Now we know what you’re thinking. “Calendar year” is not a measure of anything in football. The clue that “calendar year” is not the way things are measured in football is the fact you have to put the word “calendar” in to make it clear you’re not talking about a proper year, which, as we all know, runs from July 1 until June 30.
But do you know what is a thing? Content. Content is definitely a thing. In many ways, the only thing.
And so we make no apologies for presenting you with this, the top 10 calendar year Premier League goalscorers for 2022. Mainly because Erling Haaland is second on the list, which is objectively funny. Harry Kane and Ivan Toney have nothing to be ashamed about, but there are a great many other strikers in the Premier League who should be taking a long, hard look at themselves. Be warned, there are some underwhelming numbers ahead…
10. Bukayo Saka (Arsenal) – 12 goals
Scored Arsenal’s first goal of the year, in a fine if ultimately futile performance when losing 2-1 to Manchester City, and then the opening goal in the final game of the year at Brighton to help send the Gunners seven points clear at the top of the table. Throw in the World Cup and it’s been a decent 12 months for the lad, hasn’t it?
8=. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) – 13 goals
And about a million assists for Haaland to go with all those lovely, lovely goals.
8=. Rodrigo (Leeds) – 13 goals
Has scored most of his 2022 goals in batches. Three goals in four games in March, followed by six games without a goal. Then four in three to start this season, then six games without a goal, then five in four before the World Cup break. Two games without a goal since…
7. James Maddison (Leicester) – 14 goals
And yet Gareth Southgate wouldn’t pick him at the World Cup, just because he was injured. Agenda, that.
5=. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) – 15 goals
Salah had a distinctly underwhelming 2022 in terms of Premier League goals, yet only four players managed more goals than Liverpool’s three-time Golden Boot winner.
5=. Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace) – 15 goals
Still the main man for Palace’s increasingly fun yet inconsistent side after all these years and still delivering solid numbers to go with the flair.
4. Son Heung-min (Tottenham) – 18 goals
Somehow still fourth on this list despite only scoring in one Premier League game this season. Testament to a few things. One, just how well he finished 2021/22 with 15 goals after the turn of the year to ultimately snag a share of the Golden Boot. Two, how underwhelming a year 2022 has been in general for goalscorers. And three, making sure that if you do only score in one game then make sure you get a hat-trick. That’s just common sense.
3. Ivan Toney (Brentford) – 20 goals
There are plenty of underwhelming numbers on this list, but Toney’s 20 goals for Brentford is very much not one of them. A stellar year of goalscoring that was given a kickstart by Christian Eriksen but has continued unabated without him with 12 goals in 16 games this season.
2. Erling Haaland (Manchester City) – 21 goals
It’s just utterly absurd, isn’t it? Only one player ahead and only one other even within three of a man who gave the rest of the field a seven-month headstart. Quite how “This City team” + “Freakish 50-goal striker” appears to equal “Losing the league to actual Arsenal” is a puzzle that will stump boffins for centuries to come.
1. Harry Kane (Tottenham) – 26 goals
Not even the absurd Haaland could reel in the six-goal deficit he carried into the New Year’s Eve fixture against Everton with Kane not in action until New Year’s Day for Spurs. Does give Kane a chance to get a headstart on the 2023 standings, though, and it’s no slight on the Tottenham talisman to say he’ll probably need it. Another quietly excellent goalscoring year for Kane, though, who has normalised this kind of thing and remains just about on track to break Alan Shearer’s record just in time for Haaland to break Kane’s.
Credit too for the neat split: 13 goals in the 2022 bit of 2021/22, and 13 more in the 2022 bit of 2022/23. You don’t get that with your showier, more Norwegian strikers.