Manchester United

Manchester United is one of the most successful football clubs in English and European football history. The Red Devils have enjoyed a trophy-laden history.

That history includes winning the Premier League on 13 occasions since the rebranding from the English First Division in 1992.

Throughout the Premier League era, United have had prolific goalscorers. However, which players have been the most lethal in front of goal since the new era of English football began?

Wayne Rooney

  • Appearances 393
  • Goals 183

The former England international is a modern Manchester United legend, as not only is the forward United’s Premier League record goalscorer, but he is also the club’s all-time record goalscorer, having scored an impressive 253 goals for the Red Devils.

Rooney’s goals inspired United to win the Premier League title on five occasions and the Champions League, among an array of other silverware during his 14 seasons with the men from Manchester.

On an individual level, Rooney’s goals saw him become the PFA Players Player of the Year in season 2009/10 and the Fans Player of the Year award in seasons 2005/06 and 2009/10. He also won the FWA Player of the Year in the latter season.

Ryan Giggs

  • Appearances 632
  • Goals 108

The Welshman represented the Red Devils in the Premier League for 22 seasons, earning himself hero status along the way.

Unsurprisingly, Giggs is United’s all-time record appearance holder, having made an incredible 963 appearances in all competitions for the Red Devils.

The Welshman played a part in all 13 of United’s Premier League-winning campaigns, scoring at least one goal in 21 of his 22 campaigns.

Giggs’ goals and performances earned him many individual accolades during his career, including PFA Players Player of the Year in the 2008/09 season.

He was also named in the Player Team of the Year on six occasions, including in the inaugural season of the Premier League.

Paul Scholes

  • Appearances 499
  • Goals 107

Like Giggs, Scholes was a product of the club’s academy. The midfielder’s tenacious style of play helped him to score 107 goals in 499 Premier League appearances for the Red Devils.

He also produced a highly respectable 67 assists in the English top-flight for United.

When Scholes drew a curtain on his career in 2013, he had won the Premier League title on 11 occasions, amongst other numerous pieces of silverware.

The former England international didn’t earn many individual awards, although he was named in the Premier League Team of the Year on two occasions in seasons 2002/03 and 2006/07.

Cristiano Ronaldo

  • Appearances 236
  • Goals 103

Widely considered as one of the best players the beautiful game has ever seen, the Portuguese superstar had two separate stints at United.

The first stint was from 2003 until 2009, while his second spell at the club from 2021 until 2023 was considered less of a success, although he did score 18 top-flight goals in his first season back with the club.

After moving to United from Sporting CP in 2003, the forward quickly earned himself a reputation as one of the best players of his generation.

By the time he made a big-money move to Spanish giants Real Madrid in 2009, he had been an English top-flight champion on three occasions, as well as helping the Red Devils win the Champions League in 2008.

During his time in Manchester, Ronaldo won the ultimate individual prize in world football, as he claimed the 2008 Ballon d’Or, an award he went on to claim on four more occasions.

The fact that Ronaldo won the Premier League Golden Boot by scoring 31 goals during that period was undoubtedly a significant factor in winning the award.

Ruud van Nistelrooy

  • Appearances 150
  • Goals 95

The Dutch forward joined United from PSV Eindhoven for £18.5m in the summer of 2001. He turned out to be a bargain, as the striker was deadly in front of goal.

He was your typical goal poacher who loved scoring goals, as he scored an impressive 95 goals in 150 appearances in a five-year Premier League career with United.

Van Nistelrooy scored 20-plus goals in four of his five seasons in the English top flight.

His goalscoring exploits saw the Dutchman win the Premier League Golden Boot in season 2002/03. He also picked up the PFA Fans Player of the Year and the PFA Players’ Player of the Year award in season 2001/02.

Despite his goalscoring exploits, Van Nistelrooy won the Premier League title just once during his time in Manchester.

Who is your favourite Manchester United forward of the Premier League era?