Can Newcastle break Manchester United’s Premier League goalscorers record?

Estimated read time 5 min read

Elliot Anderson seems the most likely candidate to ensure Newcastle United make this a record-breaking Premier League season. Lewis Hall, if he can get on to the pitch for any of the 11 remaining top-flight fixtures, could be another. Or perhaps Nick Pope or Martin Dubravka will go forward for a corner late in a match and make history.

This has been a turbulent and, at times, challenging season for Eddie Howe and his squad, with an unprecedented injury crisis stretching their resources to the limit. Yet there has been a positive byproduct.

Newcastle lead the Premier League when it comes to the number of different scorers within their squad, own goals excluded, boasting 19 individuals who have found the back of the net in 2023-24. They are comfortably ahead of the rest, with four teams — Arsenal, Everton, Fulham and Tottenham Hotspur — on 15 different scorers, the next-highest hauls.

More impressively, Howe’s squad are now just one goalscorer shy of equalling the record for the Premier League era.

That is held by Manchester United who, in 2012-13, had 20 separate scorers across the top-flight season.

And that was not just any Manchester United side, either. Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez were among those to find the back of the net during Sir Alex Ferguson’s final season at Old Trafford, the last occasion upon which Manchester United lifted the Premier League title.

The mark was not set by an also-ran, injury-ravaged side; it was achieved by a squad who finished 11 points ahead of the runners-up, their nouveau riche neighbours Manchester City.

That makes the potential achievement — if Newcastle can find another goalscorer to draw level with Manchester United, or another two (or more) to establish a new record — all the more impressive.

Only three other squads beyond Manchester United’s 2012-13 vintage — Manchester City in 2008-09, Spurs in 2009-10 and Chelsea in 2015-16 — have contained as many as 19 different top-flight scorers in the Premier League era.

Last season, when Newcastle finished fourth, they had just 14 different goalscorers in the Premier League. Already they have five more scorers this season, with 19 also representing two greater than their next-highest during Premier League seasons — 17 in 2019-20 and 2021-22.

A key contributing factor to this has been Newcastle’s chronic fitness issues and Sandro Tonali’s 10-month suspension for gambling offences.

Already, Howe has used 32 players in the top flight this season, five more than throughout the whole of 2022-23. Only the relegation-threatened duo of Nottingham Forest and Sheffield United (both 33) have fielded a greater number of players in 2023-24.

Some 59 per cent of the players Howe has fielded have found the back of the net — that rises to 66 per cent, or two-thirds, if the three ‘keepers are discounted — and yet just one, Alexander Isak (11 goals), has reached double figures to date.

Anthony Gordon (nine goals), Callum Wilson (seven) and Sean Longstaff (four) are the only others to have scored on more than three occasions. Three players have three goals apiece and another four have two, while the remaining eight have found the back of the net only one each.

Every outfield player with more than four starts has scored, while even Matt Ritchie found the back of the net against Bournemouth last month, during one of his eight substitute appearances (totalling just 104 minutes), his first goal in almost four years.

That leaves 13 players who have made league appearances this season who are yet to score. They are shown below.

Who could score a record-equalling goal?

Player League apps (sub) Minutes played

Nick Pope

14 (0)


Martin Dubravka

12 (1)


Elliot Anderson

4 (6)


Lewis Hall

1 (7)


Matt Targett

1 (2)


Loris Karius

1 (0)


Emil Krafth

0 (6)


Ben Parkinson

0 (1)


Paul Dummett

0 (1)


Alex Murphy

0 (1)


Joe White

0 (1)


Amadou Diallo

0 (1)


Michael Ndiweni*

0 (1)


Of those 13, 12 still have the opportunity to add to Newcastle’s league goalscorer tally during the final 11 games of the season. Michael Ndiweni, the 20-year-old forward, will not do so as he joined Annan Athletic on loan in January, which is why there is an asterisk next to his name.

Anderson, who returned last week from a stress fracture in his back which sidelined the midfielder for more than four months, appears the most likely next scorer. Although the 21-year-old has yet to score a senior goal for Newcastle, he did confidently dispatch his penalty in the FA Cup shootout win over Blackburn Rovers last month and is likely to get the most game time out of the attackers listed.

Hall is probably the next-best placed, despite having played just 12 minutes of football in 2024. The 19-year-old has found the back of the net this season, during the 3-0 victory at Manchester United in the Carabao Cup in November, making him Newcastle’s 20th goalscorer across all competitions.

When assessing the other 10 players who have played in the Premier League in 2023-24, two are goalkeepers, while six have made just one appearance, five of them only as substitutes.

That leaves Matt Targett — a backup left-back who has never scored for Newcastle, has just four senior career goals and has been out since November with a hamstring injury — and Emil Krafth, who has made only six substitute appearances totalling 84 minutes and has found the back of the net once in 73 matches for the club.

Alfie Harrison, the 18-year-old attacking midfielder who joined the youth setup from Manchester City in January, also has an outside chance of featuring before the end of the season. He has already scored for the under-18s and managed 14 in 31 appearances at that level for Manchester City, so he has an eye for goal.

With the injury situation easing, however, Howe may be able to name more of a settled side during the run-in. Therefore, an unlikely source may be required to deliver the goal that would pull Newcastle level with Ferguson’s Manchester United.

Even if the FA Cup and/or European football prove beyond them, Newcastle have an opportunity to salvage something else from the season: a little-known, and rather obscure, record.

(Top photos: Getty Images)