15 Greatest Arsenal Strikers of All Time

Who is the best Arsenal striker in the history of football?

Arsenal is one of the most highly respected football clubs in Europe. The club has a wonderful philosophy of attacking football, which is supported by the presence of their world class strikers. Those strikers play major roles in helping the Gunners win various titles in trophies. The only question, who is the best among the greatest Arsenal strikers from time to time?

To answer this question, I present a list of 15 greatest Arsenal strikers who have major contributions in the success of this club. Not only based on the number of titles that they won, their individual skills, awards, and performances with their respective national teams are also taken into consideration to determine their ranking in this list.

15. Sylvain Wiltord

Wiltord is a former French winger who was signed from Bordeaux in 2000. At that time, he broke the record as the most expensive player ever bought by Arsenal for a fee of 13 million pounds. During a four-year career with Arsenal, Wiltord scored 32 goals from 104 appearances. He usually played as a companion to the main striker, Thierry Henry, and many times also acted as a super-sub.

14. Nicolas Anelka

Anelka's career as an Arsenal player was short, only lasted for two years from 1997 to 1999. In those two years, he managed to leave a pretty impressive feat, in which he won Premier League title in the 1997-1998 season and became Arsenal's top scorer in the 1998-1999 season with 17 goals. Unfortunately, the striker revealed that he was not comfortable playing at Arsenal and decided to move to Real Madrid in the next season.

13. Theo Walcott

Perhaps many people think that putting Theo Walcott in the list of Arsenal's best striker of all time is still too early. However, I personally think that Walcott has tremendous potential to be one Arsenal legend, even England's legend. Walcott holds the record as the youngest player ever to play for England. He is fast, smart, and agile. Not only that, Walcott who had joined Arsenal since 2006 also often scores important goals which contributes greatly to the team's winning.

12. Charlie Nicholas

Nicholas was signed from Glasgow Celtic in 1983 at the age of which is still quite young, 21 years old. At that time, he became the highest-paid footballer in the Premier League. Arsenal seemed to fall in love with Nicholas appearance, where he helped Celtic win two Scottish League titles at a very young age. At Arsenal, he is known as a tandem for Alan Smith. He presented one League Cup trophy for the club in 1987.

11. Jimmy Brain

Jimmy Brain is a retired striker who played for Arsenal from 1923 to 1931. Although he didn't win any titles when he played for the Gunners, Brain showed outstanding individual skills. He became Arsenal's top scorer for four seasons and in one of the season he even scored 39 goals in a year. Throughout his career, the British player scored 125 goals in his 214 appearances for Arsenal.

10. Nwankwo Kanu

Kanu is a former Nigerian striker who is often regarded as one of the best African footballers of all time. This player was one of the mainstays of Arsenal during the golden generation coached by Arsene Wenger. The player played alongside the Gunners' best strikers of all time such as Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry. Although he was more often played as a substitute, Kanu many times scored vital goals that helped Arsenal win the game. One of the most memorable moments was when he scored a hat trick within 15 minutes that helped Arsenal defeat Chelsea in a Premier League match.

9. John Radford

John Radford is a retired footballer who was originally raised by Arsenal Youth Academy. He played for the Gunners from 1964 to 1976 and scored 149 goals from 475 appearances. Throughout his career, Radford is known as a versatile striker. He can play as a central forward, second striker, or even a right-winger. His best moment occurred in the 1970-1971 season, where he helped Arsenal win the double winners by winning the FA Cup and Premier League.

8. Ted Drake

Ted Drake is a former England striker who holds the record as the Arsenal player who scored the most goals in a single season, with total of 44 goals in the 1934-1935 season. He also holds the record as the player who scored the most goal in a single top division English league match, with a total of seven goals in a match against Aston Villa. Considering his great scoring ability, it is not surprising that Drake is regarded as the most important figure who led Arsenal win two Premier League titles and one FA Cup in the 1934-1938 period.

7. Alan Smith

Before gaining his reputation as one of the most popular football commentators, Alan Smith played for Arsenal as a striker. He joined the Gunners for eight years from 1987 to 1995. This England striker also ended his career with Arsenal. During his period playing for this club, Smith is known as a very accomplished striker. He helped Arsenal win English League twice and also became the top scorer of the competition in two different seasons.

6. Robin van Persie

Loved, but also hated. For eight years playing for Arsenal, van Persie became the number one striker and fans' most favorite player. He was only able to win one FA Cup trophy in 2005, but his goals proved that van Persie is a world class striker. During his career at Arsenal, he scored 132 goals from 194 appearances and also became Premier League top scorer in the 2011-2012 season. When van Persie finally decided to move to Manchester United in 2012, many Arsenal fans suddenly hated him, even called him as a traitor. What an irony!

5. Charlie George

Charlie George is a retired striker who sometimes played as an attacking midfielder. The British player joined the Gunners in the period 1968-1975. He is known as a player who was very instrumental in bringing Arsenal win the double winners in the 1970-1971 season. At that time, Charlie George scored one goal and one assist in the final minutes that helped Arsenal defeat Liverpool in the FA Cup final.

4. Cliff Bastin

Cliff Bastin was actually not a pure striker, but he was more of a winger. This player held the record as Arsenal's top scorer of all time for decades, before the record was finally broken by Ian Wright. Throughout his career playing for Arsenal from 1929 until 1947, Bastin scored 178 goals from 395 appearances. This player also led Arsenal win five English League titles and two FA Cup trophies.

3. Dennis Bergkamp

Dennis Bergkamp is more than a striker. He was a playmaker and the team's inspirator. The Dutch striker's career at Arsenal lasted for 11 years and he had a very big contribution in bringing the Gunners became one of the most respected clubs in the Premier League. Not only winning three Premier League titles and four FA Cup trophies, Bergkamp was even selected as the best player of Premier League in the 1997-1998 season.

2. Ian Wright

Ian Wright had shown spectacular performance since his debut match as an Arsenal player in the Premier League. In his debut match against Southampton in 1991, Wright scored a hat trick. Not only that, in the season Wright also became the league's top scorer with 29 goals. Since then, Wright became the number one Arsenal's striker for the next six seasons, where he always managed to be the top scorer of the club. Throughout his career with Arsenal, he scored 185 goals from 279 appearances.

1. Thierry Henry

Thierry Henry has all the qualities of a perfect striker. He is strong, fast, has a high technique, as well as possessing high leadership skills. Played for Arsenal from 1999 to 2007, Henry became Arsenal's all-time top scorer with total of 228 goals. He also won two English Premier League titles, three FA Cup trophies, and became four-time Premier League's top scorer. To appreciate his great contribution, Arsenal fans built a bronze statue of Thierry Henry outside their homebase, the Emirates Stadium.

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