Premier League best finishers: Haaland gets Golden Boot but Harry Kane wins here

Dave Tickner
Harry Kane celebrates a goal at Leeds

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 are making a mockery of the boffins’ projections.

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10) Dwight McNeil (Everton) – +3.5
Expected goals: 3.5
Actual goals: 7

Finished the season as Everton’s top scorer/tallest dwarf, but deserves some credit after scoring literally zero goals last season for Burnley.


9) Pascal Gross (Brighton) – +3.6
Expected goals:
Actual goals: 

Takes fewer shots than anybody else on this list but he scored with almost one in four attempts.


8) Harvey Barnes (Leicester City) – +4.1
Expected goals: 8.9
Actual goals:

Newcastle, Tottenham and Aston Villa have all been linked to a player who has quietly gone about the business of scoring goals in a really poor Leicester side. His strike on the final day was not ultimately enough.


7) Rodrigo (Leeds) – +4.9
Expected goals: 8.1
Actual goals: 13

Almost 97% of people would forget him in a list of strikers to score 10-plus goals this season. One of the few Leeds players who can be absolved of blame for relegation.


6) Martin Odegaard (Arsenal) – +5.0
Expected goals
: 10.0
Actual goals
: 15

Two goals v Chelsea and one v Newcastle made it five goals in four games either side of a performance v Manchester City that drew lots of criticism. He has still had a remarkable season.


5) Phil Foden (Manchester City) – +5.1
Expected goals:
Actual goals: 11

And 1.9 of that very impressive overall figure is accounted for by Foden’s hat-trick in the Manchester derby. A strike v West Ham made it double figures for the first time, and he added another for good measure v Brighton.


4) Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) – +5.5
Expected goals:
Actual goals:

The final season of Firmino’s Liverpool career is his first double-figure Premier League season since 2018/19. He has been quite some player. Hitting the target with 64% of your shots is incredible.


3) Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal) – +5.7
Expected goals: 9.3
Actual goals: 15

Of the four Arsenal players to breach double figures, Martinelli is clearly the most natural finisher.


2) Erling Haaland (Manchester City) – +7-6
Expected goals:
Actual goals: 36

His stats are ridiculous. Ally his movement and finishing with the astonishing creativity of Manchester City and you get 36 bloody goals. And he actually played fewer than 31 games in total.


1) Harry Kane (Spurs) – +8.5
Expected goals:
Actual goals: 30

His stats are ridiculous. And the last time he scored 30 Premier League goals in 2017/18, they came from an xG of 24.8. So this is a simply astonishing performance from a player who really only has this to show for it.