The Fastest Players to Reach 50 Premier League Goals

On the 25th of November 2023, Erling Haaland scored the opening goal in Manchester City’s Premier League clash with Liverpool. In doing so, the incredible Norwegian reached 50 goals in the fewest games in the Premier League. City’s world-class centre forward broke a record that had stood for almost 30 years and, in truth, he didn’t just break it, he smashed it, destroyed it and made a mockery of it.

The former Borussia Dortmund attacker reached 50 EPL goals in just 48 appearances in the competition, beating the previous landmark by 17 games. 17 matches might not necessarily sound like all that much, but put another way, Andy Cole required more than 35% more Premier League games to hit the half-century. In this article, we take a closer look at Haaland’s latest record, as well as some of the other hot-shots that wasted no time in reaching 50 goals in the Premier League.

Haaland Fastest to 50 in 48 Games

Erling Haaland - Full
Jacek Stanislawek, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Man City’s Viking marauder needed little more than one season in English football to smash a record that had stood since Andy Cole got to 50 PL goals in 65 appearances, a feat he completed back in the 1994/95 campaign. Proving what few doubters there were utterly wrong, Haaland banged in 36 goals in his first season at Manchester City. In just 35 games he had broken the record for most goals in a PL campaign and in the 2023/24 season he carried on where he left off.

A fine haul of 14 goals in 13 outings to date has taken the phenomenal forward to the magical 50 mark and among the many impressive stats and facts about him is that he has scored against 20 of the 21 teams he has faced in the top flight. Only Brentford have found a way to stop the muscular striker from hitting the back of the net but it is surely only a matter of time.

At present Haaland has 50 goals to his name in the English top flight but he will surely have his sights set on Alan Shearer’s overall EPL record of 260. The blonde powerhouse may not stay in the league for long though, with Real Madrid known to be long-time admirers. Even so, at his current rate of scoring, he might not need all that long and City are certainly providing him with plenty of chances. Worryingly for the other teams in the division, despite Haaland’s incredible scoring rate, he has still missed 42 big chances!

Just two of his goals have come from outside the box, with 48 from inside, 10 of which were penalties. Predominantly left-footed, he has scored 33 of his goals with that foot, six with his right and 10 headers. This tally (49, not 50) comes from the Premier League’s official website and we believe his 50th must have been scored with his chest/body.

10 Quickest to 50 PL Goals

The table below shows the 10 players who have reached 50 Premier League goals in the fewest games. Of these, only Haaland and Salah are still playing, with details correct as of the 30th of November 2023.

Player Games to Reach 50 PL Goals Total PL Goals (and Rank on List)
Erling Haaland 48 50 (TBC)
Andrew Cole 65 187 (4th)
Alan Shearer 66 260 (1st)
Ruud van Nistelrooy 68 95 (36th)
Fernando Torres 72 85 (joint 48th)
Mo Salah 72 149 (joint 11th)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 79 69 (joint 68th)
Sergio Aguero 81 184 (5th)
Thierry Henry 83 175 (7th)
Kevin Phillips 83 92 (joint 19th)

As we can see, Haaland is in impressive company, with four of the top seven all-time PL goalscorers making the top 10 in terms of reaching 50 in the fewest games. In total 34 players have reached triple figures in the PL and that will surely be the next target the Norwegian is aiming for.

The quickest to reach the century of goals in modern English football are:

  • Alan Shearer – 124 games
  • Harry Kane – 141
  • Sergio Aguero – 147
  • Thierry Henry – 160
  • Mo Salah – 162

This means that whilst Shearer moved from 50 to 100 in an impressive 58 games, Haaland still has 76 games to overhaul the Newcastle legend. If he sees out his current contract with City Haaland will almost certainly break the record for hitting 100 goals and countless other records too. But enough of the Norwegian, what about the man whose record he annihilated?

Andy (OK, Andrew if we must!) Cole: Second Fastest to 50

Andy Cole

Cole’s 187 goals in the Premier League in total place him fourth in terms of the division’s greatest ever hot-shots. However, until recently he did at least hold the distinction of requiring the fewest games to reach 50 goals in the competition. Haaland took that record from the former Newcastle and Man United striker, whilst he also surpassed Cole’s record seasonal tally of 34.

Those 34 came in his first season in the PL with Newcastle United in 1993/94, when the former Arsenal youth player played 40 times (back when the PL contained 22 teams and thus 42 games). In total his 187 top-flight strikes were split between Newcastle (43 in 58 games), Man United (93 in 195), Blackburn Rovers (27 in 83) and also Fulham, Man City and Portsmouth, for whom he scored 24 times in total.

So most, 86%, of his first 50 goals were scored with the Magpies, before he reached the milestone with the Red Devils during the 1994/95 season. In total he played 414 times in the Premier League and we can only imagine how many goals Haaland will muster if he plays anything like that number of games.

Cole does not feature among the very elite in terms of minutes per goal but even legends like Salah, Kane, Henry and Aguero are left in Haaland’s wake when it comes to this metric. The former Molde striker has needed fewer than 78 minutes of game time in order to bag each of his goals on average. Among the players with at least 40 PL goals, Aguero is the next-best, but he is well back on almost 108 minutes per goal, showing just how incredible Haaland – still only 23 years old – really is.