Football Features

Which Premier League team depends on their top scorer most?

By Harry Edwards

Published: 12:30, 9 November 2023

Goalscorers win you games, which is why clubs spend the big bucks on their strikers.

A world-class goalscorer can sometimes be the difference between winning a title and coming short, or being relegated and staying safe.

Which means their absence is all the more keenly felt if  injured or absent.

We took a look at the 20 Premier League sides and the goals they have scored in the top flight across 2023 as a whole, and who has scored the most for them.

NB: We excluded penalty goals from the data along with promoted teams who spent most of 2023 playing in the Championship


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Aston Villa

  • Non-penalty top scorer: Ollie Watkins, 16 goals (28.57%)
  • Non-penalty team goals: 56
  • Total without top-scorer: 40 (7th)

Ollie Watkins has been fantastic for Aston Villa this season, and he’s so important to their top-four challenge. The English striker has scored 16 of Villa’s 56 non-penalty league goals this year, the only player to reach double figures. And Watkins’ importance goes beyond goals too (he has five league assists this season, for example).

Manchester City’s Erling Haaland has also scored 28.57% of his team’s league goals in 2023. However, Villa take top spot by virtue of the fact their ‘without top-scorer’ goals total is lower.

Man City

  • Non-penalty top scorer: Erling Haaland, 20 goals (28.57%)
  • Non-penalty team goals: 70
  • Total without top-scorer: 50 (3rd)

Man City have scored 70 non-penalty goals in the Premier League this year, with Erling Haaland netting 20 of those. The Norwegian has been formidable in front of goal since joining Man City and was at the heart of their Treble win. His percentage of goals for Man City speaks to his status as an absolute phenom rather than Man City’s over-reliance on him, as shown by the fact they had 50 non-penalty goals not scored by Haaland (third-most in the Premier League).


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Man Utd

  • Non-penalty top scorer: Marcus Rashford, 12 goals (27.91%)
  • Non-penalty team goals: 43
  • Total without top-scorer: 31 (10th)

Manchester United are struggling for goals in the Premier League this season and this is largely due to Marcus Rashford’s form. The Englishman has scored 27.91% of Man Utd’s non-penalty Premier League goals this year and is the only Red Devils player to reach double figures (on 12) this calendar year. In the Premier League this season, Rashford has scored just once.

Everton

  • Non-penalty top scorer: Abdoulaye Doucoure, 8 goals (27.59%)
  • Non-penalty team goals: 29
  • Total without top-scorer: 21 (17th)

It’s an unusual when your top scorer for the year is a central midfielder. But how about when he’s responsible for a quarter of your goals? That’s what Everton are dealing with right now as Abdoulaye Doucoure has scored eight of their 32 Premier League goals in 2023, three more than any other player. Everton’s striker problems have put them in trouble at times, so it was reassuring that they could rely on Doucoure, who scored the goal that kept them in the Premier League.

Nottingham Forest

  • Non-penalty top scorer: Taiwo Awoniyi, 10 goals (27.03%)
  • Non-penalty team goals: 37
  • Total without top-scorer: 27 (12th)

It felt like Taiwo Awoniyi almost single-handedly kept the Reds in the Premier League at the end of last season. The Nigerian scored six goals in the final four games of the season right when things started to look a little ropey (Forest scored eight goals overall in that final run-in). He started the new season well, too, with three goals in three games, though there has been a bit of a drought since.

Wolves

  • Non-penalty top scorer: Hwang Hee-chan, 9 goals (26.47%)
  • Non-penalty team goals: 34
  • Total without top-scorer: 25 (15th)

Of the Premier League ever-presents across the year, only four teams have scored fewer goals than Wolves’ 35. Nine of those have been scored by Hwang Hee-chan, who has quickly emerged as their most important attacking player. It’s a reliance Wolves may be quite happy with, given they went on a long drought without having a striker scoring only last year.

Newcastle

  • Non-penalty top scorer: Callum Wilson, 15 goals (26.32%)
  • Non-penalty team goals: 57
  • Total without top-scorer: 44 (joint-5th)

Newcastle have a pair of good goalscoring strikers in Callum Wilson and Alexander Isak.

Wilson has scored slightly more goals, with 15 of the Magpies’ 57 not from the penalty spot this year. The Englishman has netted five of those this season including a few pretty important goals, against Brentford and Wolves.

After Wilson, Isak has scored 21.05% of Newcastle’s goals, meaning over half are tied up between two players.

Tottenham

  • Non-penalty top scorer: Son Heung-min, 15 goals (26.32%)
  • Non-penalty team goals: 57
  • Total without top-scorer: 42 (joint-5th)

When you take out penalties, Son Heung-min is Tottenham’s top scorer in the Premier League this year, netting one more than Harry Kane. It shows Tottenham have dealt well with the departure of Kane to Bayern Munich, which didn’t seem feasible when he scored 41% of their non-penalty goals (14 of 34) from January 1st to the end of 2022/23.

