Strikers are, arguably, the most important player in football. At the end of the day, the game is about scoring goals, so having a player who can put the ball in the onion bag better than anyone else is a major positive. In this four-part series of articles, I’ll be looking at the Premier League strikers of THIS SEASON (2020/21), and seeing who’s the most and least effective goal-scorers, who’s the most creative and who’s the worst-disciplined. I’ll be using stats from OneFootball to inform each list, but also using my own special algorithms to really figure out who the best/worst is.
It’s worth saying that players featuring for the lower-end of the table clubs, will be negatively affected because they play for poor sides.
Only out-and-out strikers, that have played in more than 10 league games this season, will be considered. Goals-scored and goals per minute were the major statistics used for this list.
10. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal)
I was surprised to discover that the 31-year-old striker has actually featured 23 times in the Premier League this season. To be honest, I thought it was a lot less than that. Despite his goal-scoring heroics last season, the Gabonese attacker has only netted nine times this campaign – something that is severely distressing for Arsenal fans.
On his day, he’s one of the best strikers in the world, but his time in North London seems to be ending. As a feud with Mikel Arteta gathers more and more traction, PEA will be looking elsewhere come the summer. But this season, despite a lack of goals compared to his usual standards, he’s not been horrific. Nine goals is an okay return, and a goal every 206 minutes isn’t too, too bad either. It’s all in comparison though isn’t it? He’s usually much better than this.
09. Tammy Abraham (Chelsea)
Across London there is a young man fighting for his place at Chelsea. Under Frank Lampard, Tammy Abraham seemed to be the go-to, before Timo Werner came in in the summer. Olivier Giroud had to fight for the scraps. Nowadays it’s not as simple as that. Fighting under Thomas Tuchel for his place will be hard. So far this season he’s made 20 appearances, only 12 of which have been starts.
When it comes to scoring goals, it’s been a significant drop-off between the two seasons. 15 goals last year was a solid return from 34 games, six from 20 this year isn’t super ideal. That being said, he’s not been blessed with the same chances or minutes on the pitch. When you take into account his goals per minutes, Tammy is fighting at a very good 1/169.5. Better than a goal every two games, which is very decent for a young striker still finding his feet and place.
08. Callum Wilson (Newcastle United)
I saw Callum Wilson play for Coventry City back in the day. Dahm was he good, and he’s carried that brilliant eye for goal right up the leagues and now performs as one of the best strikers in the country. When relegated with Bournemouth, it was no surprise that he found himself back in the Premier League before the following season started, but it was slightly strange to see him in the black and white of Newcastle United.
They’re a side that are currently not synonymous with great attacking play, and in fact, for me, Wilson could’ve aimed a bit higher in the division. He’s been one of the very few shining lights for the slow, ponderous and often thoroughly boring Newcastle that Steve Bruce has created. His 10 goals is an excellent return for a side that has lacked that… spark? A goal to minute ratio of 1/181.6 shows how deadly he can be a one in two striker.
I’d suspect clubs will be sniffing around the attacker come the summer, unless Newcastle seriously changed their tune.
07. Edinson Cavani (Manchester United)
Edinson Cavani might’ve grown up in the same surrounding, at the same time, as Luis Suarez but thats where the most similarities end. Cavani enjoyed a successful career in Italy then France, before joining Manchester United in the summer of ’20. For those who know Cavani, they’d know it doesn’t matter that the striker is getting closer to the age of 35 by the minute – he’s still as effective as ever. Known for his workhorse nature, he’s certainly gone under the radar for his finishing ability in England. Although six goals in 18 games isn’t a particularly good return from a striker who’s retorted as once ‘one of the best’, it’s actually a one in three ratio. Add in the fact that he was a substitute for nine of them games and suddenly it’s looking a bit better for Edinson.
A goal per minute of one every 153 minutes is an excellent stat. Meaning, in terms of actual playing time, he’s better than a one in two striker.
06. Patrick Bamford (Leeds United)
Paddy Bamford is 27… how?! It feels like only yesterday that he was breaking through at Chelsea. But then again, it feels like he’s been stuck in the ‘too good for Championship, not good enough for Premier League’ zone for decades. In my head he’s either 21 or 35. But no, he’s bang in the middle, and bang in form.
This season has been Bamford’s real breakthrough in the Premier League. Since 2017 relegation with Middlesbrough, the striker has been cutting his teeth in the second tier. Bielsa’s Leeds, though, unleashed something wild. This season in the Premier League he’s netted and a classy 13 goals – an excellent return for any striker at this stage. It’s true okay, Bielsa’s set up does create a lot of chances for him, if he was playing in Bruces’ Toon side then he’d be nowhere near 13. But still, he has to finish the chances, and a lot have not been exactly ‘simple’. He’s scored all different types of goals.
