Most Underrated Striker Partnerships in the Premier League

Updated on March 26, 2020
MartialLaw profile image

20 Times. Avid United fan through the hard times and the good. Still believes Wes Brown is the real hero of Old Trafford.

Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko, David Silva.
Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko, David Silva. | Source

Edin Dzeko/Sergio Aguero—Manchester City (2011–2015)

Making 'The Noisy Neighbours' Much Louder

Despite arguably being one of the most important duos in the club's history, very few people remember just how good Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko were as a duo up front. Leading the line as Manchester City transformed themselves from noisy up-comers to Premier League champions, Dzeko and Aguero's contrasting play styles made them a seriously tough combination for opposing defences to master.

An infamous 1-6 away win against Manchester United marked a serious shift in power in the city, with Dzeko and Aguero both scoring in the game. However, I think the best indication of the duo's power came two seasons later in 2013/14. Whilst the Liverpool frontline of Suarez and Sturridge have become engraved in people's memories, Man City's frontline of Aguero and Dzeko not only won the title, but actually helped outscore their Merseyside rivals that year, something most people forget to mention.

Ian Wright and Dennis Bergkamp.
Ian Wright and Dennis Bergkamp. | Source

Ian Wright/Dennis Bergkamp—Arsenal (1995–1998)

Propelling Wenger to the Top

Whilst the duo of Bergkamp and Henry have become legendary in the Arsenal history books, the partnership of Wright and Bergkamp has been sadly neglected in comparison. Whilst Arsenal under Arsene Wenger have seen some fantastic pairings over the course of his reign, none were arguably as important as the duo of Bergkamp and Ian Wright.

The perfect combination of style meeting efficiency, Bergkamp and Wright made for a frightening duo and have routinely spoken about the special relationship they had together on the pitch. The two would combine most famously in Arsene Wenger's first full season in England, toppling Manchester United by a single point at the top of the table and claiming Arsenal's first ever Premier League victory.

Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez.
Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez. | Source

Wayne Rooney/Javier Hernandez—Manchester United (2010–2015)

Who Needs Tevez?

Given how these two strikers routinely outscored the likes of Drogba, Anelka, Lampard, Tevez, Van Persie and Adebayor, it's surprising that very little attention is ever afforded to them. With a Manchester United side that was in danger of falling by the wayside following the transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid and Carlos Tevez to Manchester City, Sir Alex Ferguson turned to the young Mexican striker Javier 'Chicharito' Hernadez to spearhead his next attack force alongside Wayne Rooney.

Twenty goals in his first season, as well as a huge amount of infectious enthusiasm for the club, instantly made Hernandez a fan favourite amongst the Old Trafford faithful as United dethroned Chelsea at the top of the table and made a Champions League final against Barcelona. Rooney's goalscoring prowess made for a perfect asset to the Mexican's speed and enthusiasm, making for a partnership that deserves a lot more recognition.

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Eider Gudjohnsen.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Eider Gudjohnsen. | Source

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink/Eider Gudjohnsen—Chelsea (2000–2004)

Ice and Fire

Before the eras of Abramovich, Mourinho and Drogba, there was the deadly duo of Eidur Gudjohnsen and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. Both signed in 2000, the two contrasting strikers struck up an instant connection in West London, with Hasselbaink providing the zip and energy of a true number nine and his Icelandic counterpart offering a highly capable target man up front.

The pair's best season came in 2001/02, where the pair notched up a whopping 37 goals between them. Claudio Rainieri's side would finish 6th that season, finishing in a European spot for the first time and providing the perfect launch pad for Champions League football the following year and prompting an audacious takeover bid from one Roman Abramovich...

Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres and Dirk Kuyt.
Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres and Dirk Kuyt. | Source

Dirk Kuyt/Fernando Torres—Liverpool (2007–2011)

El Nino and The Flying Dutchman

When Fernando Torres was at Liverpool, he was, hands down, the best striker on the planet. Alongside him in attack was Dirk Kuyt, operating at a goal every three or four goals, who remains one of the most underrated players to ever play in England. Along with greats of the game such as Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso they belonged to a side that deserved to win so much more than they did.

Undoubtedly this pairing's best patch came during the 2008/09 season, where Liverpool fell agonisingly short of Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United. Torres, on the back of a 33-goal season the year before, hit 17 in the league with Kuyt contributing to 15 in what was Liverpool's best effort at a title until 2018/19 and the Jurgen Klopp era.


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    • MartialLaw profile imageAUTHOR

      James Metcalfe 

      5 months ago from Worthing

      I think my thinking was that, alongside Bergkamp and Henry, they're just not considered to have been as prolific.

      Absolutely! Strike partnerships seem to be on the decline, so it might involve strikers and suppliers moreso than out and out forwards though.

    • Hosanna Fukuzawa profile image

      Hosanna Fukuzawa 

      5 months ago

      I wouldn’t say Ian Wright and Bergkamp are underrated, but definitely note worthy!

      Any new duos you’re focusing on for the 2020 season?


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