The 10 highest-scoring teenagers in PL history: Greenwood, Owen…
While plenty of us spend our late teens sinking pints, making mischief or studying, there are some who score an eye-watering number of goals in the Premier League.
Some of those players have gone on to achieve superstardom, even if not all of them managed that, but there was a time when they will have had the entire nation wondering just what they could achieve in the game.
We’ve taken a look back at the 10 highest-scoring teenagers in Premier League history.
10. Chris Bart-Williams
Bart-Williams started his professional career with Leyton Orient at just 16 years old, and by the time he’d made it to Sheffield Wednesday and the Premier League, there was enough left for him to score 14 league goals before turning 20.
Having been an attacking midfielder in the early days of his career, Bart-Williams – who also represented the likes of Nottingham Forest, Charlton Athletic and Ipswich Town – ended up having spells as a defensive midfielder and defender.
9. Romelu Lukaku
The Belgian has largely made his Premier League name with giants of the game, but he has West Bromwich Albion to thank for his place on this list.
He scored 17 times during his loan spell at the Hawthorns, with his memorable hat-trick against Manchester United being the only goals that came after his 20th birthday. From his teenage days, the highlights have to be a goal in a win against Liverpool, as well as braces against Reading and Sunderland.
8. Raheem Sterling
Back when Sterling was a fresh-faced youngster being cheered on by the Anfield crowd rather than a Manchester City star being booed by them, 14 of his 18 Liverpool goals came before turning 20.
He even scored in a thrilling 3-2 win against City, fooling Vincent Kompany and Joe Hart with a fake before coolly tucking the ball away.
7. Francis Jeffers
Jeffers’ time in the limelight didn’t last too long, as he ended up playing in Australia and Malta, but boy were things good while they lasted.
He scored 16 goals as an Everton teenager, which included finishes against bitter rivals Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.
6. Alan Smith
Smith transitioned into a combative midfielder later in his career, but started out at Leeds United as an exciting attacker who went on to score 17 Premier League goals before turning 20.
There aren’t many better ways to announce yourself in the league than scoring the equaliser to kickstart a win against Liverpool and that is exactly what he did. The future England international seemed to especially enjoy facing Spurs, scoring four goals in three games against them as a teenager.
5. Nicolas Anelka
It’s incredible to think that the Frenchman had already scored 11 Ligue 1 goals for Paris Saint-Germain before joining Arsenal and grabbing another 19 before his 20th birthday.
The first of those came in a 3-2 win against Manchester United, as the striker got space from Gary Neville and smashed his effort past Peter Schmeichel. This was a sign of things to come in a career that featured two Premier Leagues, two Champions Leagues, a European Championship, three FA Cups and a Serie A title among others.
4. Mason Greenwood
Greenwood only turned 20 at the beginning of October, but already has 20 Premier League goals to his name with all of them coming before that date.
The Man Utd academy graduate had to wait until his 13th appearance in the top tier to score his first goal with a clinical finish moments after coming on against Sheffield United. He’s been hitting the back of the net with great regularity since then, even having three goals in three games at the start of this season. So it won’t be a surprise if he gets his first as a 20-year-old soon.
3. Wayne Rooney
Rooney is the only player on this list to have scored for two different clubs as a teenager, having an equal split of his 30 goals when announcing himself with Everton and enhancing his reputation at United.
Having made himself the Premier League’s youngest goalscorer with a wonder strike against Arsenal, Rooney went on to get 208 goals in the top tier. Not bad.
2. Michael Owen
Owen has to be one of the most exciting teenagers the world has ever seen, scoring 35 goals in those years, including an 18-goal season in the league before going on his way to another one – both of which won him the Golden Boot.
Plenty of other silverware soon followed, including a Ballon d’Or, but seeing the striker come alive in those formative years was incredible for anybody to watch – aside from the defenders who were trying to stop him.
1. Robbie Fowler
There have been and will be plenty more Premier League strikers who don’t make it to 40 goals, but Fowler did so while he was still a teenager.
The goals didn’t exactly dry up for him either, as the striker went on to score 162 in England’s top tier before finishing off his career in Australia, Thailand and India.