F365’s top ten Premier League strikers of the season

Date published: Tuesday 14th May 2019 2:27

Two of the Premier League’s top scorers featured in our attacking midfielders list. So here are the top ten centre-forwards…

 

10) Glenn Murray
His 13 goals in this Brighton team is a very creditable return. Murray put their goalscoring struggles down to a lack of creativity rather than poor finishing, and the stats really do back him up.

His goals have come from only 44 shots – the fewest number of any first-choice central striker – and only Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has a better conversion rate.

It’s lucky for the Seagulls that Murray has been so efficient. Without his goals, Brighton would have 13 points fewer than the 36 which saw them narrowly escape the drop. Not that it was enough to spare Chris Hughton.

 

9) Harry Kane
This is the first of five seasons as a Tottenham regular that Kane has failed to break the 20-goal barrier, though 17 in 28 games is still a fair tally when the England striker has struggled with ankle injuries and a hangover from a World Cup in which he finished as the top scorer.

Kane had written his season off but Spurs’ passage into the Champions League final has given the striker added motivation to get his rehab done in quick-smart fashion. But Mauricio Pochettino will have to decide whether there is any substance in the suggestion that Spurs are more dangerous with the pace of Son Heung-min and Lucas Moura in his absence.

Virgil van Dijk would presumably prefer to deal with the threat of Kane, who normally plays where the centre-back can see him, rather than chase after Son and Moura. Can Pochettino work all three into his XI?

 

8) Aleksandar Mitrovic
The Serbia striker had to take a step down from the Premier League after being deemed not good enough for Newcastle, but he made the swiftest of returns after firing Fulham into the top flight. Once there, Mitrovic was one of the few Cottagers to emerge from a miserable season with any credit.

The centre-forward has bagged almost a third of his side’s 34 goals, and without Mitrovic’s form, Fulham would have been even more screwed than they already were. No side in the Premier League has fewer goalscorers than the Cottagers.

Whatever ‘if you don’t buy a ticket, you can’t win the raffle’ translates to in Serbian must have been Mitro’s motto this season. No striker in the Premier League has taken more shots and only two regulars have a worse conversion rate.

 

7) Jamie Vardy
With a new manager to impress, Vardy has been in the mood recently, winning the Premier League Player of the Month for April while reminding us all what a bloody brilliant player he can be.

That was easy to forget during much of Claude Puel’s reign. The French manager dropped Vardy at times, such was his struggle to thrive in the Frenchman’s possession-based approach, but since Brendan Rodgers arrived at the King Power, Vardy has 10 goals in 10 games, taking his tally for the season to 18.

Vardy’s record against the top six is remarkable. This season, the former England striker has added another five goals to his haul of 31 against the big boys since Leicester reached the Premier League in 2014.

 

6) Callum Wilson
“There is a lot more to come in every aspect of his game,” said Eddie Howe last week of Bournemouth’s 14-goal striker. Wilson, though, is already a well-rounded centre-forward.

No other central striker has recorded more assists this term, with Wilson setting up nine goals for his team-mates. So where does Howe see room for improvement?

Presumably in his finishing. Despite hitting double figures in the Premier League for the first time, Wilson has missed 21 big chances – only one striker has wasted more. Still, it hasn’t put off Gareth Southgate, nor the likes of Tottenham and Chelsea, who are said to be watching the 27-year-old.

 

5) Salomon Rondon
‘In the Premier League alone, Rondon has been involved in 47 per cent of United’s goals, having contributed eight assists in addition to his 10 top-flight strikes.’

Newcastle laid bare the facts when they announced Rondon as their Player of the Season a few days before he bagged his 11th of the campaign. A most impressive effort, absolutely, but not quite good enough to prompt the Magpies into acting decisively over the Venezuelan’s future.

How Mike Ashley and his cronies believe they will get a similar goalscorer for next season for less than the £16.5million fee already agreed with West Brom – or £20million if the Baggies win promotion through the play-offs – is not entirely clear. Rafa Benitez’s future is Newcastle’s most pressing concern, but they cannot  dawdle over one of their most important players.

 

4) Raul Jimenez
Wolves won’t take the same risks as Newcastle. Such has been Jimenez’s impact since arriving on loan from Benfica last summer, Wolves refused to faff about in tying the Mexican down to a permanent deal, making him their record signing in the process for the princely sum of £30million.

Jimenez played a part in every Premier League game this season, scoring 13 goals to match Javier Hernandez as the highest scoring Mexican in a Premier League season. The 27-year-old has formed a hugely productive partnership with Diogo Jota since the latter was moved off the wing to play as a second striker, with the pair also setting the tone defensively from the front.

Donning a mask at Wembley didn’t go down particularly well, not with Troy Deeney at least, but it might be the only misstep Jimenez has taken all season.

 

3) Alexandre Lacazette
Aubameyang remains Arsenal’s top scorer but recognition for his strike partner comes in the form of the Gunners’ Player of the Season award. And £70million interest from Barcelona.

The fact that Arsenal are the only side with two strikers in this list but no other outfield players in our other top tens of the season neatly sums up the Gunners’ campaign. Were it not for their strikers, Arsenal fans would be feeling a lot more glum about life than they already do, even with a trip to Baku on the horizon.

Lacazette is the only Gunner into double figures in both goals and assists in all competitions this season and only one centre-forward in the Premier League – Callum Wilson – can claim to have laid on more goals. Bare numbers, though, don’t do justice to how impressive Lacazette has been outside the box. Arsenal fans have become just as fond of his graft as his goals.

 

2) Sergio Aguero
The Manchester City star reclaimed his role as City’s starting centre-forward from Gabriel Jesus in typically ruthless style, scoring 20-plus Premier League goals for the fifth consecutive season. Only Alan Shearer has broken the 20-goal barrier in more seasons than Aguero.

Perhaps we’ve all become a little complacent to Aguero’s relentless consistency. Next season, barring injury or a spectacular, Sanchez-esque loss of form, City”s greatest ever scorer will move to fourth place in the all-time Premier League goal-getters list.

Aguero has not been as single-minded as years gone by, either. Pep would never have it. Of the Premier League’s top centre-forwards, only Callum Wilson has laid on more assists.

 

1) Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
‘The closest thing to Thierry Henry’ – at least according to Martin Keown – has had a remarkable first full season in the Premier League. Aubameyang settled straight in upon becoming Arsenal’s record signing in January 2018, scoring 10 goals from 19 shots on target. He has continued in similar vein this term…

No other centre-forward on this list has a better shot conversion rate, with Aubameyang being the joint recipient of the Golden Boot. One key difference: Mo Salah and Sadio Mane have far better players working around them.

When Arsenal faltered in the race for the top four, Aubameyang kept going as Arsenal realigned their focus onto the Europa League. Four goals over the two-legged semi-final including a stunning hat-trick at Valencia got Arsenal to Baku.

 

Ian Watson

 

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