The one-in-fivers: The Premier League’s best finishers

Sarah Winterburn
Manchester United's Anthony Martial celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game during the Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester.

Of the 27 players who have scored eight goals or more in the Premier League this season, 11 have a shot conversion rate over 20%. One of those is deemed surplus to requirements at Manchester United and none of them play for Tottenham, Chelsea or Arsenal. For reference, Harry Kane’s conversion rate is 15.38%.


11) Anthony Martial (20.93% conversion rate)
It’s the kind of conversion rate that gets Barcelona interested, it seems. But it is not the kind of conversion rate that impresses Jose Mourinho, who is apparently open to selling the Frenchman, who has somehow scored nine Premier League goals this season despite starting just 16 games. It goes without saying that he is United’s most potent finisher ahead of top scorer Romelu Lukaku (18.75%).


10) Raheem Sterling (21.8%)
Yes, he misses an awful lot of chances, but crucially he takes a whole load more. And more crucially still, his conversion rate was around 11% last season; he has literally got twice as good at shooting. Of course, there are still an awful lot of people who still think he is rubbish.


 9) Gabriel Jesus (22.22%)
He has started just 15 Premier League games but has scored ten Premier League goals, becoming the third City player to move into double figures with his strike against Tottenham at Wembley on Saturday. That all three of those City players feature on this list of 20%-plus men provides one of many, many reasons why they are now title winners.


8) Sergio Aguero (22.34%)
And here’s the real don. Aguero has enjoyed his fifth 20-goal Premier League season despite starting just 22 games this season. Injury has curtailed his campaign but the sweet taste of a third Premier League title will dull the pain. Oh and a first place in a PFA Team of the Year is nice too.


7) Mohamed Salah (23.44%)
A 30-goal Premier League season and yet Opta tell us that nobody has missed as many ‘big chances’ as Salah, whose 20-goal non-haul is only matched by the misfiring Christian Benteke. Just imagine how many goals he could have scored. His teammate Roberto Firmino narrowly missed out on this list with a 19.48% conversion rate. Not bad Bobby, but Mo is the Egyptian king.


6) Wayne Rooney (23.81%)
Take that, all of you who said that Everton giving Wayne Rooney £150,000 would never work. Reached ten goals in December and really should have stopped shooting then; he would have ended the season with a 37% shot conversion rate. Astonishingly, only three of his ten Premier League goals have been penalties; he has missed three more.


5) Glenn Murray (24%)
Get him on the plane. Four penalties have undoubtedly helped but Murray has scored 12 Premier League goals this season from just 50 shots. That’s the same number as Jordan Ayew and fewer than 40 other players, including Marcos Alonso, Jordon Ibe and Philippe Coutinho, who left in January.


4) Luka Milivojevic (26.31%)
The man has taken eight penalties for Crystal Palace this season and scored seven. He is a machine. He is also an incredibly good midfielder who has made more interceptions in the Premier League this season than anybody who is not a centre-half for Huddersfield.


3) Chris Wood (27.27%)
Nine goals from just 33 shots, you say? Five goals from just 14 shots in his last five games, you say? While Burnley’s centre-halves have got all the love this season, Wood has quietly chipped in with a pretty decent goal haul. One more and he will match Sam Vokes’ total from last season; two more and he will equal the total that earned Danny Ings a Liverpool move.


2) Jamie Vardy (28.33%)
The man is a phenomenon. He has scored 17 Premier League goals from just 60 shots. That’s the same number as Paul Pogba and one fewer than Granit Xhaka, neither of whom have scored 17 Premier League goals. We actually do genuinely think he should start for England against better opposition.


1) Javier Hernandez (29.63%)
You didn’t see that coming, did you? He has started just five Premier League games in the last five months but has still hauled himself to eight Premier League goals. From just 27 Premier League shots. You know who else has taken 27 Premier League shots? Hector Bellerin and Lewis Dunk, that’s who. He really is quite the finisher and he played just 15 minutes on Monday night.


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