Premier League 25 Years: The 8 Strikers Who Just Missed Out on the Premier League 100 Club

Last season Peter Crouch became the 26th inductee into the coveted Premier League 100 Club and brought back the robot celebration for good measure. As the Premier League reaches its 25th season we look back at eight strikers, ranging from household names, to some frontmen who may just surprise you that they just missed out on 100 goals and finished their Premier League careers in the nervous nineties... Emmanuel Adebayor arrived to the Premier League as a relatively unknown 22-year-old, but...

Emmanuel Adebayor

Emmanuel Adebayor arrived to the Premier League as a relatively unknown 22-year-old, but left in 2016 as a man known more for his controversy than his 97 goals - the highest outside of the 100 club.

46 goals for Arsenal and a spot in the 2007-08 PFA Team of the Year resulted in a £25m move to Manchester and, after a short spell on loan at Real Madrid, then onto Tottenham Hotspur and a barren six months at Crystal Palace.

The Togolese international proved he could finish, after all he did hit double digits in the Premier League in five different seasons. However, Adebayor will always be known for his controversial knee slide celebration in Man City's 4-2 win over former club Arsenal.


"Feed the Yak and he will score." The Nigerian tank was worshipped by four different Premier League clubs and departed the English top-flight after scoring 17 goals for Blackburn Rovers in the 2011-12 season - finishing with 95 PL goals in total.

The Nigerian first came to England on loan at Portsmouth from Israeli side Maccabi Haifa and after a rather fruitful spell at Middlesbrough became the first Everton player to score more than 20 goals in a season since Peter Beardsley in 1992. 

'The Yak' was most recently seen plying his trade at Coventry City in League One.

Ruud van Nistelrooy

One of the greatest strikers ever to play in the Premier League, Ruud van Nistelrooy scored 95 goals in 150 Premier League games during his prolific time at Manchester United.

The Dutchman collected the 2002-03 Golden Boot and won a place in the PFA Team of the Year twice during his tenure and would have surely bagged himself a place in the 100 club if injuries in the 2004-05 season had not limited him to just 17 appearances.

While van Nistelrooy will always be remembered for his goalscoring exploits, his role in the infamous 2003 'Battle of Old Trafford' will also not be forgotten. 

Dimitar Berbatov

A striker with a technical ability perhaps matched by only Dennis Bergkamp, Berbatov's cool and composed style of play won plaudits from fans and rivals alike during his eight year stay in England.

After scoring 46 goals in all competitions during a two year stay at White Hart Lane, the Bulgarian moved to Old Trafford and in 2009 became part of one of the greatest United title-winning sides of all-time.

A quiet fourth season in Manchester led to critics writing him off, but a move to Fulham and 15 goals later for an 'average side' proved that class was permanent - he finished on 94 goals.

Kevin Phillips

Sunderland legend Kevin Phillips remains the only Englishman ever to win the European Golden Shoe, a feat achieved with 30 goals in the 1999-2000 Premier League season.

After breaking the Black Cats' post-war goalscoring record, Phillips had spells with Southampton, Aston Villa, Birmingham City and Crystal Palace on his way to 92 Premier League goals.

Later on in his career, Phillips was just as prolific in the Championship, netting 68 times in four seasons with West Brom, Birmingham, Blackpool and Palace. 

Mark Viduka

The Australian, known as 'V-Bomber' by his cult following, netted 59 of his 92 Premier League goals in four enjoyable seasons with Leeds United.

As the Whites' financial troubles deepened, Viduka moved to Middlesbrough and alongside netting 42 times in all competitions during three years helped Boro reach the UEFA Cup final in 2006.

A move to Newcastle proved to be his last outing in the Premier League, but after initially helping save the club from relegation alongside Obafemi Martins and Michael Owen, Newcastle's drop to the championship in the following season saw the Australian retire.

James Beattie

After four games as a youth player at Blackburn Rovers, Beattie moved to Southampton in 1998 aged 20. 

After an injury-hit start with the Saints, the former Accrington boss netted 68 times and was the highest English goalscorer during the 2002-03 season with 23 goals.

Premier League moves to Everton and Stoke City were not as prolific, but Beattie was awarded Everton's Goal of the Season in in 2006 on his way to 91 strikes in the English top-flight.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

The 'Baby-faced Assassin' is the last of the players just outside the 100 club and the Norwegian scored all of his 91 goals with Manchester United.

Most-known for his stoppage time winner in the 1999 Champions league final victory over Bayern Munich, Solskjaer's role at Old Trafford was mostly as a 'super sub' and his record of 91 goals in 235 games is even better when you bear in mind that he spent a lot of the time starting from the bench.

His most infamous moment was during a 1-1 with Newcastle when he ran the length of the pitch to commit a professional foul on Rob Lee and deny the Geordies a winning goal - an act he was applauded off the pitch for after being red carded. 

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