In every position in football, an understanding of one another’s play is essential. But just what is the most profitable goalscoring combination in the Premier League this season? WhoScored.com investigates.
Riyad Mahrez to Jamie Vardy (Leicester) – five goals
The second-top scorers in the Premier League this season with 54 goals, it’s no surprise to see two Leicester pairings feature on the list, with Riyad Mahrez providing five assists for striker Jamie Vardy. Mahrez remains the top-rated player in the Premier League this season with a WhoScored.com rating of 7.85, while only Mesut Ozil (18) has registered more top-flight assists than the Algerian (11).
Only Harry Kane (21) has scored more goals than Vardy (19) this season with the understanding between Vardy and Mahrez having a huge impact for the league leaders. With seven games still to play, the duo’s partnership in the final third will be crucial in the run-in as the Foxes look to end an astonishing season on a high note.
Marc Albrighton to Riyad Mahrez (Leicester) – five goals
Provider then turns goalscorer, with five of Mahrez’s 16 league goals provided by Marc Albrighton. Following his goal at Crystal Palace on Saturday, Mahrez has now been directly involved in 50% of Leicester’s 54 league goals this season (16 goals, 11 assists). The 25-year-old is the frontrunner to be named player of the season and rightly so, given his performances for the Foxes.
However, the impact of Albrighton from the left flank cannot be overestimated in Mahrez’s success. The 26-year-old has six assists to his name, five of which have been for a Mahrez goal. Albrighton has made a habit of cutting onto his right foot from the left flank and more often than not, will find Mahrez on the right wing making a surging run into the box. It’s an easy approach to read, but the duo have mastered the ability to quickly switch play to the opposite flank, which is clearly benefitting Leicester.
Gerard Deulofeu to Romelu Lukaku (Everton) – six goals
After a bright start to the season, Gerard Deulofeu’s impact has lessened since the turn of the year. In his second stint at the club, the Spaniard still has a notable eight league assists to his name, and six have been for a Romelu Lukaku goal. The Belgium international is currently enjoying his most prolific campaign to date, with 18 goals placing him third in the goalscorer charts this season.
Lukaku has still impressed without Deulofeu in the side, but it seemed as though the pair had formed a destructive understanding with one another. The latter would pick the ball up on the right before putting in an early cross for the former to run onto. However, Deulofeu has lost his starting spot to Aaron Lennon of late and given the Englishman’s industriousness and good form on the right, it remains to be seen whether this figure will rise between now and the end of the campaign.
Troy Deeney to Odion Ighalo (Watford) – six goals
The goals may have dried up for Odion Ighalo – of his 14 Premier League strikes, just one has been scored in 2016 – but it’s the partnership of he and captain Troy Deeney that has all-but consolidated Watford’s spot among England’s best teams. The pair have maintained the understanding that helped guide the Hornets back into England’s top flight and adjusted to the rigours of Premier League football with ease.
While Deeney has his fair share of league goals this season (9) he’s still the club’s primary creator, registering more assists (6) than any other Watford player. Importantly, though, all six of those assists have been for an Ighalo goal. Be it hanging on the shoulder of the last defender or making late runs into the box, Deeney has both the creative quality and an impressive ability to hold off the opposition to pick out Ighalo.
Mesut Ozil to Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) – six goals
Ozil has more assists than any other player in Europe’s top five leagues this season, so it’s no shock to see him feature here. The rapport he built up with Olivier Giroud earlier in the season promised to help guide Arsenal to their first Premier League title in over a decade, but the goals have since dried up for the France striker.
Giroud has failed to net a league goal since his brace in the 3-3 draw with Liverpool back in January, with his inconsistent goalscoring form hindering the Gunners’ chances of domestic glory. The return of Danny Welbeck puts Giroud’s starting spot in jeopardy, though his best chance of a return to goalscoring ways is through creator-in-chief Ozil.
Dele Alli to Harry Kane (Tottenham) – seven goals
The partnership Dele Alli and Harry Kane have developed this season has been nothing short of superb and with Euro 2016 fast approaching, it’s enough to have manager Roy Hodgson rubbing his hands with glee. Of Alli’s nine league assists this season, seven have been for a Kane goal, the latter currently topping the Premier League’s scoring chart with 21 goals. The Alli to Kane assist-to-goalscoring combination is currently the most profitable in Europe’s top five leagues and is playing a key role in Tottenham’s pursuit of the Premier League title.
Alan Shearer spoke of a telepathic understanding between the two on Match of the Day 2 on Sunday night and you’d be hard pressed to find a more lethal duo in the Premier League at this point in time. With Alli familiar with the runs Kane makes into the opposition 18-yard box, the relationship between the pair is a massive boost to both club and country.
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