. Defoe, on the other hand, is way too far behind Shearer to seriously challenge his goal tally.
There have been several amazing forwards who have graced the Premier League over the years and shown tremendous knack for scoring goals. Didier Drogba, Michael Owen, and Fernando Torres to name but a few. However, none of them displayed the kind of consistency and instinct to go anywhere near Shearer’s tally. Put simply, Shearer takes the cake for being the greatest ever striker to play in the Premier League.