Alan Shearer is the record Premier League goal scorer with 260 strikes in the top flight, some 52 clear of Wayne Rooney in second place.
Tottenham striker Harry Kane is the active player with the best chance of breaking Shearer’s record, with 174 goals in his first 269 appearances. But how likely is the England captain to eclipse 260?
Alan Shearer’s final Premier League goal came against his greatest rivals Sunderland in April 2006, topping a glittering career that saw Newcastle’s talisman net at least 20 goals in seven Premier League seasons.
Shearer’s time at Southampton before his move to Blackburn actually came in the old First Division, meaning his 23 goals for the Saints don’t count toward his Premier League record.
Despite that and two career-threatening knee injuries later in his career, the Geordie finished with both the most goals and goal involvements in Premier League history after his 64 assists.
Harry Kane’s current record of 174 goals in 269 Premier League games puts him at 0.65 goals per game. If the 28-year-old maintained his current rate he would catch Shearer in 131 games’ time, which if he plays every Premier League game between now and then would be four games into the 2024/25 season at 32 years old.
However for a player with a history of ankle issues, playing all of those games is no certainty.
As Shearer knows all too well, injuries are a striker’s biggest impediment to goal scoring and Kane’s ankle problems could be a major stumbling block in his goal of reaching the record.
Kane has only once played every Premier League game in a season, in 2015/16, and for two of the last three completed campaigns the striker did not manage more than 30 appearances.
Coupled with his workload in the league, the Tottenham man also has to balance European and cup football, along with his England commitments, making an injury more likely.
The Three Lions captain played 16 times for England in 2021 and this year will be another big one for the national team with the World Cup looming in November.
Over the last two seasons Harry Kane has tended to operate in a deeper role for Tottenham and this, together with his team’s poor form in general, has perhaps had a negative effect on his goalscoring.
It’s now three full seasons since Kane managed 25 or more goals and he looks unlikely to reach it again this campaign, with eight scored after 24 appearances.
The forward did register the most assists in the league last season with 14, perhaps a demonstration of his deeper role contributing to a more rounded game than just finding the net.
However, Kane did also top the Premier League scoring chart last season with 23 goals so he still has the record firmly in his sights.
In general, Kane’s chances all rest on his ability to stay fit, if he does so he should at least run Shearer close.