The Premier League has witnessed several brilliant strikers since its inception in 1992. We look back at five of them who will forever leave a lasting legacy on England’s top flight.
Matt Le Tissier - Southampton
A Southampton legend, Matt Le Tissier only played for the south coast side. In sixteen years, Le God as club supporters knew him, scored 161 goals in 443 appearances. It was a career dogged by recurring injuries though, but his status as one of the all-time Premier League greats is highly respected.
Known for his creativity, Le Tissier had a reputation for scoring some truly brilliant goals. His eye for goal, clearly matched by his clinical penalty-taking ability. His control and dribbling were second to none. A favourite in the league, Le Tissier’s international career never really took off.
Alan Shearer - Southampton, Blackburn, Newcastle
Le Tissier was considered one of Southampton’s greatest ever player. Alan Shearer also played on the south coast. Widely recognised as a national hero in the Premier League, Shearer won the Premier League in 1995 with Blackburn Rovers before moving for a world record transfer move of £15 million to his boyhood club, Newcastle United.
Regarded as a classic English centre-forward, Shearer’s heading ability and his penalty-taking made him a prolific goal scorer. Shearer often functioned as a target man but could also create for his teammates. Shearer scored 260 Premier League goals in his career.
Michael Owen - Liverpool, Newcastle, Manchester United, Stoke
At the tail end of the 1990s, Shearer enjoyed a striking partnership with Michael Owen for the England national team. The two also featured briefly together at Newcastle in 2005 and 2006.
Owen suffered several critical injuries during his playing career. Owen was regarded as one of the most exceptional hot prospects when he burst onto the scene in 1996. Owen began his career with Liverpool scoring 118 goals in 216 games.
When he returned to the Premier League following a spell at Real Madrid, but performances suffered due to the high volume of injuries he sustained. Once regarded in his prime as a player with explosive pace, Owen was always an opportunistic and technically gifted forward. A Premier League great despite his injury woes.
Thierry Henry - Arsenal
Thierry Henry’s arrival at Arsenal coincided with the club’s most successful period in English football. When he joined, Henry was already a FIFA World Cup winner and a year later; he would become a European Championship winner too.
His international achievements continued in the Premier League. Two league titles and three FA Cups for Arsenal, all under the leadership of Arsene Wenger, made Henry a firm favourite with the Gunners. Henry finished the Premier League top goalscorer four times in five seasons, and he also won two of the Premier League’s Player of the Year awards.
Brilliant with one-on-ones and deadly when running at the defenders, Henry scored 174 goals in the league and is strongly ranked as one of the most lethal finishers to play in England’s top tier.
Eric Cantona - Manchester United
We have looked at four fantastic Premier League strikers or forwards, and we now end with arguably the league’s most celebrated of all time. The enigmatic and exceptional Eric Cantona was one of a kind when he joined Manchester United at the start of the Premier League era. His arrival boosted the league.
Like his fellow Frenchman Henry, Cantona possessed flair and the unique ability to win any game by himself. Cantona led United to their first league in 1993 – their first since 1967. He played his part in helping United win four of the first five league crowns.
Despite a considerable ban in 1995 for kicking a supporter in the stands, Cantona enjoyed raving popularity in England. He scored 64 goals in 143 appearances for United and will always stay regarded as the Premier League’s first icon and a Manchester United legend.