Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero bagged three goals during Sunday’s 6-1 drubbing of Aston Villa, and in doing so, set two more Premier League records. There’s no question the Argentine is among the league’s best-ever forwards. Numbers don’t lie.
Here’s a look at how Aguero compares to the league’s other historic forwards:
- Matches: 255
- Goals: 177 (3rd all time)
- Assists: 46
- Hat-tricks: 12 (1st all time)
Four-time Premier League winner Aguero, 31, is now the division’s highest-ever scoring foreign player. He’s recorded more hat-tricks than any other player in the league’s 28-year history. Aguero also boasts the league’s best-ever goals per match ratio (0.69). Based on that clip and an average of 32 matches played per year, we should see Aguero pass Wayne Rooney (208) for second all time on the goal charts by the end of next season.
- Matches: 441
- Goals: 260 (1st all time)
- Assists: 64
- Hat-tricks: 11 (2nd all time)
Over 14 seasons with Blackburn and Newcastle, Shearer compiled some astounding goal-scoring returns. Shearer’s 260 all-time tallies could be an unmatchable standard, as can his record for penalties scored (56). A league winner with Blackburn and club legend at Newcastle, Shearer holds the record for consecutive seasons with 30 or more goals (3), 25 or more goals (4), and shares the mark for most in a match (5) with Aguero and three others.
- Matches: 414
- Goals: 187 (3rd all time)
- Assists: 73
- Hat-tricks: 5 (joint-9th all time)
An eight-year stretch at Manchester United where he won eight trophies, including the Champions League, is the most celebrated of Cole’s eight EPL spells. Cole’s 34 goals in the 42-game 1993-94 campaign at Newcastle are joint-most with Shearer’s return in 1994-95, as are his five goals in a single match. Cole scored in 16 consecutive EPL seasons, a mark for longevity matched by Shearer and Rooney, and beaten only by Robbie Fowler.
- Matches: 258
- Goals: 175
- Assists: 74
- Hat-tricks: 8 (joint-4th all time)
Henry was the figurehead of Arsenal’s famed “Invincibles” side and the symbol of an engaging team that brought fluid attacks at breakneck speeds to England. His goals per match ratio (0.68) is narrowly second to Aguero. The two-time PFA Player of the Year recorded a record of 20 or more goals in five straight seasons despite spending only eight years in England, and he holds the mark for most assists in a Premier League season (20 in 2002-03).
- Matches: 491
- Goals: 208
- Assists: 103
- Hat-tricks: 7 (7th all time)
A winner of nine domestic and two continental trophies at United, Rooney’s goals per match return (0.42) is the worst on this list, but his 103 career assists is tops by a wide margin. Rooney is also the third-youngest scorer in EPL history (16 years, 351 days), the record holder with 10 or more goals in 11 consecutive seasons, and has scored more goals for one team than any other player in Premier League history (183) – a milestone Aguero approaches.
- Matches: 379
- Goals: 163
- Assists: 39
- Hat-tricks: 9 (3rd all time)
Serenaded as “God” at Anfield, Liverpool legend Fowler has one of the best goal celebrations in league history and a hammer for a left foot. Despite being hampered by injuries, Fowler’s 17 consecutive seasons with a goal are the EPL standard for players on this list. Fowler didn’t have the accolades and records of the league’s best-ever strikers, and his goals per match standard (0.42) doesn’t quite stand up, but there’s no denying he’s one of the greats.
- Matches: 326
- Goals: 150
- Assists: 31
- Hat-tricks: 8 (joint-4th all time)
Recipient of England’s only Ballon d’Or winner (2001), Owen starred at Liverpool before subsequent moves to Real Madrid, Newcastle, United, and Stoke witnessed diminished returns. The fifth-youngest scorer in league history (17 years, 144 days), Owen is the only English player to notch a goal in four consecutive major international tournaments. Surprisingly, Owen never scored 20 or more goals in a league campaign. Harry Kane is coming for this spot.