Rating the seven French players to score over 50 Premier League goals

Anthony Martial reached a goalscoring landmark after finding the net in Manchester United’s 2-2 draw with Southampton last week, the forward reaching a half century of top-flight goals since moving to English football.

Martial became the seventh Frenchman to score 50 Premier League goals and we’ve decided to look back at the other names to have achieved the feat, here are our ratings of the leading French goalscorers in Premier League history:

Anthony Martial – 51 goals

The man of the moment and a player who seems to be growing into his role as Manchester United’s number nine, its taken time for Martial to find his best form on a consistent basis following his big-money arrival from Monaco five years ago.

Martial became the most expensive teenager in history when moving to Old Trafford and made an instant impact with a stunning debut goal against rivals Liverpool, though his time in the Premier League has been a mix of flashes of brilliance and periods of inconsistency.

Often deployed on the left-wing during his initial seasons in Manchester, Martial has been utilised in his preferred central striking role under Ole Gunnar Solskajer this season and has responded with the best goalscoring form of his career – following up his 50th top-flight strike with another goal and superb all-round performance in the Red Devils crucial 2-0 win over Crystal Palace on Thursday.

The 24-year-old’s pace, clever movement and coolness in front of goal have seen him score 22 goals in all competitions so far this season and the forward will hope to play an increasingly influential role as United look to challenge for major honours in the coming seasons.

Rating: 7/10

Robert Pires – 62 goals

Part of a stellar French contingent who brought a wealth of success to Arsenal at the turn of the millennium, Arsene Wenger returned to his homeland to secure the signing of the exciting winger from Marseille in 2000.

Pires initially struggled to cope with the demands of English football before flourishing into one of the stars of the division, being named as the FWA Footballer of the Year as the Gunners claimed a domestic double during the 2001/02 campaign.

An inverted winger before they became widely fashionable, Pires cut inside to devastating effect, working brilliantly in tandem with both Ashley Cole and Thierry Henry down Arsenal’s left-flank.

Pires ghosted past players with an elegant grace and was a key member of the club’s ‘Invincibles’ side, being named in the PFA Team of the Year in three successive seasons and becoming a firm fans’ favourite during six seasons in north London that delivered 62 Premier League goals.

Rating: 9/10

Eric Cantona – 70 goals

Regarded by some as the greatest player in the history of Manchester United, Cantona is widely credited with being the catalyst behind the club’s early dominance of the Premier League era, signing from rivals Leeds and instantly finding himself a home at Old Trafford.

The French forward brought a touch of class to an emerging team under Sir Alex Ferguson, revelling in his responsibility as the main man and possessing a swagger and style that has his name still regularly sung on the terraces more than two decades after his departure.

Cantona possessed an aura that had a transformative impact on those around him, his talents helping to establish United back at the summit of the English game.

Nicknamed ‘King Eric’ by the Red Devils’ adoring supporters, Cantona won four league titles – including two domestic doubles – during his five-year spell with United, being named as the PFA Player of the Year in 1994 and as the FWA Footballer of the Year two years later.

Rating: 10/10

Olivier Giroud – 83 goals

The only other active player on this feature, Olivier Giroud has been a reliable source of goals during a Premier League career spent at London rivals Arsenal and Chelsea.

Arsene Wenger secured the signing of the powerful forward from Montpellier after Giroud had helped the club to a first ever Ligue 1 title, with the Frenchman’s physical presence and clever link-up play making him the ideal spearhead for the Gunners’ side.

The forward scored double figures for Premier League goals in each of his first five seasons at the Emirates, despite often struggling to command an automatic first-choice place – a situation which saw him head to Chelsea following the arrivals of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Despite once again finding starts difficult to come by at Stamford Bridge, the veteran has recently worked his way back into Frank Lampard’s plans and established himself as a key figure in the west London side’s attack. His current record stands at impressive 83 goals in just 141 Premier League starts.

Rating: 7/10

Louis Saha – 85 goals

Saha scored his first Premier League goal during a loan spell at Newcastle but it was in the colours of Fulham that the Frenchman began to thrive, a complete centre-forward who combined the physical strength of a target-man with explosive pace and finishing ability.

After firing the Cottagers to promotion and helping consolidate the club in the top flight, a blistering opening to the 2003/04 season attracted the attention of Manchester United who secured his signing in a £12.4m deal.

The Frenchman began brilliantly and scored seven goals in his first 12 league appearances, part of a haul of 42 goals in 124 appearances for the Red Devils during a spell that delivered two Premier League titles amongst his honours.

Another successful spell at Everton was followed by short stints at Tottenham and Sunderland, Saha scoring 85 goals over a Premier League career that spanned 15 years.

Rating: 7/10

Nicolas Anelka – 125 goals

Another player plucked from French football by Arsene Wenger, Anelka burst onto the scene as a teenage talent at Arsenal, helping the club to a domestic double in 1998 before being named as the PFA Young Player of the Year after scoring 19 goals in all competitions the following year.

After an explosive start to his career the forward enjoyed a somewhat nomadic existence, joining Real Madrid in a big-money move before returning to the Premier League – via Paris Saint-Germain – during a loan at Liverpool before a prolific two-and-a-half year period at Manchester City.

Another venture abroad in Turkey with Fenerbahce came before joining Bolton, impressing under Sam Allardyce to earn a move to Chelsea – where he enjoyed arguably the most consistent period of his career at Stamford Bridge.

Anelka finished as the league’s leading scorer to win the Premier League’s Golden Boot in 2009, forming a fine partnership with Didier Drogba and playing an influential role in the club’s domestic double-winning season under Carlo Ancelotti the following season.

Rating: 8/10

Thierry Henry – 175 goals

The record four-time winner of the Premier League’s Golden Boot, Thierry Henry sits comfortably amongst the Premier League’s pantheon of all-time greats following a career in which he became Arsenal’s all-time record goalscorer and the highest-scoring French player in English football.

Henry was arguably the first of a new breed of centre-forwards, a player who redefined the position by drifting wide and deep and offering much, much more than simply goalscoring prowess.

Blessed with electric pace and unrivalled technique, Henry was the league’s stand-out forward across an eight year spell at Arsenal, later returning for a brief loan period and finishing with 175 Premier League goals – the sixth-highest tally in history.

Twice named as the PFA Player’s Player of the Year and as the FWA Footballer of the Year on three occasions, he won two league titles and two FA Cups during a glittering career with the Gunners, establishing himself as arguably the best player in the north London side’s history.

Rating: 10/10

Source: The Football Faithful
https://thefootballfaithful.com/rating-the-seven-french-players-to-score-over-50-premier-league-goals/

 

Leave a Reply

Our website is currently in open-beta stage. Enjoy! 
Language