With the international break coming to a close and the final stretch of the Premier League race in sight, WhoScored.com have eyed up the sharp shooters in England’s top tier this term of those to have scored more than five league goals so far.
5. Diego Costa (Chelsea) – 18.3%
The Spain international may have struggled to replicate his debut season form while Jose Mourinho was at the helm, but looks back to his best with Guus Hiddink back in charge. Six of his 11 goals have come this calendar year and while Chelsea won’t be securing domestic or continental glory this season following their Champions League exit at the hands of PSG, Costa is beginning to play himself back into supporters’ good books.
Requiring just 60 shots to net his 11 goals this season, in the process returning a conversion rate of 18.3%, Costa’s goalscoring form has fans hoping Chelsea can end a thoroughly underwhelming season on a high note. While reports suggest Costa will depart Stamford Bridge this summer, his recent goalscoring exploits suggests he would leave the club on good terms.
4. Georginio Wijnaldum (Newcastle) – 19.6%
Newcastle’s hopes of survival came close to fading completely in the Tyne-Wear derby, but the Magpies were handed a fighting chance courtesy of an Aleksandar Mitrovic equaliser in the 1-1 draw with Sunderland. Indeed, Newcastle will need to stave off relegation if they are to retain the services of another of their big money summer arrivals. Georginio Wijnaldum has quickly become one of the club’s most important players, with the Dutchman netting more goals (9) than any other teammate.
Wijnaldum has capitalised on any opportunities thrown his way, with his nine goals coming from 46 shots, returning a conversion rate of 19.6%. Interestingly, all nine of his goals have come at St. James’ Park and while he has a tendency to go missing away from home, Wijnaldum has been a success during his short time in the North East. Should the Magpies drop into the Championship once more, there won’t be a shortage of suitors for the Netherlands international.
3. Jamie Vardy (Leicester) – 19.6%
One of the Premier League’s fairytale stories this season, it’s well documented that four years ago, Jamie Vardy was plying his trade for lowly Fleetwood Town. Now having scored 19 goals this season – only Harry Kane (21) has more – Vardy has led the Leicester attack excellently as the they continue their quest to secure domestic glory.
Vardy has required 97 shots, the third most in England’s top tier this term, to reach his 19 league goals this season, returning a highly commendable conversion rate of 19.6%. As we near the campaign’s end, Vardy will be vital for the high flying Foxes as they look to secure their first Premier League title, though his outings for club and country suggests he can handle the pressure to fire Leicester to glory.
2. Riyad Mahrez (Leicester) – 20.5%
The Premier League’s top rated player with a WhoScored.com rating of 7.85, Riyad Mahrez comes in at second on this list having required just 78 shots to net his 16 goals this season, returning an impressive conversion rate of 20.5%. The Algerian is expected to land the Premier League Player of the Season award, with his efficiency in front of goal aiding his cause this term.
Leicester City currently top the Premier League table coming into the business end of the campaign, with Mahrez playing a starring role. His quality in front of goal has helped win him countless admirers and if the Foxes do wind up as surprise title winners, the 25-year-old’s goalscoring displays will have played a vital role in their success.
1. Jermain Defoe (Sunderland) – 21.9%
Sunderland face an uphill battle to beat the drop this season, with the Black Cats currently two points from safety. Sam Allardyce will look to his strikers to net the required goals in order to avoid relegation, but it’s fair to say main man Jermain Defoe is abiding to his manager’s demands in front of goal. Defoe is by far and away Sunderland’s top scorer this season with 12 goals; former frontman and Marseille star Steven Fletcher (4 goals) comes up second for Allardyce’s side.
For a team that averages just 11.1 shots per league game – one of the lowest returns in the Premier League – Sunderland required a hitman capable of consistently hitting the back of the net. Yet, despite so few chances being presented to him, Defoe makes full use of the opportunities he gets, netting his 12 goals from just 55 shots, returning a conversion rate of 21.9%. The 33-year-old will no doubt need to continue his good form in front of goal in order to ease Sunderland’s fears of relegation.
All statistics courtesy of WhoScored.com, where you can find live in-game data as well as player and team ratings. You can follow all the scores, statistics, live player and team ratings with their free app.