The Premier League era has seen its fair share of ‘boy wonders’ and precociously talented teenagers, with the likes of Manchester United’s Mason Greenwood and Arsenal’s Gabriel Martinelli amongst the latest to have enjoyed impressive breakthroughs despite their tender years.
Here are the top3 scoring teenagers in Prem history:
Wayne Rooney – 30 goals
Few players have burst onto the scene quite like a teenage Wayne Rooney, the powerfully built man-child adorned in Everton blue delivering one of the most iconic Premier League goals of all-time against Arsenal to open his account in England’s top tier.
From the moment the 16-year-old Rooney delivered that inch-perfect winning goal at Goodison Park, the footballing media whipped up a frenzy surrounding English football’s latest ‘boy wonder’.
Rooney scored 15 Premier League goals for his boyhood side before becoming the most expensive teenager in history, joining Manchester United in a record-breaking move and making an instant impact at Old Trafford.
The forward scored 30 league goals before his 20th birthday and is one of just two players – alongside Alan Shearer – to score over 200 Premier League goals, finishing his career with five league titles and as the greatest goalscorer in the history of both Manchester United and England.
Robbie Fowler – 35 goals
Fowler’s goalscoring credentials were widely recognized amid the academy ranks at Liverpool, but few could have anticipated the impact the forward would have when handed a first-team opportunity.
The Toxteth-teenager scored on his senior debut in a League Cup tie against Fulham before coming to prominence with a five-goal haul in the return leg, seizing his opportunity by scoring 12 times in his first 13 appearances for the club.
Fowler’s famed finishing ability made him a hugely popular figure amongst Kopites, the local hero who ruthlessly needed just half a chance to find the net. Fowler scored 30+ goals in all competitions in each of his first three full seasons as a Liverpool player, including 35 league goals before his 20th birthday.
Named as the PFA Young Player of the Year in back-to-back seasons in 1995 and 1996, Fowler is the seventh-highest goalscorer in Premier League history with 163 goals.
Michael Owen – 46 goals
Owen showed a glimpse of his vast potential by scoring on his Liverpool debut as a 17-year-old in 1997, before flourishing amid exposure to the first-team with a stunning first full season in the Premier League.
The teenage Owen had the world at his feet with his blistering pace and ice-cold temperament in front of goal, winning the division’s Golden Boot award as an 18-year-old before being named as the PFA Young Player of the Year and Premier League Player of the Season.
After starring at that summer’s World Cup, Owen returned with another prolific campaign to retain the Golden Boot, becoming just the second player to achieve the feat and winning the award twice before his 20th birthday.
Owen later inspired Liverpool to a treble of cup successes in 2001 and became the second-youngest ever winner of the Ballon d’Or, though his latter career was decimated by injuries with his teenage years the peak of his powers.
He left Liverpool for Real Madrid in 2004, later representing Newcastle, Manchester United and Stoke before retiring from the game in 2013.