The Premier League’s most relied-upon attackers ranked by goals & assists
After an epic Premier League campaign, the Golden Boot was shared between three forwards while the Playmaker of the Season award was clinched by Eden Hazard.
In nail-biting fashion, Manchester City wrapped up one of the most dramatic of all Premier League title races, thwarting Brighton on the final day of the season while simultaneously ending Liverpool dreams.
Despite netting a league-best 95 goals, both the Golden Boot and Playmaker of the Season accolade somehow managed to elude Pep Guardiola’s City, with both mantles pitching up at Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea respectively.
The insatiable African trident of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang shared the goalscoring spoils, while the talismanic performances of Hazard yielded a rank as the league’s assist king.
But as far as individual accolades go, which of these players – if any – had the greatest influence at their clubs of any player in the league? Were they soloists or simply part of a greater goalscoring economy?
Well at Squawka, as always, we’ve looked at the numbers and unearthed the players who finished with the highest percentage of direct Premier League goal contributions for their respective clubs this term.
10. Gylfi Sigurdsson (Everton)
Everton goals: 54
Directly involved: 35.2 %
It took him a season to acclimatise to Merseyside, but the Toffees are now well and truly seeing the best of Iceland’s immaculate playmaker. This season, the 29-year-old has vindicated the hefty price tag it took to prise him away from Swansea City, directly contributing to 19 goals as Marco Silva eventually got to grips with his surroundings in the Goodison Park dugout.
Everton’s rejuvenation (after a tentative start to the campaign) was largely down to Sigurdsson, with the former Spurs man stepping up to help his side finish eighth; of the club’s 54 goals, Sigurdsson had a hand in 24.1 %, showing just how pivotal he has been to Silva’s system.
9. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal)
Arsenal goals: 73
Directly involved: 37.0 %
As it turns out, the Arsenal pace-merchant is more than just a ridiculously lethal goalscorer, he is also something of a forward-thinking playmaker, contributing to an impressive 27 goals this season, with five assists to boot.
Recent reports suggest Zinedine Zidane would be willing to courier £85m to north London to acquire Aubameyang’s services. And, well, if the Gunners fail to beat Chelsea in Baku – missing out on Champions League football in the process – they could lose a man who was involved in 30.1 % of their league goals this term.
8. Ryan Fraser (Bournemouth)
Bournemouth goals: 56
Directly involved: 37.5 %
This was a coming of age season for Fraser, who drew plenty of admiring glances and adulation for his impressive exploits at Dean Court. If Callum Wilson was the source of goals and David Brooks the up-and-coming fulcrum, then Fraser was the catalyst in everything positive about the Cherries this campaign.
His 21 direct contributions saw him place a close second to Hazard in the race for the Playmaker of the Season award (14 assists), and while his seven individual goals made up for only 12.5 % of Bournemouth’s overall haul, the Scot’s general play in the final third far outweighed his prowess in front of goal.
7. Glenn Murray (Brighton)
Brighton goals: 35
Directly involved: 40 %
With the Seagulls scoring just 35 goals, the veteran marksman played a part in nearly half of those. This was a season to forget for the South Coast club, and one that cost Chris Hughton his job, but one positive has been the goalscoring form of Murray.
An old-school centre-forward, the 35-year-old made 14 direct contributions this season, scoring 37.1 % of Brighton’s league goals while also bettering his league tally of 12 last campaign – Brighton’s survival was largely thanks to the man still holding a torch for English football’s throwback forwards.
6. Callum Wilson (Bournemouth)
Bournemouth goals: 56
Directly involved: 41.1 %
Wilson, like Fraser, enjoyed a formidable season despite Eddie Howe’s side finishing in 14th-place. The 27-year-old’s 23 direct contributions had a say in 25 % of Bournemouth’s total goals, while it also caught the attention of a certain Gareth Southgate.
Wilson marked his first England cap with a goal against the United States at Wembley last November, and he could very well play a part in the upcoming Uefa Nations League semi-final against the Netherlands next month.
5. Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham)
Fulham goals: 34
Directly involved: 41.2 %
It will come as no surprise to see the mercurial Serb on this list as he was often a one-man band for most of the season. In a campaign of utter turmoil at Craven Cottage, Mitrovic was a beacon of hope, scoring double digits as Fulham faltered.
His 14 direct contributions made up 32.4 % of the Cottager’s overall goalscoring tally, meaning Scott Parker may very well struggle to retain the services of his star striker this summer.
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4. Raul Jimenez (Wolves)
Wolves goals: 47
Directly involved: 42.6 %
Few strikers have joined a newly promoted club and had the sort of impact Jimenez has had in the West Midlands, with the Mexican forward lighting up the Molineux with his goalscoring expertise, as well as his telepathic link-up play with Diogo Jota.
It was a sensational maiden campaign in the English top flight under Nuno Espirito Santo’s watch, and Wolves marked the occasion by clinching the ‘Everton Cup’, finishing in seventh to earn the moniker: ‘the best of the rest’. No doubt, Jimenez’s goals, which contributed to 27.7 % of Wolves’ total, helped them finish on a high note.
3. Salomon Rondon (Newcastle)
Newcastle goals: 42
Directly involved: 42.9 %
Tyneside will no doubt be watching West Bromwich Albion’s Championship play-off semi-final against Aston Villa on Tuesday night with fervent interest, knowing promotion for the Baggies could jeopardise the club’s chances of signing Rondon on a permanent deal.
His 18 direct contributions have gone a long way to alleviating perennial frustrations at St. James’ Park, with the Venezuelan’s individual tally making up 26.2 % of Newcastle’s total – should Rafa Benitez stay, he will almost certainly want Rondon to do the same.
2. Jamie Vardy (Leicester)
Leicester goals: 51
Directly involved: 43.1 %
There must have been a growing sense of apprehension among the Foxes faithful that once Vardy’s legs began to wane and lose pace, they would struggle in front of goal. And at 32, many would have predicted this downward trajectory would be in full swing by now.
No chance. Vardy has been brilliant this season, almost reminiscent of his 2015/16-self. The former England international has made up 35.3 % of Leicester’s total goals, marking a fine campaign with 22 direct contributions as the Foxes finished a respectable ninth.
1. Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
Chelsea goals: 63
Directly involved: 49.2 %
It’s hard to see where Chelsea – and Maurizio Sarri – would have finished this season without their prized assist. The pint-sized magician has mesmerised and bewildered in equal measure, making 31 direct contributions and getting involved in 25.4 % of the Blues’ total goalscoring output.
His future looks destined for the hallowed Bernabeu turf, which spells serious danger for Chelsea as they look to be heading for a two-window transfer ban.
Take away Hazard’s 49.2 % of direct contributions, and it’s difficult to imagine how Chelsea would have coped this season. What’s even more incredible is that Hazard managed 31 contributions while being shoe-horned into various unfavourable positions throughout the season by Sarri.