Who is your club’s record scorer and who might be next?

Club record goalscorers: Dixie Dean (Everton), Ian Rush (Liverpool), Alan Shearer (Newcastle) and Harry Kane (Tottenham)
Dixie Dean (left), Ian Rush (centre left), Alan Shearer (centre right) and Harry Kane (right) are four of the most prolific goalscorers in English top-flight history

A club’s all-time goalscoring record is one of the most significant milestones on its honours list, often receiving the most attention when it is broken.

Some such records have stood for more than 100 years, while a handful have been broken this century, with Harry Kane the latest man to carve his name into his club’s history.

On Sunday, the 29-year-old scored his 267th Tottenham goal in the win over Manchester City, taking him past the tally of fellow England forward Jimmy Greaves.

But what of the rest of the English top-flight clubs and their all-time scoring record? Which players currently hold them, how close are they to being broken and who might become new record holders?

First, some clarity on the numbers.

As reported in the Times recently,external-link discrepancies are a pitfall when discussing the subject of club record goalscorers, partly as a result of the Football Association not keeping complete official records.

We are, therefore, reliant on other sources to provide us with the stats, chiefly the clubs themselves and unofficial authorities such as the English National Football Archive.

This brings up an issue with Greaves’ goal tally, which Spurs set at 266 but did not include his two scored in Charity (now called Community) Shield matches.

In comparison, the 253 goals netted by Wayne Rooney and recognised as the Manchester United goalscoring record do include those in Charity/Community Shield games (he scored one), as do the records of Frank Lampard with a Chelsea high of 211 (one), Ian Rush’s Liverpool best of 346 (three) and others.

For the purposes of this piece and consistency with our reporting on Kane, we are sticking to Spurs’ interpretation of the record.

Club Player Goals Games Held since
Nottingham Forest Grenville Morris 217 459 January 1903
Brighton Tommy Cook 123 209 December 1924
West Ham Vic Watson 326 505 August 1925
Bournemouth Ronnie Eyre 229 628 December 1925
Leicester Arthur Chandler 273 419 January 1926
Everton Dixie Dean 383 433 April 1928
Crystal Palace Peter Simpson 165 195 January 1931
Aston Villa Billy Walker 244 531 November 1932
Brentford Jim Towers 163 282 October 1959
Leeds Peter Lorimer 238 707 March 1973
Southampton Mick Channon 228 602 September 1976
Fulham Gordon Davies 178 450 February 1989
Wolves Steve Bull 306 561 March 1992
Liverpool Ian Rush 346 660 October 1992
Arsenal Thierry Henry 228 376 October 2005
Newcastle Alan Shearer 206 405 March 2006
Chelsea Frank Lampard 211 648 May 2013
Manchester United Wayne Rooney 253 559 January 2017
Manchester City Sergio Aguero 260 390 November 2017
Tottenham Harry Kane 267 416 January 2023

As you can see from the dates on the above records, a player becoming their club’s all-time goalscorer is a rare accomplishment and even more so in the transient, uneven world of modern football.

Only six of the men who currently hold a Premier League club’s top tally achieved it this century, with eight records having stood since before the start of World War Two.

It is no mystery as to why this is the case. In general, players simply do not stay at clubs as long as they once did, especially those of high goalscoring calibre playing outside the division’s ‘big six’ clubs.

Interestingly but not surprisingly, five of the six records broken this century have come at one of Premier League’s established elite sides – those with the clout and financial muscle to hold on to the best strikers for a prolonged period.

There will, of course, always be exceptions. Alan Shearer – the one man to break a non-‘big six’ club goalscoring record this century – moved to and stayed at Newcastle because of his personal affinity to his hometown club.

And who’s to say such a relationship between an elite player and club won’t arise again? Or that the career trajectory of an individual and team do not sync up perfectly, with the former scoring the goals that help fire the latter into the top-flight just in time for him to break their goals record?

In all likelihood, though, many of the current Premier League club goalscoring records are unlikely to be beaten.

As you can see above, few clubs have a current top goalscorer anywhere close to challenging their all-time goals record.

Fulham are the closest to having a new record scorer, but Aleksandar Mitrovic still has 71 goals to score to match the tally of Gordon Davies. Mitrovic is 28-years-old and so the clock is ticking.

Liverpool’s Mo Salah and Jamie Vardy at Leicester have healthy totals to their name, but with the sizable respective records of Ian Rush and Arthur Chandler to chase down and, again, age not on their side, a change of ownership for the club record looks highly unlikely.

And spare a thought for Dominic Calvert-Lewin (or indeed any Everton player present or future), who has the toughest challenge in the top-flight to beat the all-time Toffees record of Dixie Dean.

Even if the 25-year-old plays for another decade (including this season), he would need to average around 32 goals a campaign to get close to Dean’s 383. He’s only managed double figures twice so far in his career.

So which players have a better chance of breaking their current club’s all-time goalscoring record?

The criteria are fairly obvious – they must have demonstrable talent and time on their side.

A certain amount of educated guesswork is required – with some players needing a much bigger leap of faith than others – but below are the players best placed to have a go at breaking their current club’s record and what they would need to do to achieve it.

We’ve given each of the players until the season in which they turn 35 years old to reach the number required.

Team Player Club goals Current club record Avg goals per season required
Arsenal Eddie Nketiah 32 228 15.08
Aston Villa Ollie Watkins 33 227 21.55
Bournemouth Dominic Solanke 53 229 16
Brentford Ivan Toney 61 163 11.33
Brighton Alexis Mac Allister 15 123 9
Chelsea Kai Havertz 29 211 14
Crystal Palace Wilfried Zaha 89 165 12.67
Everton Dominic Calvert-Lewin 59 383 32.4
Fulham Aleksandar Mitrovic 107 178 8.88
Leeds Patrick Bamford 48 238 26.57
Leicester Patson Daka 14 273 21.58
Liverpool Mohamed Salah 173 346 28.83
Manchester City Erling Haaland 31 260 16.36
Manchester United Marcus Rashford 112 253 12.82
Newcastle Miguel Almiron 23 206 26.14
Nottingham Forest Brennan Johnson 26 217 12.73
Southampton Che Adams 29 229 20
Tottenham Harry Kane 267 267 NA
West Ham Jarrod Bowen 34 326 24.33
Wolves Daniel Podence 15 306 32.33

As you can see, some of the suggestions are in with a shot (fitness permitting), some have some serious work to do and others are just wishful thinking.

Haaland is worthy of further investigation, though.

His 31 goals for Manchester City have come in just 26 games. If he carries on at this rate, he should score the 230 goals he needs to surpass Sergio Aguero’s record of 260 in roughly 193 games.

Even if Haaland only plays in 40 games a campaign, he would become City’s record goalscorer about 10 games into the 2027-28 season. He’ll be 27 years old.

Rashford is another to mention off the back of a recent hot streak in front of goal that has seen him net 10 goals in as many games since the World Cup in Qatar.

He still has 141 goals to score to reach Rooney’s Manchester United goals record but at 25 he still has time on his side and presumably little inclination to leave his hometown club anytime soon.

As for Kane, since properly establishing himself in the Tottenham side in 2014-15, he has averaged 30 goals a season in his completed campaigns to date.

If (and granted it is a big if) he matches this tally in every season until he reaches the one in which he is 35, the next player who wants to break the Spurs goalscoring record would need to net a whopping 458 goals!

There’s a very good chance that Kane may also take another record from Greaves if he manages such a haul – by surpassing the 1966 World Cup winner’s overall English top-flight goals tally of 357.

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