Mohamed Salah sealed his entry to an exclusive Premier League club last weekend when the Liverpool forward reached a significant milestone by scoring his 100th goal in the competition.
By opening the scoring for the Reds in their 3-0 win over Leeds United on Sunday, Salah brought up his century and joined the illustrious “100 Club” — i.e., players who have scored 100 goals or more in the top flight since 1992-93.
The comfortable victory at Elland Road also saw Liverpool extend their unbeaten streak to 13 games (10 wins and three draws), which constitutes the longest active streak in the division.
In diverting home Trent Alexander-Arnold’s low cross in the 20th minute, Salah became the 30th player to reach triple figures since Alan Shearer became its inaugural member in 1995-96. The former England captain remains the highest goal scorer in league history with 260 goals for Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United.
Shearer also holds the record for the fewest games ever taken to reach 100 Premier League goals, taking just 124 appearances to do so during his ludicrously productive time at Blackburn. Harry Kane (141 games) is the second-quickest player to reach his top-flight century, with Manchester City great Sergio Aguero (147), Arsenal legend Thierry Henry (160) and Salah (162) rounding out the top five.
The fifth-quickest player to reach ? #PL goals!
— Premier League (@premierleague) September 12, 2021
Salah is also the second African player to score 100 goals in the Premier League, following in the wake of Didier Drogba, who eventually departed Chelsea after two stints at Stamford Bridge with 104 top flight goals to his name.
With his 98 goals for Liverpool plus additional two goals for Chelsea earlier in his career, Salah becomes the first new member of the 100 Club since Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy earned his place in April 2020. Vardy (who has 120 goals overall) is one of only three active Premier League players above Salah in the 100 Club, along with Kane (166 goals) and Romelu Lukaku (116).
Salah is joint-29th in the all-time chart, level on 100 goals with Matthew Le Tissier, though given the latter retired in 2002 there is every chance that the Liverpool star will move clear in the weeks to come.
There are several active Premier League players just below Salah on the list for whom centurion status is within reach, with a few on course to enter the 100 Club before the end of the 2021-22 season. So who will be next?
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Sadio Mane (97 goals in 233 games)
Southampton: 21 goals in 67 games
Liverpool: 76 goals in 166 games
A former Premier League golden boot winner, sharing the 2018-19 award with teammate Salah and Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mane’s 92nd-minute goal in Liverpool’s 3-0 victory over Leeds leaves him just three shy of his Premier League century. The Senegal international is also level with Emmanuel Adebayor as the third-highest scoring African player in Premier League history, behind Drogba (104) and Salah (100).
Liverpool: 18 goals in 95 games
Manchester City: 79 in 199 games
Sterling is also just three goals away from joining the 100 Club having transformed himself from a sprightly winger during his younger days into something of a prolific forward under Pep Guardiola. Sterling has averaged 16 league goals a season for City since 2017-18, massively improving on his previous average scoring rate of just five league goals per season in his career before that.
Morning, Reds ?
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) September 12, 2021
Manchester United: 86 goals in 197 games
Having scored 84 goals in 196 games in his first six-season stint with United, Ronaldo moved two notches closer to his Premier League century with a brace in his second debut for the club in their 4-1 win over Newcastle last weekend. The Portugal captain is 14 goals shy of his century. Oddly, this means that his current manager at United, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, is actually closer to the milestone having scored 91 league goals for the club during his playing career. Given how prolific the five-time Ballon d’Or winner is in front of goal, don’t bet against him beating Sterling and Mane to the 100 mark.
Aston Villa: 42 goals in 89 games
Liverpool: 9 goals in 29 games
Crystal Palace: 31 goals in 141 games
He’s not known for being prolific these days, but Benteke started with a bang in his first three seasons at Villa. But, since leaving them in 2015, he is still yet to double his tally of Premier League goals. However, should the Belgium international maintain his current glacier-esque goal-scoring rate at Palace, he’s likely to bring up his ton at some point during the 2024-25 season.
Arsenal: 65 goals in 270 games
Everton: 10 goals in 77 games
Southampton: 3 goals in 25 games
While scoring 78 Premier League goals is certainly nothing to sniff at, Walcott hasn’t managed more than five league goals in a single campaign since 2016-17, when he bagged 10 in his final full season at Arsenal. In fact, the 32-year-old forward has only scored 13 league goals since leaving the Gunners in January 2018, firstly to Everton before making a return to boyhood club Southampton.
? ??? ??? ?
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 3, 2021
Tottenham Hotspur: 72 goals in 200 games
Son has just begun his seventh season at Spurs, marking his 200th league appearance for the club by scoring the only goal in a 1-0 victory over Watford last month. The 29-year-old South Korea captain scored 17 league goals in 2020-21, his best return since joining the club where his tally for league goals has hit double-figures in every season except his first for the club.