Our Guide to the Top Goal Scoring Defenders
Think of defenders and the mind drifts to hard-nosed, no-nonsense centre-backs who love nothing more than making the lives of goal scorers a misery – players who live for clean sheets and clearances and nothing more.
But some defenders manage to forge a reputation at the other end of the field too. Some make the most of the same abilities that give them the edge in their own half to amongst the goals whilst others hone their set piece skills to give them glory at both ends. Either way, the goal-getting defender is a highly prized commodity in the game, and we want to give respect to some of the best and highest scoring defenders to grace the Premier League.
What Makes a Goal Scoring Defender?
Most central defenders manage to grab a goal or two a season because they are by nature a threat in the air. Phil Jones is the shortest centre back in the Prem this season at 1.8m tall, which is by no means tiny, but explains why he’s not a regular scorer for Manchester United.
Gary Cahill on the other hand has netted 30 career goals. He’s 1.93m tall, which is one of the reasons why he ends up getting his bonce on the end of so many crosses to score important goals for his team. Another trait Cahill possesses– and one that’s possibly more important – is attitude. The Chelsea man exemplifies the fearless, never-say-die attitude managers expect from their defenders. Other defenders who have regularly found the net for Premier League sides like Branislav Ivanovic and Gareth Macauley share that spirit.
It isn’t just physical stature and a gritty mentality that get goals for defenders though. Yep, some actually use some skill. Leighton Baines is well known for his free-kick taking abilities, as was fellow left-back Dennis Irwin back in the day. By far the most impressive goals haul belongs to former Everton and Southampton boss Ronald Koeman. He netted an astonishing 253 goals in his playing career and most were down to his refined set piece taking.
Who’s the Current Top Scoring Defender?
Going into match week 16, the Premier League top scorers list for the 2017/18 season isn’t heavily populated with defenders. Jamaal Lascelles, Nicolas Otamendi, Ben Davies, Nacho Monreal and Marcos Alonso all have two goals to their name.
Which Defender Scored the Most Goals Last Season?
The top defensive goal scorers in the 2016/17 campaign netted an impressive six goals apiece. Gareth Macauley and Gary Cahill were the highest scoring centre-backs, with Marcos Alonso finding the net six times from full-back. West Brom’s Calum Chambers and Swansea’s Alfie Mawson were close behind with four.
Which Defender Has Scored the Most Goals in Premier League Football?
John Terry – Chelsea’s icon and captain of over a decade scored 41 Premier League goals during a career that saw him lift the title on five occasions.
David Unsworth – in 364 appearances, the Everton legend netted 38 goals in total including two for Portsmouth and one whilst at Wigan.
Leighton Baines – a set piece specialist and marauding full-back, Baines has got some pearlers amongst the 31 goals on his highlight reel.
Ian Harte – similar in style to Baines, left-back Harte scored 28 times in the Premier League for Leeds between 1996 and 2004.
Gary Cahill – the 31 year old has scored 27 in the Prem. He’s got a few years in him yet but he’ll need to replicate last season’s impressive numbers if he’s going to get close to ex-teammate Terry.
Our Best Goals by Defenders
One of the all-time great goals by a defender has to be Phil Jagielka’s rocket for Everton against Liverpool in 2014. It reads like a checklist of ingredients for a memorable strike: stoppage time, equaliser, local derby, 25 yards out, half volley, top corner. Take a bow Phil.
Jon Harley has a foot like a sledgehammer. He played for 12 different teams during his career but his most impressive achievement has to be his solitary goal for Fulham. The ball was cleared by Aston Villa and ended up bouncing around in midfield, 40 yards from Peter Enckleman’s goal. Jon Harley didn’t mess around though, instead running onto the ball like a man possessed and lashing an absolute thunderbolt swerving past Enckleman, nearly cleaning Olof Mellberg’s head off on it’s way into the onion bag.
And ahead of Newcastle’s trip to Manchester United this weekend, we just couldn’t leave this one out. Mention Philippe Albert to any Newcastle fan and they’ll talk about this goal. It was the 1996/97 season but any Newcastle fan worth their salt will describe this luscious lob like it happened in their back garden this morning. The score was already 4-0 when Albert took it upon himself to further embarrass Schmeichel in Man United’s net with a chipped effort that was nothing short of scandalous.
Our Defender Goal Scoring Predictions
Gary Cahill, who scored six last season, will be up there with the top scoring defenders again this season as long as he stays fit. He’s yet to hit the net in the 17/18 campaign as Chelsea try to retain their Premier League title but history tells his he’ll break that duck soon enough.
Marcos Alonso is another Chelsea man who likes a goal. He netted six last term and added two more to his total for The Blues so far this time round, including a sumptuous free-kick against Tottenham that Gary Neville described as “absolutely brilliant” and “magnificent”.
Harry Maguire was one of the stand-out centre-back last term. After securing a move to Leicester last summer, he scored in just his second appearance against Brighton. With 13 career goals to date Maguire has shown goal scoring prowess in the past and is an outside shout for this season’s top scoring defender.