His goals per minute record is quite solid too. A goal every 181 minutes is essentially a goal every two games – every side could do with a striker like that.
05. Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City)
Manchester City’s answer to Marcus Rashford hasn’t exactly treaded the path expected of him. In fact after 12 goals in two seasons for the Citizens he was allowed to leave. Midlanders Leicester City were riding on the crest of a wave still from their title win two years previous, and signed up the promising attacker. His impact has been, er, ‘sparing’ at best at times. With only nine league goals in his first three seasons, the Nigerian striker seriously needed to up those levels.
This season he’s currently netted six goals in 16 games – eight of which have been from the subs bench. He’s not first choice at the King Power, and won’t be until Jamie Vardy starts to slow down. When will that actually happen though? Never probably.
His six goals comes with a great ratio of a goal every 120 minutes. That’s better than a goal every two games. WHAT?! This stat is somewhat skewed though, by the fact he scored a brilliant hat trick recently against Sheffield United. They tend to help with these kinds of stats.
04. Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)
Another of Brendon’s boys makes the list. The Red Bull fuelled attacker is on of the best to have graced the English game – in my view. Speed, precision and tactful flexibility allows ‘Vardiniho’ (think I’ve just made that nickname up to be honest) to be a top, top striker.
At 34 years old, he’s showing no signs of slowing down either, as he’s gone on to hit 12 goals in an injury-struck season. He’s made 25 appearances, which means he has actually only missed the four games though. Those 12 goals have been vital to Leicester’s season, and they currently sit 3rd in the hotly contested top four (minus 1st). His goals come in at a goal every 170 minutes, which is bloody brilliant.
03. Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal)
Has Alexandre Lacazette’s move from Lyon to Arsenal actually been a success? Sorta?
He’s routinely hit 10+ goals each season, but is that enough for a player of his actual ability?
This season though he’s set to smash his tally from last year. Having played six games less, he’s on the same tally of 10 goals. Arsenal have struggled for large parts of this season, and a better scoring return from ‘Laca’ would’ve been helpful, but for him to have netted double figures is also handy.
He’s a penalty box striker by trade. But creating chances has not exactly been Arsenal’s forte this campaign, except for Bukayo Saka, so for the attacker to have netted 10 times is actually quite impressive. Though more needs to come if this season is to be classed as a successful one for him.
A goal every 153 minutes is quite good.
02. Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton)
One of the absolute standout players this season, Dominic Calvert-Lewin has been brilliant this season for the Liverpool-based outfit. He’s played nine games less than last season and already scored more goals. In 2019/20 he bagged 13 goals in 36 games, however THIS seasons scored 14 in 25 matches. Fantastic progress from the player.
He’s clearly developed and learnt a lot under the support of Carlo Ancelotti and the big man, Duncan Ferguson. He’s deadly in the air, we’ve seen some brilliant headers this season, and equally impressive acrobatic finishes. He’ll be battling for that England spot come the Euros if the former-Sheffield United attacker continues like this.
The fashion sense of the man might be, odd, but there is no doubting his goal scoring capabilities. He’s netted at a rate of a goal every 154 minutes. Brilliant.
01. Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspurs)
Harry bloody Kane. No prizes for guessing he would be top of this list. The Tottenham youth graduate has been a top, top, top performer in the Premier League for many years, and despite a few niggling injuries, he’s been class again this year.
The start of the season saw a double-act that could finally break the Chuckle Brothers’ reign. Kane and Son Heung-Min were unstoppable. Goals and assists flooded in as Spurs looked further and further up the table. Injury and a general loss of form throughout the team put an end to the incredible record though. However, Kane has still gone on to shine this year, scoring 16 goals in 26 games. He’s on form to beat last seasons total of 19 in 29.
‘Prince Harry’ (not the literal one, he’s probably off in America making a documentary or something) has been the jewel in the crown for Spurs for many years, but how long will they be able to hold on to the striker who’s scored a goal every 142 minutes this season.
When we talk about ‘finishers’ there are none better for me than Kane. Whether it’s from three yards out, or 35, he’s dangerous from every distance. His timing and positioning make him ultra dangerous from crosses, and his tactical nous allows him to be threatening whenever he’s near the box.
So, surprised at who have came out in the top 10 of our ‘best goal-scoring’ EPL strikers? Should Alexandre Lacazette really be this high? What should Callum Wilson do this summer?