Top 12 European goalscorers ranked by xG

Date published: Thursday 1st April 2021 8:16 - Sarah Winterburn

Erling Haaland Chelsea F365

There are 12 footballers with an xG over 15 across Europe’s top five leagues this season. They pretty much mirror the top 12 goalscorers across Europe’s top five leagues this season, barring two exceptions: Mo Salah and Luis Suarez have both scored 17 goals from 14.34 because they are simply marvellous players.

All xG numbers are taken from Understat.

 

12) Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton)
xG: 15.02
Actual goals: 14

An illustration of that next tranche of England strikers not being quite in the top bracket; Calvert-Lewin, Patrick Bamford and Ollie Watkins are all under-delivering on their xG. But it’s a testament to Everton’s attacking improvement and Calvert-Lewin’s nous that his xG per 90 has basically doubled in two seasons.

 

11) Harry Kane (Tottenham)
xG: 15.4
Actual goals: 17

Now he just needs to stop with all that assisting lark and start standing in the box a bit more. Then he might get to the top of this list.

 

10) Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)
xG: 15.44
Actual goals: 17

On course for his best season since 2015/16. At 33 he is not yet done, though Real really do need to start thinking about a succession plan.

 

9) Wout Weghorst (Wolfsburg)
xG: 15.83
Actual goals: 17

Just your average 28-year-old four-capped, sub-£10m Dutch striker having the season of his life. And he cannot even get in the Dutch squad ahead of Luuk de Jong.

 

8) Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund)
xG: 15.83
Actual goals: 21

At this point he would basically be a cheat code for Manchester City. The most valuable 20-year-old in the world will cost somebody £150m this summer.

 

7) Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)
xG: 16
Actual goals: 12

It’s ridiculous that Vardy should actually have scored more goals than Haaland. Despite Leicester creating better chances than ever before, the old man is on course for one of his worst-ever goalscoring seasons in a Foxes shirt.

 

6) Kylian Mbappe (PSG)
xG: 17.33
Actual goals: 20

His fate is to be locked in a career-long battle with Haaland; right now the Norwegian is better as a pure finisher, though Mbappe is clearly the more complete footballer. Bring on the next ten years.

PSG Barcelona

 

5) Romelu Lukaku (Inter Milan)
xG: 17.56
Actual goals: 19

Benefiting from the best service of his career at Inter Milan has put him on course for another 20-goal-plus season. It’s little wonder that he is seen as a viable alternative to Haaland by Manchester City and Chelsea.

 

4) Andre Silva (Eintracht Frankfurt)
xG: 19.18
Actual goals: 21

He only cost them £2.7m. Take that in for a second. Surely an excellent alternative to Haaland and Kane for Manchester United?

 

3) Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
xG: 20.39
Actual goals: 23

On course for his fifth successive Pichichi award, though fans of the ‘slowing down’ narrative will note he has not been this close to his xG since 2015/16.

 

2) Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus)
xG: 21
Actual goals: 23

The fact that their numbers are practically identical is just ludicrous.

 

1) Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)
xG: 26.27
Actual goals: 35

Just casually producing the best season of his life at the age of 32. It’s utterly ridiculous how good these old men still are.

 

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