Date published: Tuesday 27th December 2016 11:31
Kelechi Iheanacho tops the list of the Premier League’s most prolific scorers ever by goals per minutes played.
The Nigerian netted in Manchester City’s 3-0 win over Hull on Boxing Day, which lifted Pep Guardiola’s side into second place behind leaders Chelsea.
Despite never being a first-choice starter at the Etihad Stadium, Iheanacho now has an impressive haul of 12 goals in 38 games.
But his strike rate is even more impressive when his goals-per-minute ratio is considered. His 12 strikes have come in just 1,114 Premier League minutes, most of which were as a substitute.
The Nigerian is therefore scoring at a rate of one goal every 95.3 minutes, but his name is not the only surprise inclusion on the list of the Premier League’s ten most prolific scorers ever.
2. Sergio Aguero – one goal every 107.1 minutes
In second is Iheanacho’s teammate, Sergio Aguero. The Argentinean has 112 goals to his name, with only 17 players in the 24-year history of the division scoring more.
3. Thierry Henry – one goal every 121.8 minutes
One of those 17 is Thierry Henry, who ranks fifth in terms of overall Premier League goals (175), but third in terms of goals per minutes played. Considering he scored just one goal in his first 12 league games for Arsenal, that’s not bad at all.
4. Adam Le Fondre – one goal every 124.3 minutes
Naturally following the names of Sergio Aguero and Thierry Henry is another striker who will go down in Premier League folklore. Adam Le Fondre spent one solitary season in England’s top flight with Reading in 2012/13, but he managed to score 12 goals. That haul came in 34 games, of which just 11 were starts.
5. Zlatan Ibrahimovic – one goal every 127.5 minutes
Remember when Zlatan Ibrahimovic went on a run of scoring just one goal in 11 games in all competitions? Six of those goalless fixtures came in the Premier League, but that is now a distant memory. The Swede already has 12 league goals in his first campaign, of which eight have come in his last seven games. United’s top scorer last season was Anthony Martial with 17, and in 2014/15 it was Wayne Rooney with 14; Ibrahimovic has 17, and he has half a season remaining.
6. Ruud van Nistelrooy – one goal every 128.2 minutes
He might have lost his consecutive goalscoring record to Jamie Vardy last season, but Ruud van Nistelrooy remains one of the Premier League’s most prolific strikers ever. To score 95 goals in just 150 league appearances is just a bit silly, really.
7. Javier Hernandez – one goal every 130.2 minutes
Completing the trifecta of Manchester United strikers is perennial super-sub, Javier Hernandez. Of his 102 Premier League appearances, 53 came as a substitute, making his overall goal haul of 37 look rather impressive.
8. Diego Costa – one goal every 132.5 minutes
Diego Costa has never gone longer than three consecutive Premier League appearances without scoring since joining Chelsea in 2014. That’s pretty good. And so is a record of 45 goals in 71 games.
9. Harry Kane – one goal every 135.8 minutes
When Harry Kane made his Premier League debut in a five-minute second-half substitute cameo for Tottenham in a 2-1 defeat to Newcastle in 2012, and was then loaned out to Norwich days later, I think we all expected him to become one of the Premier League’s most prolific strikers ever.
10. Luis Suarez – one goal every 138.8 minutes
Not Fernando Torres. Not Michael Owen. Not Robbie Fowler. No, not even David N’Gog is the most prolific Liverpool striker in the Premier League era. That honour is bestowed upon Luis Suarez, scorer of 69 goals in 110 games.
Fun fact: Luis Suarez’s goals-per-minute ratio in the Premier League against Norwich is one goal every 44.5 minutes.