Stamford Bridge

Which London club has the most prolific strikers?

The Londoners analysed the goals scored by strikers at the three biggest London clubs, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham to find out if having a prolific goal scorer translated to team success.

What becomes immediately clear at Chelsea is just the sheer number of strikers the Stamford Bridge outfit have had from 2000 onwards.  

One glance at the data shows that no fewer than 28 strikers have been signed, with the majority proving to be unsuccessful despite the hundreds of millions spent.

In comparison Tottenham and Arsenal have had less with 22 and 27 respectively.  

Chelsea’s top scoring striker in Premier League history is Didier Drogba with 104 goals.

The former Marseille man was signed for £24m back in 2004 and went on to become a fan favourite and club legend with many of his goals contributing towards a plethora of silverware.

Rounding out the top three were Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Gianfranco Zola with 69 and 59 goals respectively, which represents quite a drop off from Drogba at the top although it’s important to point out the data doesn’t take into account the amount of years spent at the club. 

The data shows that 12 strikers have scored 20 or more Premier League goals in the club’s history.

Hernan Crespo, Demba Ba, Tammy Abraham, Olivier Giroud, Fernando Torres, Tore André Flo, Nicolas Anelka and Diego Costa join the previously mentioned top three. 

Premier League goals for Chelsea strikers

At Tottenham the numbers show the club have had one stand out centre forward in Harry Kane who has 206 Premier League goals and counting.

Teddy Sheringham with 99 goals and Robbie Keane with 97 round out the top three, with Jermain Defoe just behind them on 94. 

In comparison to Chelsea, Spurs have 10 strikers who have scored 20 or more Premier League goals with Roman Pavlyuchenko, Dimitar Berbatov, Jurgen Klinsmann, Les Ferdinand, Emmanuel Adebayor and Steffan Iversen rounding off that list.

However, those goals have not translated into trophies as Spurs have won just one League Cup since the turn of the century, with centre-back Johnathan Woodgate scoring the winning goal against Chelsea in extra time in 2008.

Premier League goals for Tottenham Strikers

Arsenal are the only club out of the three to have two players with over 100 Premier League goals with Thierry Henry on 175 and Ian Wright on 104.

Robin Van Persie’s 96 goals place him third, with the legendary Dennis Bergkamp on 87. 

In terms of goal scorers the Gunners surpass their London rivals with nine players having scored 50 or more Premier League goals compared to just four at Tottenham and five at Chelsea. 

Premier League goals for Arsenal strikers

Nevertheless, the data doesn’t support the notion that having a prolific centre forward translates to winning trophies.

It can be argued that it certainly helps, with Drogba scoring in a litany of cup final wins for Chelsea, but all the other pieces around it are arguably just as important.

Since 2000 Chelsea have won 23 trophies compared to Arsenal’s 15 and Tottenham’s 1 despite the data showing the Blues have had the least prolific goalscorers out of the three clubs.

Football analyst Alex Barker argues Tottenham could have been better off selling Kane and have become too one dimensional.

He said: “They had the opportunity to sell Kane a couple of years ago when he wanted to leave and they could have got over £100m for him and it might have been a better idea to take that money and reinvest in other areas of the squad.

“Just because Kane is scoring and assisting goals it doesn’t mean that everybody else always is and it doesn’t necessarily mean Kane is adding 30 goals on top of Tottenham.

“It just means all of Tottenham’s goals are going through him and maybe they have become to one dimensional.  

“Everyone knows Kane is their best player so that’s who they mark.”

Barker feels the key for Spurs to win trophies is the right manager and becoming multi-dimensional.

He said: “They need to build their squad to be multi-dimensional and not just play everything through Kane because otherwise even to win trophies in five or six years they are going to face a big challenge replacing Kane when he isn’t as good as he is right now.”

In contrast Chelsea have struggled to have a regular source of goals over the years other than Drogba and Frank Lampard, who chipped in with 147 goals across his 13 seasons at the club, more than any striker.

However, Barker feels the contributions from other players has been a huge help to them.

He said: “Even when Drogba was at the club they still have players contributing like Torres, Salomon Kalou, Florent Malouda and Lampard from midfield. They were all players who could score goals when Drogba had an off day.”

Those issues have hit Chelsea hard this season as they’ve scored just 29 goals in 30 league games.

Only six clubs, all relegation threatened, have scored less and without a clear number nine starting week in, week out, Kai Havertz is their top scorer with seven goals.

On resolving the goalscoring issue at Chelsea, Barker feels the next striker signed needs to someone who brings others into play.

He said: “The next striker or forward player needs to be someone who brings other players into action rather than forcing the team to put everything through one player so they avoid a situation where if the striker has a bad day it means other people are still scoring.”

Featured image credit: Daniel via Flickr under CC BY 2.0 licence

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