The EFL ‘Carabao’ Cup is a big part of English football's history and has seen some of the game's greatest-ever players compete. Here are the 10 most prolific Carabao Cup scorers ever.

Last Updated: 27/02/23 at 11:37 am

The Carabao Cup is one of the three major domestic trophies that English football teams compete for every season. The competition has run since 1963 and has been won by 23 different clubs.

Liverpool are the most successful team in the competition's history, winning the cup nine times. Aston Villa were the inaugural winners of the competition, and Liverpool are the current holders, after beating Chelsea in the 2022 final.

The Carabao Cup has been contested by some of the game's greatest players, including Cristiano Ronaldo, Thierry Henry and Erling Haaland. Here, we list the competition's top ten most prolific scorers.

10. David Kelly

Goals: 17 | Games: 26 | EFL Cup Wins: 0

At number 10 we have former Sunderland and Wolves striker David Kelly. While he wasn't the most prolific of goal scorers, Kelly had a particular taste for scoring in the Carabao Cup.

The Birmingham-born striker netted 17 goals in 26 appearances in the cup, although his best-ever finish in the competition was runner-up in the 2000 season, losing out 2-1 to Leicester City in the final.

9. Sir Kenny Dalglish

Goals: 18 | Games: 45 | EFL Cup Wins: 5

Sir Kenny Dalglish is a name that is very well known and loved by all the Liverpool faithful - the legendary striker hit the back of the net on over 300 occasions over the course of his career, with 18 of those goals coming in the Carabao Cup.

The Glasgow-born marksman won the Carabao Cup four times as a player, scoring in the 1981 final. After retiring, Dalglish won the cup for the fifth time as manager of his beloved Liverpool.

8. Jay Rodriguez

Goals: 18 | Games: 29 | EFL Cup Wins: 0

At number eight is Burnley and Southampton striker Jay Rodriguez, with a respectable 18 goals in 29 games. The striker has spent most of his career at Burnley, scoring 71 times for the club in 162 appearances.

The Burnley-born forward came so close to Carabao Cup glory in 2017 when they faced off against Manchester United in the final, however, goals from Ibrahimovic and Lingard sealed the win for United and Rodriguez had to settle for a runners-up medal.

7. Nathan Ellington

Goals: 19 | Games: 27 | EFL Cup Wins: 0

At number seven in the rankings is former Wigan, Derby and West Brom striker Nathan Ellington. The Bradford-born forward loved to score in the Carabao Cup, netting 19 goals in 27 games.

Ellington was never a fruitful goal scorer, only scoring 130 goals in his 490 career appearances. He also struggled to hit the net in the Premier League and was much more suited to the championship.

6. Ian Wright

Goals: 19 | Games: 20 | EFL Cup Wins: 1

At number six we have the legendary Gunners talisman, Ian Wright. The Arsenal and England man was one of the best strikers around in his prime, netting 313 goals over the course of his career.  

The Woolwich-born striker scored an impressive 19 goals in 20 Carabao Cup appearances, just one shy of a goal every game. Wright also won the cup in 1993 playing for Arsenal, when they beat Sheffield Wednesday 2-1.

5. Michael Owen

Goals: 19 | Games: 24 | EFL Cup Wins: 3

Joining Ian Wright and Nathan Ellington on 19 Carabao Cup goals is England legend and Ballon d'Or winner Michael Owen. The former Liverpool and Real Madrid striker is one of the most devastating finishers the game has ever seen and his Carabao Cup stats reflect that.

The Chester-born ace scored 260 goals in his career and is one of only six English players to win the Ballon d’Or, with Owen the only English recipient of the award since the turn of the millennium.

4. Frank Lampard

Goals: 21 | Games: 50 | EFL Cup Wins: 2

At number four is Chelsea legend and the Premier League’s all-time top-scoring midfielder Frank Lampard. The former blues captain scored over 200 goals in his career, an unbelievable feat for a central midfielder.

Lampard also had a knack for scoring in the Carabao Cup, with 21 goals in his 50 appearances. The Romford-Born player won the Carabao Cup twice in his playing career, in 2005 and 2007.

3. Jermain Defoe

Goals: 23 | Games: 38 | EFL Cup Wins: 1

Although he has never been considered one of the English football greats, Jermain Defoe is a player that has been massively underrated by many.

The Beckton-born forward is one of the most lethal finishers that English football has ever seen, and currently sits ninth on the Premier league all-time top scorers list.

The ex-Tottenham striker has scored 286 career goals, with 23 of them coming in the Carabao Cup. Defoe also won the trophy in 2008 when his Tottenham side defeated Chelsea in the final.

2. Robbie Fowler

Goals: 33 | Games: 44 | EFL Cup Wins: 2

At number two we have the legendary Liverpool and Manchester City striker Robbie Fowler. The Toxteth-born striker is Liverpool's record Premier League goal scorer and the eighth-highest scorer in Premier League history, just edging out the man before him on this list.

In his 44 appearances in the Carabao Cup, Fowler notched an impressive 33 goals, setting him 10 goals above Defoe in third. He won the Carabao Cup on two occasions in 1995 and 2001, scoring Liverpool's only goal in the latter.

1. Ian Rush

Goals: 46 | Games: 44 | EFL Cup Wins: 5

At number one on our top scorers' list, we have Welsh footballing icon Ian Rush, one of British football's best-ever players. The former Liverpool, Juventus and Leeds United forward scored an astounding 346 goals across his career, with 46 of them coming in the Carabao Cup.

The ‘Welsh Wizard’ ended his career as Liverpool and Wales's all-time leading goal scorer and is an undoubted legend of the game. Rush won the Carabao Cup five times in his time with Liverpool, scoring the winning goal in the 1982 final.

How can I get VIP tickets for the Carabao Cup Final?

The 2023 Carabao Cup competition has come and gone, with Manchester United adding another one to their tally of Carabao Cup (League Cup) victories.

Details for the 2023/24 Carabao Cup are not yet available and will likely only be available when the 2023/23 Premier League season fixtures are released.

Be sure to check out our blog for all the details about upcoming Carabao Cup rounds and fixtures, as it will be updated when the relevant information is available.

Enjoy one of the highlights of the English football season with an added level of VIP luxury as you benefit from premium inclusions* such as:

  • Premium padded seating with unrivalled views of the pitch.
  • A delicious street food-style buffet pre-match.
  • A range of premium complimentary beverages including beer, wine and soft drinks.
  • Early access to the stadium.
  • VIP entry and exit from the venue.
  • Access to private bars.

Be sure to check back on Seat Unique later in the year for any updates on the 2023/24 Carabao Cup, including when you can get tickets to the 2024 Carabao Cup final.