Overall, Son has been superb in both the latter half of last season and the current campaign, netting eight under Ange Postecoglou so far.

West Ham

  • Non-penalty top scorer: Jarrod Bowen, 11 goals (25.58%)
  • Non-penalty team team goals: 43
  • Total without top-scorer: 32 (9th)

Jarrod Bowen’s on fire. That was the song sung across Europe as West Ham won the Europa Conference League, but his influence wasn’t limited to that competition. The Englishman netted four in the Premier League in the second half of last season but has almost doubled that at the start of the 2023/24 campaign. Bowen is already on seven goals this season, scoring in seven of West Ham’s 11 league matches.

Bournemouth

  • Non-penalty top scorer: Dominic Solanke, 7 goals (25%)
  • Non-penalty team goals: 28
  • Total without top-scorer: 21 (16th)

Another man responsible for a quarter of his team’s goals, Dominic Solanke has scored seven of Bournemouth’s 28 Premier League strikes this year (they haven’t had a penalty). Four of those goals have come this season, and if you were looking at that alone, Solanke would jump up to just under 50% of Bournemouth’s total tally — the Cherries have only netted nine in the league in 2023/24.

Ultimately, Bournemouth have scored the fewest Premier League goals of any ever-present team in 2023 (28).

Liverpool

  • Non-penalty top scorer: Mohamed Salah, 15 goals (24.59%)
  • Non-penalty team goals: 61
  • Total without top-scorer: 46 (4th)

Much like Man City, Liverpool are blessed with a great goalscorer in Mohamed Salah, who has scored just under a quarter of their Premier League goals this year. That’s 15 out of 60 for those interested in the exact breakdown without penalties, with the Egyptian coming up clutch on so many occasions. But, again, there’s still 46 goals not scored by Salah, the fourth-best total of the seventeen teams in this article.

Brentford

  • Non-penalty top scorer: Bryan Mbeumo, 10 goals (22.22%)
  • Non-penalty team goals: 45
  • Total without top-scorer: 35 (8th)

Any worries about Brentford struggling without Ivan Toney were quickly eased by Bryan Mbeumo. The Cameroonian was already scoring pretty consistently alongside Toney, but he has really stepped up across the year by netting 10 in the league without penalties. It means Mbeumo has scored just under a quarter of Brentford’s league goals in 2023.

Crystal Palace

  • Non-penalty top scorer: Eberechi Eze, 7 goals (21.88%)
  • Non-penalty team goals: 32
  • Total without top-scorer: 25 (14th)

Wilfried Zaha is gone, but Crystal Palace were kind of moving away from relying on the Ivorian, instead building the team around Eberechi Eze. And it’s no surprise to see Eze as the club’s top league scorer in 2023. Scoring seven non-penalty goals before his injury, Eze only netted once this season, but you can see just how important he is to Palace. In the three games Eze missed, Palace scored just one goal.

Chelsea

  • Non-penalty top scorer: Raheem Sterling, 6 goals (18.75%)
  • Non-penalty team goals: 32
  • Total without top-scorer: 26 (13th)

Chelsea have been pretty dreadful in front of goal this season, and their second top scorer in the league this year is Nicolas Jackson on five goals — three coming against Tottenham Hotspur on Monday. But he’s still one behind the top scorer of the year, Raheem Sterling, who has scored a lofty six goals.

Fulham

  • Non-penalty top scorer: Carlos Vinicius, 6 goals (17.65%)
  • Non-penalty team goals: 34
  • Total without top-scorer: 28 (11th)

There were always worries about how Fulham would manage without Aleksandar Mitrovic, and Carlos Vinicius is their top scorer in 2023 with an underwhelming six goals. Fulham as a whole have struggled too, with just 34 non-penalty league goals this year, among the lowest of the ever-present Premier League sides.

Brighton

  • Non-penalty top scorer: Evan Ferguson, 10 goals (15.63%)
  • Non-penalty team goals: 64
  • Total without top-scorer: 54 (2nd)

Brighton are another one of those teams who are thriving without relying on one goalscorer. Evan Ferguson is the Seagull’s top scorer in 2023 with 10 goals in the Premier League, but Brighton have scored 64 in total excluding penalties. After Ferguson, there’s Solly March on nine goals, Kaoru Mitoma on eight, Danny Welbeck with seven and Pascal Groß on six. There are goals coming from all over the pitch.

Arsenal

  • Non-penalty top scorer: Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard & Gabriel Martinelli, 9 goals (14.29%)
  • Non-penalty team goals: 63
  • Total without top-scorer: 54 (1st)

One of the best things about Arsenal’s squad over the past year or so has been the spread of goals. No one really does it better in the Premier League right now.

Discounting penalties in 2023, the Gunners have three players tied to be their top scorer. Bukayo Saka is joined by Martin Odegaard and Gabriel Martinelli on nine non-penalty goals. That means if you take out one of them, Arsenal still have 54 non-penalty goals in the Premier League this year, more than any other team.

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