Is Harry Kane better than Wayne Rooney and Alan Shearer? The Premier League’s 200-club compared
Harry Kane’s winner against Manchester City on Sunday made him the quickest player to reach 200 Premier League goals.
As well as breaking Jimmy Greaves’ Tottenham scoring record in all competitions, Kane joined only Alan Shearer and Wayne Rooney with a double century since the top flight’s rebranding.
Speaking on Sunday evening after Spurs’ win, the Sky Sports analyst Jamie Carragher said: “There’s something about supporters from the clubs, whether it’s tribalism, whether it’s the fact that [Kane] hasn’t won a trophy, that it feels to me at times that people are reluctant to put him alongside Alan Shearer, Gary Lineker, Wayne Rooney. It almost feels to me that Harry Kane never gets put above any of them, I don't know why, because for me I think the argument you can make for Harry Kane ahead of maybe those three players I’ve mentioned, is that Wayne Rooney could play up front and drop off, but you wouldn’t class him - I know he’s got loads of goals - as an out-and-out goal scorer like you would Shearer and Lineker.
“It feels to me that Harry Kane is the only one that could really do both, where you class him as an out-and-out goalscorer, and the longer his career has gone on he’s come into that playmaker role. The passes he plays, he’s the best passer in the England team, he’s one of the best passers probably alongside Kevin De Bruyne in the Premier League right now, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen that from someone who’s got so many goals in the past.
“People maybe question the trophy side of it, but Alan Shearer only won one trophy, I think Gary Lineker only won one trophy in English football if I’m right - an FA Cup with Tottenham - so I don’t know why, but for me he’s got to go alongside these players that I’m talking about, and at the end of his career I’m thinking I’d be putting him above them.”
So, how do the Premier League’s three top scorers compare?
260 goals, 441 appearances
The Premier League’s record scorer is a near-perfect comparison for Kane, having reached 200 goals in 306 appearances – Kane broke that record by two when he netted on Sunday.
Shearer went on to reach 260 in 14 seasons – as well as 23 for Southampton in what was then known as the First Division prior to 1992 – and is the only player to score a century of Premier League goals for two different clubs having done so with Blackburn and his beloved Newcastle.
He added 64 assists and, like Kane, won three Golden Boot awards, Shearer’s coming in successive seasons from 1994-95 to 1996-97.
The first of those gave him his best seasonal tally – 34 goals, a Premier League record shared with Andrew Cole – while Shearer’s career tally was aided by a record 56 penalties.
208 goals, 491 appearances
Rooney spent long stretches of his career playing as less of an out-and-out striker than Shearer or Kane, meaning his statistical profile is slightly different – he never won a Premier League Golden Boot and took 462 matches to bring up his double-century, shortly after returning to his boyhood club Everton.
He passed 20 league goals in a season on two occasions, with 26 in 2009-10 and 27 in 2011-12, and is Manchester United’s all-time record scorer with 253 goals in all competitions including 183 of his league tally.
With 103 assists, he is unique in scoring 200 goals and creating 100 in the Premier League – Ryan Giggs, Cesc Fabregas and Frank Lampard are the only other players with a century of assists.
200 goals, 304 appearances
Aged 29 years and six months, Kane is more than a year younger than Shearer was when he reached 200 goals so has time on his side as he chases the all-time record – despite transfer speculation in recent seasons, he told the Premier League’s website upon reaching 200: “To be there now is just exciting, and I’ve got plenty of years left so hopefully there are a few more to come.”
He has added 44 assists, many in his productive partnership with Son Heung-min, and has scored 30 penalties from 34 attempts.
Kane won the Golden Boot in 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2020-21 – though in his only 30-goal season to date, 2017-18, he was edged out by Mohamed Salah’s 32 for Liverpool. Leicester are his favourite opponent, with 18 goals against the Foxes, followed by 14 against both Arsenal and Everton.