Sergio Aguero will leave Manchester City at the end of the season as one of the greatest strikers ever in the Premier League.
But where exactly would he be on that elite list of attackers who flourished in England’s highest rank?
Sportsmail judges the runners and riders – and does its verdict.
Sergio Aguero announced on Monday that he will be leaving Manchester City when the season comes to a close
1: THIERRY HENRY (Arsenal 1999-2007 & 2012)
Arrived at Arsenal as an inconsistent winger and failed to score in his first seven games. After that, he couldn’t stop and became the club’s record scorer after a smart move by Arsene Wenger to turn him into a striker.
Henry remains the only player to have won the Premier League’s Golden Boot four times and his graceful style helped make English football popular around the world. He redefined the role of the attacker by often drifting to the left, where he could cut inward with devastating effect.
Finished with a strike rate of one goal every 121 minutes and the main member of Arsenal’s 2004 Invincibles who remained unbeaten for a full season.
Thierry Henry was enthusiastic about the Premier League and was an important part of Arsenal’s Invincibles line-up
2: ALAN SHEARER (Blackburn 1992-96, Newcastle 1996-2006)
When you look at all the great forwards who have lit up the Premier League and consider that Shearer has scored 25% more goals than any of them, that’s a testimony to his career, especially as he didn’t play for a really great club team.
Shearer’s calling card was his explosive shot from both feet, but he was brave in the air and relentless in one-on-one situations, with each goal greeted by a signature hand in the air. Shearer’s count of 34 when Blackburn won the competition in 1995 has not improved.
The following year he became the world’s most expensive player – the last Englishman to receive that award – and became the record scorer in the history of the home city club Newcastle United.
Newcastle legend Alan Shearer is the highest ever scorer in Premier League history
3: WAYNE ROONEY (Everton 2002-04 & 2017-18, Man Utd 2004-17)
Shot on the scene with a 16-year-old boy idol wonder goal Everton and went on to live up to the hype by scoring record goals for Manchester United and England and winning every club trophy available, including five Premier League titles and the Champions League .
Rooney boasted incredible technique and could score goals as easily as scoring them. His winner for a bicycle kick against Manchester City was hailed as the best Premier League goal in history and there were other thunderous volleys and attacks from his own half.
Wayne Rooney’s Manchester derby overhead was voted the best in Premier League history
4: SERGIO AGUERO (Man City 2011-2021)
His title-winning goal against QPR on its own would have been enough to earn the Argentinian his statue outside the Etihad, but it’s just one of 257 he has scored with Manchester City in a remarkable decade.
Agüero’s ‘fox in the box’ finish was phenomenal with his strike rate of one goal every 108 minutes the best of the leading Premier League forwards. His eight hat-tricks is another record, including five in 20 minutes against Newcastle in 2015.
Surprisingly, it wasn’t until 2018 for Pep Guardiola that he was first selected by his fellow players in the PFA Team of the Year.
Agüero’s fatal outcome means he will always be remembered as a great Premier League
5: ERIC CANTONA (Leeds 1992, Man Utd 1992-1997)
King Eric was part of the Leeds team that won the last First Division title, he then crossed the Pennines and helped Manchester United win the first Premier League and establish a dynasty.
Cantona was not only cool and always played with his collar up, he became the main role model for emerging younger talents such as David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and the Neville brothers to follow.
England defenders weren’t used to playing forwards between the lines and Cantona had a field day that fell into No. 10 positions at one point and then appeared in the penalty area. He had all the tricks and flicks, but if you needed someone with Air Force, few were better with his head.
Eric Cantona’s positional play was unlike anything the Premier League had seen at the time
6: HARRY KANE (2009-)
No player is bigger than his club, but Harry Kane comes pretty close. Tottenham has scored over 200 goals for its childhood heroes and is currently chasing Mo Salah to win a third Golden Boot.
The prospect of him leaving Spurs in the summer to win trophies is enough to give their fans nightmares.
Kane is a brilliant right foot, left foot or head finisher, but has added assists to his game this season – he and Son Heung-Min have already broken the record for every pair scoring together in one Premier League season.
Harry Kane has scored big at Tottenham and is now faced with questions about his future
7: MICHAEL OWEN (Liverpool 1996-2004, Newcastle 2005-09, Man Utd 2009-12, Stoke 2012-13)
Because of the way his career ended with injuries, it’s easy to forget how brightly Owen’s star burned when he was at his peak. His incredible speed coupled with composure in front of goal saw him become the Premier League’s top scorer at 18, before achieving world fame at that summer’s 1998 World Cup.
Three years later, he helped Liverpool win three trophies and became European Player of the Year – still the last British player to achieve that, an achievement when you consider who else were in the Golden Generation.
He scored 158 goals for Liverpool without winning the league, but corrected on a personal level as part of Manchester United’s 2011 championships.
At its peak, Michael Owen was one of the best players in the Premier League
8: LUIS SUAREZ (Liverpool 2011-14)
He only spent three seasons in England, much shorter than any other candidate, but he had an incredible impact, for good and bad. Liverpool was on the backburner when he signed with Ajax – just three weeks earlier Roy Hodgson had been fired with the club close to the relegation zone – but Suarez’s desire and inordinate ability lifted the gloom.
He scored 82 goals in three seasons interrupted by bans for racially abusing Patrice Evra and biting Branislav Ivanovic. His 2013-14 performance almost single-handedly won Liverpool the title, but he ran into trouble again at the World Cup that summer and Liverpool let him come to Barcelona.
In just three years at Liverpool. Luis Suarez provided a series of unforgettable moments
9: DIDIER DROGBA (Chelsea 2004-12, 14-15)
Provided that Jose Mourinho’s physical presence could end the side of a 50-year wait to become champion. And after winning it in 2005, they held onto the crown the following season with Drogba an increasing influence. Drogba was the ultimate player in the big games, scoring nine goals in 10 cup finals for Chelsea, most notably his header in the 2012 Champions League final against Bayern Munich.
While not as prolific in terms of goals per game and some other forwards, Drogba’s ability to hold the ball and keep defenders at bay was crucial to Chelsea’s success under Mourinho and other managers. Midfielder Frank Lampard is fifth on the list of the very first goalscorers, but he would be the first to give credit to Drogba for often wreaking havoc so he could find space.
Didier Drogba was a big reason behind Chelsea’s success under Jose Mourinho
To a whole host of other fantastic forwards past and present, such as Jamie, Vardy, Andy Cole and Robbie Fowler who unfortunately did not make our move.
10: ROBIN VAN PERSION (Arsenal 2004-12, Man Utd 2012-15)
Did one player dominate one season like van Persie did in Sir Alex Ferguson’s last campaign of 2012/13?
Fergie specifically contracted Arsenal’s van Persie to reclaim the league from Manchester City and the Dutchman spectacularly managed to score 31 goals when an otherwise average United walked away with the title.
For a while Van Persie was unparalleled. He and Shearer are the only players to have won consecutive Golden Boot titles with different clubs, and few players caught the ball sweeter than his left foot.
Perhaps the most iconic of his 148 Premier League goals was the stunning volley against Aston Villa from Rooney’s 45-yard chipped pass.
Robin van Persie’s first season at Manchester United may be unmatched in dominance