Official! The 20 players with the best minutes-per-goal ratio in Premier League history
Who’s the better goalscorer: Harry Kane or Mo Salah? Should Manchester City’s line be led by Sergio Aguero or Gabriel Jesus? Was a young Michael Owen as good as we remember?
- Note: all data from STATS, players ranked on minute-to-goal ratio over a minimum of 1,350 minutes (approx 15 full games)
Although we can’t definitively answer these questions for you, our buddies at STATS have provided us with a useful measure: specifically, how often these players find or found the net.
Every Premier League footballer since 1992 has been inputted into the calculator, and now that we’ve sloughed off the randoms – sorry, Chris David fans, but our cut-off was 1,350 minutes (i.e. 15 full matches) – FourFourTwo can proudly present the top 20 minutes-per-goal ratios (as opposed to goals per minute, which would be the sign of a particularly prolific striker).
There are surprises. There’s a current Bolton player and a former Bolton player. However, we start with the man who once had the world at his feet...
20. Michael Owen
153.1 minutes per goal (150 goals)
Owen left Liverpool at 24, yet eight seasons there produced 118 of his 150 Premier League goals. Oddly, he never hit 20 in one campaign – ‘only’ 19 twice, 18 twice and 16 twice.
Eight more seasons with Newcastle, Manchester United and Stoke culminated in goal No.150, scored during 93 minutes of Potteries league action spread across eight substitute appearances.
19. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
153.1 minutes per goal (91 goals)
Super-subs naturally have excellent minutes-per-goal ratios, especially when they score four in one 20-minute cameo against Nottingham Forest. A third of Solskjaer’s Premier League appearances came from the bench.
His staying power was remarkable, though. In 11 seasons, the deadly Norwegian never started the most games of Manchester United’s strikers, spanning Eric Cantona to Wayne Rooney, yet the goals still came.
18. Ivan Klasnic
150.9 minutes per goal (20 goals)
You know, Bolton’s Croatian striker. No, Nikola Kalinic was Blackburn. Not Nikica Jelavic, either, nor Mladen Petric. Yes, there were a few of them at the time.
In 2010/11, Klasnic started zero Premier League games and still plundered four goals. The next season, he scored two and assisted two in a 5-0 drubbing of Stoke. In a word: efficient.
17. Zlatan Ibrahimovic
149.4 minutes per goal (17 goals)
Can’t do it in England, eh? Ibrahimovic arrived with a point to prove, and he proved it. Critics say his static game slowed Manchester United’s attacks, and they’re not necessarily wrong, but the striker did what Jose Mourinho wanted. You can’t argue with his 2016/17 rate of 143 minutes per goal, or 111 minutes per goal or assist.
16. Alan Shearer
147 minutes per goal (260 goals)
It shouldn’t be a surprise to see the Premier League’s top goalscorer in this list, but Shearer’s job wasn’t easy when Newcastle were a bottom-half side for five of his 10 seasons there.
Though 58 penalties add gloss to his 260-goal tally, Shearer’s hit rate is nonetheless impressive, especially at Blackburn: 112 goals in 138 league games is extraordinary.