Son Heung-min’s injury leaves Tottenham facing a long period without either member of arguably the Premier League’s most effective ever strike partnership.
Already deprived of Harry Kane by a long-term hamstring injury, Spurs announced on Tuesday that Son faces “a number of weeks” out after surgery on a fracture to his right arm.
The pair have combined for over 100 Premier League goals when on the field together and average almost 1.3 goals per game – a better rate than any other pair of players who have played more than 5,000 minutes together.
Here, the PA news agency looks at the most reliable duos of the Premier League era.
Harry Kane and Son Heung-min
Tottenham, 102 goals
Kane has scored 67 goals to Son’s 35 when they have shared the pitch in the league. Having played 7,113 minutes together, that equates to 1.29 goals every 90 minutes.
Midfielders Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen have also thrived when on the field with Kane, scoring 37 and 36 respectively and each combining with the England captain for a record of more than a goal a game. Son, though, is his most-successful partner – and has also stepped up his game when Kane has been absent, improving his scoring record from a goal every other game to two goals every three games.
Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane
Liverpool, 89 goals
Not far behind, with a combined record of 1.26 goals per 90 minutes, are Liverpool’s free-wheeling inverted wingers – Salah has a half-century of goals when on the field alongside Mane, who has added 39.
Roberto Firmino, the third member of Jurgen Klopp’s feared front three, has also dovetailed effectively with Salah for 91 goals in partnership at 1.17 per 90 minutes, while he and Mane average 0.89 together.
Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling
Manchester City, 100 goals
Aguero is City’s all-time record scorer, as well as the Premier League’s top-scoring overseas player, and has found a perfect foil in Sterling – the pair have combined for 100 goals at 1.22 per 90 minutes, with the Argentinian scoring 65 to Sterling’s 35.
Aguero also enjoys goal-a-game combinations with midfielders Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva, but has dominated the scoring to such an extent that they cannot be viewed as goalscoring partnerships in the traditional sense.
Thierry Henry and Robert Pires
Arsenal, 162 goals
The longest-serving and overall highest-scoring partnership on the list, Henry and Pires played over 12,000 minutes together and shared 162 goals, with Henry’s 108 exactly doubling the winger’s tally.
Another fellow Frenchman, Sylvain Wiltord, was also an effective partner for Henry in a shorter period, sharing 67 goals at better than one per 90 minutes, while Dennis Bergkamp was a long-standing creative foil to him but was left in the shade in terms of goalscoring.
Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard
Liverpool, 81 goals
Like Henry and Pires, the Liverpool duo were not a traditional strike pairing with Gerrard playing in midfield but weighing in with an impressive share of goals – including 29 with Torres on the pitch, adding to the Spaniard’s 52 at a combined 1.13 per game.
After Torres’ departure, Gerrard enjoyed an almost-identically successful partnership with Luis Suarez – 26 goals to the Uruguayan’s 55 in 6,497 minutes, just 35 more than he played with Torres.
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