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Stats: 17,287 members, 67,825 Topics, 15,183 Comments. Date: May 26 2019, 5:56 am

Ojedeji Michael
, Nigeria.

Where will you place the former Chelsea forward in a list of the greats?

With the news that Chelsea legend Didier Drogba has retired from professional football, it got us thinking where does he rank among the Premier League’s greatest ever strikers?

There have been a number of wonderful goal getters to have graced the top flight over the past 26 years, but just who is number one?

Well, after much deliberation, talkSPORT.com have compiled a list to reveal who we rate as the best 10 forwards in the competition’s history. See if you agree…

10. Ian Wright (Arsenal, West Ham United)
When Thierry Henry says you are the reason he fell in love with Arsenal, such a tribute means you must have done something special.

And Wright did exactly that.

Bursting onto the scene at 22, late by today’s standards, Wright took his chance with Crystal Palace, before becoming the Gunners’ then record-signing in 1991.

With a goal on his debut and a hat-trick on his league debut, Wright would finish as the club’s top scorer for six consecutive seasons.

In his final season at the club, Wright won his first and only Premier League title and broke the scoring record with 185 goals, which would stand until 2005 when it was broken by a certain Frenchman.

9. Andy Cole (Newcastle United, Manchester United, Blackburn Rovers, Fulham, Manchester City, Portsmouth)
A natural goalscorer, Cole was already a deadly striker during his time with Newcastle, before Sir Alex Ferguson decided to sign him for £7million.

After a slow start to his United career, ‘Cole the goal’ would emerge as the club’s first choice striker and form an almost telepathic understanding with Dwight Yorke as the pair played a key role in helping secure an historic treble.

A Champions League winner, five league titles, two FA Cups and the third highest scorer in PL history, Cole was one of the best.

8. Ruud van Nistelrooy (Manchester United)
36 goals in his first season, 44 in his next and 30 in his third, the Dutchman was lethal. In his second season with United he spearheaded their charge towards Premier League success and won the PFA Player of the Season and Golden Boot as a result.

A clinical finisher, Van Nistelrooy was the ultimate poacher, but his mazy run and finish against Fulham showed he was also capable of the spectacular. His time at Old Trafford ended with 95 goals in just 150 league games before he left to join Real Madrid.

7. Didier Drogba (Chelsea)
The ultimate big-match player, Drogba epitomised Chelsea under Jose Mourinho during their relentless charge towards successive Premier League titles and continued cup successes.

Blessed with an almost complete skill set, the Ivorian was the focal point of Chelsea’s attack for eight seasons as he dominated defenders across Europe, twice winning the Golden Boot.

A thorn in the side of Arsenal and with ten goals in ten cup finals, Drogba’s crowning achievement would come in 2012 when he dragged Chelsea to that elusive Champions League crown, first with an equalising header, then the winning penalty, ensuring he will go down in history at Stamford Bridge.

6. Dennis Bergkamp (Arsenal)
Much of what he did was with class and elegance and mere statistics would not do it justice to how good a player the ‘non-flying Dutchman’ was.

While his 87 Premier League goals is the second lowest on this list, few possessed the natural ability of Bergkamp, who acted as the perfect foil for first Wright and then Henry.

Has there ever been a more stylish hat-trick then his against Leicester City in 1997? And whether you think his turn and goal against Newcastle was intentional, only Bergkamp could make you believe he probably meant it.

5. Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)
If we revisit this list in a few years time, there is every chance Aguero will be higher up should he add to his 151 Premier League goals and three league winners’ medals.

Scorer of the most dramatic goal in Premier League history, Aguero has been a revelation since joining the club in 2011 and his nine league hat-tricks are second only to Alan Shearer in the all-time records.

A goal-scoring machine, the Argentinian is on course for another wonderful season with eight in 12 matches already, and having recently signed a four-year contract at City, there is still plenty more to come from ‘Kun’.

4. Wayne Rooney (Everton, Manchester United)
‘Remember the name’, Clive Tyldesley yelled on that fateful day, and how could we forget it. Since smashing the winner off the underside of David Seaman’s crossbar as a 16-year-old for Everton, Rooney has enjoyed an incredible career.

While there are many who will bemoan he never fulfilled his potential, let’s quickly look at some of the statistics that dispel those myths.

Man United’s top scorer; England’s top scorer; five Premier League titles; two Champions Leagues; one FA Cup; second highest ever goalscorer in PL history; three time PFA Team of the Year inductee… and the list could go on.

Imagine what would have been said if he underachieved!

3. Eric Cantona (Manchester United)
Revered by the United faithful, few carried themselves with the swagger and poise of Cantona.

It is no exaggeration to say he transformed the club when he arrived from Leeds United in 1992, turning the Red Devils from a side who had not won the title for 26 years to an all-conquering Premier League colossus.

Cantona won the league in four of his five seasons and his tally of 70 goals included that most nonchalant of chips against Sunderland – complete with iconic celebration.

The infamous king-fu incident did little to ruin his messiah-like reputation and when he retired prematurely in 1997, football fans were left open mouthed.

Collars up, chest out, the man known simply as ‘king’ is held in the highest regard to this very day.

2. Alan Shearer (Blackburn Rovers, Newcastle United)
A number of Premier League records belong to Shearer: the most hat-tricks (11), the most trebles in a single campaign (five, in 1995-96) and the most goals off all time (260).

Few turn down Sir Alex and Man United, but that is exactly what Shearer did in 1996 to join his boyhood club, having helped Blackburn Rovers win the league.

Headers, volleys – think Everton in 2002 – penalties, free-kicks, Shearer could score every type of goal and did.

While his trophy cabinet does not bulge quite like the others on this list, Shearer’s exploits in front of goal mean only one player can match him.

Alan Shearer has a record 260 Premier League goals
Alan Shearer has a record 260 Premier League goals
1. Thierry Henry (Arsenal)
Not just the best striker in Premier League history, Henry is the best player in Premier League history.

He’s the only player who has ever netted 20+ goals for five consecutive seasons and no other player scoring with the artistry and guile of Arsenal’s No. 14.

No player struck fear into a defence quite like Henry; socks over the knees and in full flight, you knew what time it was.

His flick and volley against United, his four-goal haul against Leeds, the dribble and finish against Liverpool, the flick vs Charlton – Henry only scored beautiful goals and he netted 175 of them.

Two Premier League titles, three FA Cups, twice PFA Player of the Year, three times FWA Player of the Year and four times Golden Boot winner, he was simply magnifique.


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