- Scoring goals is the hardest thing in football and essential for winning games in the Premier League, which features the best defenders in the world.
- Erling Haaland is arguably the best striker in the world and has already broken numerous records in his career.
- Gabriel Jesus, despite having an excellent impact since arriving at Arsenal last summer, is only the fourth-best striker in the league right now.
Scoring goals is the hardest thing in football - at the end of the day, they win games. In the Premier League, finding the back of the net is particularly difficult given strikers are often facing the best defenders in the world.
Down the years, though, there have been some brilliant centre-forwards in the English top flight. Alan Shearer, Luis Suarez and Didier Drogba are just some of the names that come to mind when thinking about the greatest marksmen in the game.
Today, there are some absolutely incredible sharpshooters in the division, including arguably the best in the world in the form of Erling Haaland. But there have been two notable departures in the summer, with Harry Kane and Aleksandar Mitrović, two of last season’s best, swapping England for Germany and Saudi Arabia respectively.
So, with their moves away, who are the 10 finest forwards in the Premier League? We have put together our list for right now, but with some new names joining English clubs in the summer, we could see a few fresh faces enter the fray as the 2023/24 campaign unfolds.
10 Taiwo Awoniyi
Perhaps a surprising name to kickstart this list, but a deserved entry nonetheless. Awoniyi ended last season well, with six goals in his last four games, and he has started the 2023/24 campaign well too. The 26-year-old has bagged three goals in four appearances so far, and also recently set up Anthony Elanga against Chelsea.
At his old club, Union Berlin, he netted 20 times in all competitions, and he followed that up with a respectable 10 goals for Forest, which were crucial as they secured Premier League survival. His energy and ruthlessness up front could be the difference between them and the relegation places once again this season.
9 Darwin Nunez
Last season, some people were quick to jump on Nunez following his transfer from Benfica to Liverpool, and he has certainly been guilty of wasting some big chances. He ended the year on just nine league goals from 29 appearances, hardly what you expect after paying £85m for his services.
However, the talent is there for all to see, and the 24-year-old is starting to showcase that this year. After a solid showing in pre-season, the Uruguayan single-handedly rescued the Reds against Newcastle United, scoring both goals in a 2-1 comeback. He is tall, strong, and quick, all of which are qualities that every Premier League side would want from a number nine. The only thing that holds him back in these rankings is consistency, but if he can find some, then expect him to rise up this list as the season progresses.
8 Evan Ferguson
Brighton have a habit of unearthing gems and selling them on for big money, and Ferguson could be their next prized asset. After moving from Bohemians to the Seagulls in January 2021, the Irishman became a Premier League sensation last season under Roberto De Zerbi, netting 10 times in all competitions.
Those are not insane numbers by any means, but Ferguson has started this season on fire. He is behind only a certain Norwegian in the scoring charts, scoring four goals in four appearances, including a brilliant hat-trick against Newcastle recently. At just 18 years old, the sky really is the limit for the wonderkid, and you can expect some of the big clubs to enquire about him in the future.
7 Julian Alvarez
From one brilliant youngster to another. There will almost certainly be those of you who believe Alvarez should rank slightly higher, especially given the amount of silverware he helped Manchester City and Argentina win last year. But given that he has mainly played a supporting role to another City player, we think this is probably a fair placement. Were he at any other side in this division, he would likely be one of the first names on the team sheet, and therefore, much higher on this list.
Last year, the 23-year-old was only handed 13 league starts, coming off the bench a further 18 times, but he still managed to find the back of the net on nine occasions. The early signs have been promising this season though, with the World Cup winner starting all four games for the Cityzens, with two goals and an assist falling his way. The potential is there for him to get even better, and if he does, Alvarez will be even higher when we revisit this list later down the line.
6 Alexander Isak
A few eyebrows were raised when Newcastle paid a huge £63m fee for Isak, but there are not many who are doubting his quality now. The Swedish striker had an excellent first season in the English top flight, notching 10 goals and impressing with his finishing and tidy footwork.
Impressively, Isak managed all this in 22 league matches, with him missing a significant chunk of games because of injuries. Availability is the only thing that holds him back in this list, but he has not yet missed a match for the Magpies this season, scoring twice in four games. The northeast club have had a difficult start to the 23/24 season, but the 23-year-old and another man on this list could help them find some momentum going forward.
5 Ollie Watkins
Last season, Aston Villa went from looking like potential relegation candidates under Steven Gerrard to qualifying for the Europa Conference League under Unai Emery. A sensational turnaround, and one that would probably not have happened were it not for the brilliance of Watkins.
The English striker took his game to new heights last season, bagging 15 goals for the Villans and surpassing his previous best for a league campaign with a total of 15. Sure, he has not got off to the best of starts in the league, failing to score in any of Villa’s opening four games, but he has netted three times in the Europa Conference League qualifiers. It is surely only a matter of time until the goals start to fly in for him as Villa look to go one better than last season, especially as the 27-year-old now has even more quality around him to supply him with chances.
4 Gabriel Jesus
Jesus was signed as the missing piece in Mikel Arteta's puzzle, and it is hard to underestimate the impact the Brazil international has had on Arsenal's title challenge. He might only have found the back of the net 11 times last season, but he was integral to build-up play, and the Gunners missed him when he was ruled out for a large chunk of the season through injury.
Unfortunately, his unavailability and lack of goals compared to his peers last season hinder him in this list. The others above him have just had that extra edge in recent months and played a greater role in their teams’ success. Jesus’ ability is unquestionable, though, so if he returns from his latest injury and starts scoring regularly, there will not be many who argue against him getting on the podium by the end of 23/24.
3 Callum Wilson
If Wilson avoided the slew of injuries he has picked up in the past few years, he might have ranked this high before now. But last season was one to remember for the Magpies’ man, as he helped fire them back into the Champions League with an incredible tally of 18 goals.
His fine form last season also earned him an England call-up to the World Cup, and he provided an assist in the group stage for Jack Grealish as the Three Lions beat Iran 6-2. Despite Newcastle’s rocky start to the new season, Wilson’s two goals in four appearances have kept him in the national team fold for the Three Lions' upcoming games against Ukraine and Scotland. He might have even secured a silver medal on this list were it not for the efforts of our current no. two.
2 Ivan Toney
Toney's ban from football overshadowed what was a marvellous season for the centre-forward, but that should not take away from his achievements. Only two players managed to bag more goals than the Brentford man - the now-departed Kane and our number-one pick.
The 27-year-old was the beating heart of Bees' attacking line, scoring and bringing teammates into play in equal measure. His tally showcases his clinical finishing, and that is also underlined by his record from the penalty spot. Those performances have led to interest from top clubs, including Manchester United and Chelsea. No matter where is playing, Toney will be desperate to scratch that goalscoring itch upon his return.
1 Erling Haaland
He came, he saw, and he conquered. Haaland broke record after record at Red Bull Salzburg and Borussia Dortmund, scoring 86 goals in 89 games for the latter, and he continued to shatter records in his debut season in Manchester. Alan Shearer and Andy Cole’s long-standing record for most goals in a single season was blitzed by the Norwegian as he finished the 2022/23 campaign on 36.
That total doesn’t even take his goals in other competitions into account, goals which fired his side to an incredible treble. The Robot has shown no signs of slowing down either, opening the 2023/24 season with six goals in four games in typical yet outrageous fashion. The 23-year-old is, quite frankly, unstoppable, and is the Premier League's best striker by quite some way now that Kane has left for Germany. As part of Pep Guardiola's City juggernaut, there is no guessing what he could achieve.