The Premier League’s best player was also its best finisher this season

Ian Watson
Phil Foden
Phil Foden

Phil Foden has scored 19 goals when he ‘should’ have scored about 10, while Liverpool have some representation on this list.

We’ve had a good laugh at the players who are being most conspicuously owned by their xG stats, so it’s only right and fair that we acknowledge those at the other end of the scale who made a mockery of the boffins’ projections.


1) Phil Foden (Manchester City): +8.7
Expected goals:
Actual goals:

What a season. The best player in the Premier League? Right now, yes. He helped seal the title with two goals from 0.3 xG against West Ham.


2) Callum Hudson-Odoi (Nottingham Forest): +5.3
Expected goals: 2.7
Actual goals: 8

He has been a rare canny signing for Nottingham Forest. His shots-on-target percentage was the highest on this list of very good goalscorers.


3) Jean-Philippe Mateta (Crystal Palace): +5.1
Expected goals:
Actual goals:

“If I get given my chance, I can be one of the best goalscorers in the Premier League,” Mateta said in early April; he scored ten goals in eight games after that to finish the season in scintillating form. But France remain unimpressed.


4) Son Heung-min (Tottenham): +5.0
Expected goals: 12.0
Actual goals: 17

The bare numbers look good – and Tottenham would have been buggered without him in their first post-Kane season – but we still think Son’s time is coming to an end. Especially after that miss v Manchester City.


5) Diogo Jota (Liverpool): +4.7
Expected goals: 5.3
Actual goals: 10

The best finisher at Liverpool but just not available enough to make a true difference for them this season.


6) Michael Olise (Crystal Palace): +4.5
Expected goals: 5.5
Actual goals: 10

If you can marry excellent finishing with being one of the most creative players in the Premier League, your future is very bright indeed. The second-lowest xG of any of the 30 players who reached double figures for Premier League goals this season, with only Jota ahead.


7) Jarrod Bowen (West Ham): +4.4
Expected goals: 11.6
Actual goals: 16

A hat-trick v Brentford from just 0.6 xG sealed his best ever Premier League goalscoring season. Returned from injury to score v Liverpool but took seven shots without a goal v Luton and missed the Manchester City game.


8) Hwang Hee-chan (Wolves): +4.3
Expected goals: 7.7
Actual goals: 12

“Channy knows to arrive at the goal,” says Wolves boss Gary O’Neil. Let’s take a second to enjoy that incredibly English nickname alongside that unexpected goalscoring form.


9) Elijah Adebayo (Luton Town): +4.1
Expected goals: 5.9
Actual goals: 10

What a debut season and how much was he missed by Luton during his injury lay-off. He returned v Everton and scored with his only attempt.


10) Leandro Trossard (Arsenal): +4.1
Expected goals: 7.9
Actual goals: 12

A brilliant clutch player for Arsenal. He scores goals and most of them are important.