Premier League

The Premier League’s Next Mr 100

 • by Geoffrey Dore
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Alan Shearer, Wayne Rooney, Thierry Henry. Just some of the names to have reached the magic number. But who will be next to make it in? We look at the likely candidates who are in line to gain membership to the Premier League’s 100-goal club

Romelu Lukaku

[155 games, 65 goals]

Romelu Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku was originally purchased by Chelsea in 2011 as a potential long-term successor to Didier Drogba, though the club’s decision to go back to the future with the Ivorian in 2014 would coincide with the Belgian leaving to join Everton, following temporary spells at the Goodison Park club and West Bromwich Albion. Since finding a permanent home on Merseyside, Lukaku has gone on to establish himself as one of the Premier League’s most potent forwards, becoming one of only five players to reach 50 Premier League goals before the age of 23. The striker’s combination of sheer power and speed coupled in with his aerial ability makes him a frightening proposition for any defence, while his continued presence as the focal point of Ronald Koeman’s side is likely to see him continue his ascent to the holy grail of the 100-goal Premier League club. The 23-year-old’s 65 strikes in 155 games [goal ratio of 0.42 per match] also makes for impressive reading.

Daniel Sturridge

[171 games, 69 goals]

Sturridge

Several experts perceive Daniel Sturridge to be England’s most naturally talented striker today, and his Premier League record of 69 goals in 171 matches certainly gives their argument added weight. But in recent times Sturridge has been blighted by numerous injuries that have limited his playing time. Factor in Jürgen Klopp’s preference to utilise Roberto Firmino as his first-choice forward and the Englishman’s route to his preferred playing position could be blocked off. But despite the numerous options available to Klopp, Sturridge is perhaps alone in being able to conjure up something from nothing, and if he can stay injury-free then you have to imagine that his class will shine through. Liverpool’s swashbuckling style of play so far this season has led to them creating numerous opportunities that the 27-year-old could benefit from in the near future. Having accumulated 69 goals already, if he can avoid further niggling injuries Sturridge is best placed to reach the feat first.

Harry Kane

[91 games, 51 goals]

Harry Kane

Many are of the opinion that not only will Harry Kane gain membership to the 100-goal PL club sooner rather than later, but that he will also break Alan Shearer’s league record of 260 goals. At 23 time is certainly on his side, with his strike against Stoke City in September making him the 11th fastest player to reach 50 goals [90 games]. Kane has repeatedly revealed his happiness at Tottenham, while the club are unlikely to consider selling their key marksman. The England international’s ability to score all types of goals has previously drawn comparisons to Shearer. Although not the quickest, Kane’s clever movement is what underpins his overall game, while his clinical finishing in the air or with either foot has resulted in flurry of goals since becoming a regular fixture in the Spurs squad since 2014. Out of the current breed of Premier League strikers, Kane’s goals per game ratio of 0.56 is bettered only by Sergio Agüero.

Theo Walcott

[243 games, 58 goals]

TheoWalcott

Theo Walcott has been at Arsenal for over 10 years, though his presence in the Gunners’ first team has always divided opinion among pundits and fans. Many have questioned whether Walcott possesses the consistency needed for a player who wanted to assert himself as the first-choice forward of a club that can also call on Alexis Sanchez, Olivier Giroud, Danny Welbeck and the recently-added Lucas Perez as forward options. However, Walcott has attributed a change of attitude as to the reason for his upturn in form this season, following up his goal against Chelsea with a brace versus Basel in the Champions League. The 27-year-old is another who has suffered a number of injuries during his career, though he will be hoping to have turned a corner as he approaches his peak years. Walcott still possesses enough pace to worry the quickest of defenders, while he never appears flustered when presented with an opportunity in front of goal.

Olivier Giroud

[138 games, 57 goals]

Oliver Giroud

Olivier Giroud arrived at Arsenal in 2011 with the club hoping to offset the departure of Robin Van Persie to Manchester United, and the Frenchman has, by and large, been the club’s first-choice forward during his time in England. Giroud’s physical presence and height makes him a throwback to a traditional centre forward, affording the Gunners an aerial threat they can integrate into their slick passing. The 30-year-old has hit double-figures in the league for Arsenal during every season, though Arsène Wenger’s preference for playing Alexis Sanchez as a forward combined with Theo Walcott’s upturn in form has seen Giroud resigned to just three substitute appearances so far this season.

Christian Benteke

[123 games, 54 goals]

Christian Benteke cele

Belgian Christian Benteke caught the attention of the bigger clubs while at Aston Villa, regularly finding the target for a team that would consistently struggle at the foot of the table during his tenure there. Benteke amassed an impressive 45 goals for the Villans during three years at the club. Without his goals Villa would find themselves consigned to the Championship, though Benteke would not repeat his form at new club Liverpool, finding himself surplus to requirements as new manager Jürgen Klopp instilled his version of heavy metal football on the Reds. However, signing for Crystal Palace promises to provide Benteke with regular game time, plus Palace’s directness should enable them to utilise his main attributes, something that Liverpool’s style of play never managed. The 25-year-old is another that resembles an old-fashioned centre forward, with 35% of his 54 Premier League goals coming from headers. If Benteke can rediscover his Aston Villa form then it’s highly likely that he will rapidly add to his Premier League tally.

Peter Crouch 

[407 appearances, 96 goals]
Peter Crouch
Having accumulated over 400 Premier League appearances during spells at Aston Villa, Southampton, Liverpool, Portsmouth, Tottenham and Stoke City, Peter Crouch could be described as your archetypical journeyman. The towering forward may not boast the greatest of goals to games ratios when compared to others on this list [0.24], though his longevity has taken him to the brink of the 100-goal club. With his height having gained him a reputation as a target man forward, Crouch’s technical ability has often been lost on fans and pundits alike over the years. Although the former England international has experienced limited game time at Stoke within the last year you would expect him to soon be celebrating a century of top-flight goals.
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