Strikers are the most recognisable members of most Premier League teams. After all, without goals, the beautiful game would be pretty boring.
There have been many strikers come and go from the Premier League, but these four stand head and shoulders above the rest.
Eric Cantona (Manchester United)
Eric Cantona is the enigmatic Frenchman dubbed “King Eric” by Manchester United fans. Before Cantona came to Old Trafford for the bargain fee of £1.2 million in November 1992, United hadn’t won a league title in 25 years.
In fact, before he arrived, Manchester United were having a sluggish start to the 1992-93 season. Yet with Cantona up front, they ended up winning the very first Premier League title that year. They also won the next one, and two more after that, before the messianic Frenchman retired prematurely at the age of 30 in 1997.
In five years, Cantona scored 64 goals for Manchester United. While he didn’t score a huge number, every goal he scored seemed to come at vital moments in a given season.
Alan Shearer (Blackburn Rovers, Newcastle United)
Alan Shearer is living proof for every young footballer that dreams can come true. He started his Premier League career with Blackburn, who signed the 21-year-old for a then British record £3.6 million from Southampton, just in time for the 1992-93 season.
Shearer soon made his mark at Ewood Park. Despite missing half of his first season due to injury, he scored 16 goals in the 21 games in which he did play. Over the next three seasons, Shearer never scored less than 30 goals in the Premier League for Blackburn.
It was during his second season at Blackburn in 1994-95, that Shearer won his only league title.
He joined Newcastle (the club he supported as a boy) in 1996. Despite having less success at St James’s Park, Shearer continued his career there until 2006, having scored more goals than anyone else in Premier League history (260). Shearer is still the Premier League’s all-time top scorer.
Dennis Bergkamp (Arsenal)
Named by former Arsenal team mate, Ian Wright, as “the best I ever played with”, Dennis Bergkamp found many classy, elegant ways to outwit defenders and score goals.
He was instrumental in the Gunners’ first-ever Premier League success in 1997-98 and again in 2001-02.
Bergkamp netted 87 goals in his 11-year career in North London. And there is no surely no better example of his skill than the hat-trick he scored versus Leicester in 1997.
Meanwhile, the stunning pirouette he fashioned to stun the Newcastle backline in 2002 is widely considered to be among the greatest goals ever scored in the Premier League.
Thierry Henry (Arsenal)
Thierry Henry had everything. In an eight-year career at Arsenal, he scored 175 Premier League goals. While that may not be as much as Shearer, Wayne Rooney, or Andy Cole, Henry reached his tally in a shorter time-span.
However, he was not just a prolific goal-scorer: Henry scored goals with dazzling flair, while his two league titles and three FA Cup wins show that he was also a serial winner.
Despite not winning as much silverware as the other two, Shearer deserves his place on this list for being so unbelievably prolific throughout his long career.
On the other hand, Cantona, Bergkamp and Henry may not have scored as many as Shearer (or others). Yet the two Arsenal teammates scored many dazzling goals, and won countless games for their team, of which their many trophies are hard proof.