PL's Five Most Crucial Strikers

This is not a matter of opinion - this is a statistical list thanks to the lovely folk at WhoScored. You won't be surprised to see Luis Suarez lead the way. This is statty heaven...

Last Updated: 18/12/12 at 12:57 Post Comment   

Latest Articles

Premier League Numbers And Stats

6 comments

Demba Ba scores goals at a better rate than the league's best, whilst Liverpool score in halves galore and why you are always guaranteed goals when City are in town...

Eye On The Experts: John Motson

37 comments

For many people John Motson is quite simply the voice of the game. He's been doing his commentary gig since 1971 and long may it continue, say Johnny and Al...

All Articles

Luis Suarez: Whopping 96 shots on goal

Luis Suarez: Whopping 96 shots on goal

It's fair to say that some strikers are so central to their side's success in front of goal that their absence would have a disastrous impact.

The individual that perhaps epitomises that theory the most is Luis Suarez, although last weekend Liverpool faced another man whose importance to a remarkably young Aston Villa side is growing by the week in Christian Benteke.

The Belgian was certainly the star man on show as his double sandwiched a sublime assist in the shock result of the weekend, as Villa's youngest team in the history of the competition went on to win 3-1 at Anfield.

There are, however, many more frontmen whose vital statistics in front of goal suggest that their respective sides would be all at sea without them.



Here, we analyse the top five players in terms of proportion of a team's total shots at goal, also looking at their goal contribution in turn.

5. Robin van Persie (Manchester United)
Mustering 22.2% of his side's total shots this season, Robin van Persie has quickly ensured that all of his former ties to Arsenal have been forgotten by the United fans.

Quickly re-assuming his post at the top of the scoring charts in the league - alongside fellow summer signing Michu at Swansea - the Dutchman's 12 goals account for 27.9% of the Red Devils' league goal tally thus far.

The fact that van Persie is so crucial to a side that is inundated with star names makes his integration into the side at Old Trafford all the more impressive.

Building a partnership with Wayne Rooney to the level of understanding that the two already work on would mean that either's absence for one reason or another would be a huge blow.

However, if the duo can stay fit, their partnership may well be the difference between joy and heartbreak for the United faithful come May.

4. Christian Benteke (Aston Villa)
Another new recruit for his respective side, Paul Lambert took a considerable gamble on a 21-year-old striker who had only really had one truly successful season in Belgium's Jupiler Pro League.

Now 22 and a regular in his hugely talented national side, Christian Benteke is repaying the faith that saw Villa's new boss fork out a fee in the region of £8million - a faith that has seen Darren Bent's chances under the Scot dwindle.

Benteke's importance to the side is eminently visible in the statistics. Having fired off 45 shots this season, the most recent of which came in his imperious double goalscoring display at Anfield, the Belgian has had 23.3% of Lambert's youthful side's shots despite starting just 12 times, and his five goals account for 33.3% of Villa's overall tally.

The fact that only Berbatov, Rooney, Suarez, Tevez and van Persie have averaged more touches per game of strikers in the league (42.9) is the greatest indication of the huge role Benteke will have to play if Villa are to survive.

3. Jermain Defoe (Tottenham)
In direct contrast to the former, Jermain Defoe's role at Tottenham is a far less inclusive, but equally important one.

The England international has averaged fewer touches than any other striker to start more than half of his side's league games this season (25.7), with the fact that he has netted nine goals already telling you all you need to know about the Spurs man.

With Defoe, it is all about chance conversion and his shoot-on-sight attitude has certainly paid off under AVB.

Having attempted the third most shots in the league this season (68), it is no surprise that he dominates Tottenham's overall tally, striking 23.7% of their efforts this season.

His aforementioned nine-goal haul thus far is 30% of the team's overall figure and though a personal conversion rate of 13.2% is unspectacular, Spurs fans know that if Defoe has six or seven shots a game, as he does with some regularity, one will usually find the net.

2. Demba Ba (Newcastle)
Newcastle have come back down to earth with a bump this season after ending the 2011/12 campaign in fifth and qualifying for the Europa League in the process. Had it not been for the goalscoring exploits of a back-in-form Demba Ba, it is fair to say that bump may have been an almighty crash.

The Senegalese striker has picked up where compatriot Papiss Cisse left off last season, though their ability to play together continues to be called into question.

Ba has had 70 shots at goal already this term, representing a massive 28.8% of Newcastle's overall tally thus far and without his 11 goals, the Magpies would almost certainly be in the relegation zone.

Indeed, Ba's tally accounts for over half of his side's total goals (57.9%) - the only player to record the majority of his team's goals in the entire league - and reports that he is set for a move away will concern the fans in what is already a troubled period under Alan Pardew.

1. Luis Suarez (Liverpool)
It comes as no shock to see Liverpool's talismanic and controversial front man in equal measure, Luis Suarez lead the way here.

The Uruguayan has mustered 96 shots at goal already this season - a full 26 more than any other player in the league - and while Liverpool create chances throughout the side, the majority inevitably fall the way of the 25-year-old.

His efforts account for 29.7% of Liverpool's overall shot tally and without him in the side, they lack a focal point after the decision to let Andy Carroll leave the club on loan.

The Reds will surely seek some support for Suarez come January but in the meantime, they must ensure that he stays fit and out of trouble.

With ten goals to his name thus far, Suarez's finishing has improved and his figure represents 43.5% of Rodgers' side's overall goal tally.

In conclusion, if there is one side that really can't do without their star striker right now, it's Liverpool.

All stats courtesy of WhoScored.com. Follow Martin Laurence on Twitter at @martinlaurence7.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

H

e was right to leave, but not just because of the money City were coming into. If I remember rightly he had a reasonable amount of chances to shine at City, but he never passed the bloody ball. Loads of aimless dribbles and 40 yard shots and not much else. I would say that if he had learnt to be a bit more of a team player he may have done better at City.

bright and edgy
Sturridge: Right to leave City

O

h! And.... has it gone in!?' Well John, it is quite literally your job to tell me, so stop phrasing it as a question.

ajsr1982
Eye On The Experts: John Motson

M

an who resembles bond villain complains about spies ....brillliant

mrjackson
Palace deny spying accusation

Latest Photos

Footer 365

Premier League: Liverpool upbeat on Daniel Sturridge's injury ahead of Norwich game

Liverpool are optimistic that striker Daniel Sturridge will be fit for this weekend's game against Norwich.

Premier League: Aston Villa chairman Randy Lerner hails Paul Lambert in bullish statement

Aston Villa chairman Randy Lerner has issued a bullish statement in reaction to the suspension of two of his coaches.

Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny says results are all that matter

Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny says the team's stye of play is irrelevant as they try to stay in the top four.

Mail Box

Fatigue No Excuse For Giroud Being Cr*p

We have a long mail on why Giroud isn't very good at all, plus some more thoughts on neutrality. Plus, who do you want out of you club this summer and Liverpool moving buses...

Will Liverpool Cope With Parked Buses?

That's the real problem they're going to face next year, says one Man United fan who's already looking forward to the end of this campaign. Plus, thoughts on neutrality...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property