Football Features

Ranking every Premier League club from most to least reliant on their top goalscorer

By Harry Edwards

Published: 15:30, 2 December 2019

Manchester City and Chelsea both failed to win in the Premier League this weekend, hurt by the absence of their top scorers.

Pep Guardiola’s side were without nine-goal Sergio Aguero as they drew 2-2 with Newcastle United at St James’ Park, with the Argentinian suffering a thigh injury.

Meanwhile, Chelsea were beaten 1-0 at home to West Ham United with Tammy Abraham having to watch on from the sidelines with a hip injury, having scored 10 Premier League goals so far.

Abraham and Aguero are second and third respectively behind Jamie Vardy in the race for the Golden Boot, with the Leicester City striker bagging 12 goals so far this season.

But just how reliant are their respective teams on the goals of Vardy, Abraham and Aguero? And which player has contributed to the highest percentage of their team’s Premier League goals this season?

We took a look at the numbers, ranking clubs from ‘over-reliant’ to least reliant.

However, it’s worth keeping in mind that teams who are struggling for goals may not be viewed as reliant simply because they have barely put the ball in the back of the net this season.

20. Arsenal (Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang)

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Goals: 10

Team goals: 20

Percentage of team goals: 50%

After Arsenal’s draw with Norwich City on Sunday, questions were asked about where the Gunners would be without Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Bernd Leno. If they had no Aubameyang, Arsenal would be struggling for goals, with the Gabonese forward scoring half of their Premier League strikes this season.

19. Southampton (Danny Ings)

Goals: 7

Team goals: 15

Percentage of team goals: 46.67%

Southampton haven’t been great this season but one player to have done his bit is Danny Ings. The Englishman scored his seventh league goal of the campaign against Watford and saw his strike result in a win for the first team this season. If you were to take him away from Saints, they’d be struggling even more than they already are, with James Ward-Prowse their next-highest scorer with four.

18. Norwich City (Teemu Pukki)

Goals: 7

Team goals: 15

Percentage of team goals: 46.67%

Teemu Pukki found himself back on a Premier League scoresheet this weekend, taking his total tally to seven for the season. Nobody has denied his importance to Norwich given their lack of form when he hadn’t been scoring, and it’s not surprising to how big his contribution is to their goals. Todd Cantwell (four) is the only other Norwich player to score more than once this season.

17. Leicester City (Jamie Vardy)

Goals: 13

Team goals: 33

Percentage of team goals: 39.39%

Jamie Vardy continued his goalscoring run, netting in Leicester’s 2-1 win over Everton on Sunday. It look the Englishman to 13 for the season, top of the Premier League’s goalscoring charts and some way ahead of his Leicester teammates. After Vardy, Ayoze Perez and James Maddison are Leicester’s next highest scorers, on four each. Take Vardy out and who knows where this Leicester team would be.

16. Chelsea (Tammy Abraham)

Goals: 10

Team goals: 28

Percentage of team goals: 35.71%

Chelsea showed just how much they need Abraham as they drew a blank against West Ham United this weekend. The Englishman has scored 10 goals this season and sits five ahead of Christian Pulisic for Chelsea’s Premier League goalscorers. Scoring 35.71% of Chelsea’s Premier League goals, Abraham is vital to Frank Lampard’s side and they will hope he can recover from injury soon.

15. Manchester United (Marcus Rashford)

Goals: 7

Team goals: 21

Percentage of team goals: 33.33%

Manchester United haven’t been great in front of goal this season, but Marcus Rashford has been the one player to shine with seven so far. Rashford thought he had added to that tally against Aston Villa on Sunday but saw his strike eventually ruled as a Tom Heaton own goal. Nevertheless he has scored a third of Man Utd’s Premier League goals so far, with three players on three goals the next highest scorers.

14. Bournemouth (Harry Wilson)

Goals: 6

Team goals: 18

Percentage of team goals: 33.33%

Scoring two goals at the weekend, Harry Wilson overtook Callum Wilson as Bournemouth’s top scorer, bagging his fifth and sixth strikes of the season. The Liverpool loanee moved one ahead of Callum Wilson, so if something were to happen to the Welshman Bournemouth might be able to cope – but his contribution cannot be denied

13. Wolverhampton Wanderers (Raul Jimenez)

Goals: 6

Team goals: 19

Percentage of team goals: 31.58%

It may come as no surprise to see Raul Jimenez leading the way for Wolves this season, scoring just under a third of their Premier League goals. Wolves may have another eight players who have scored goals this season but only Matt Doherty, Ruben Neves and Adama Traore have managed more than one – aside from Jimenez.

12. Crystal Palace (Jordan Ayew)

Goals: 4

Team goals: 13

Percentage of team goals: 30.77%

Crystal Palace haven’t been the best in attack this season, scoring just 13 goals in 14 Premier League games. Jordan Ayew has chipped in with four, more than any other player. Three other players follow with two goals, but were Ayew to suddenly be out of action, the Eagles look likely to struggle. However, Wilfried Zaha is now finding some form too.

11. Burnley (Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes)

Goals: 6 (each)

Team goals: 20

Percentage of team goals: 30% (each)

As a pair, Burnley are highly reliant on Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes. The duo have combined to score 12 of Burnley’s 20 Premier League goals so far, making up 60%. However, were just one to be out of action, the Clarets would be slightly less affected, with a contribution of 30% each.

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10. Sheffield United (Lys Mousset)

Goals: 5

Team goals: 17

Percentage of team goals: 29.41%

Sheffield United have been one of the stories of the season, and Lys Mousset has certainly played his part in that. The forward scored his fifth Premier League goal in the Blades’ 1-1 draw with Wolves, contributing to 29.41% of their strikes. But there are three other players to have scored at least two goals, softening the blow slightly when considering Sheff Utd have managed 17 goals this season.

9. Tottenham Hotspur (Harry Kane)

Goals: 7

Team goals: 24

Percentage of team goals: 29.17%

Tottenham have had a strange season, faltering under Mauricio Pochettino before rising up the table with Jose Mourinho at the helm. Scoring 24 goals in the Premier League so far, Harry Kane has contributed to 29.17% of them, more than any other player. But take Kane out and Spurs might be able to manage, with Son Heung-min and Dele Alli both close behind on four each.

8. Everton (Richarlison)

Goals: 4

Team goals: 14

Percentage of team goals: 28.57%

Everton have seriously underwhelmed this season and are one of the lowest scorers in the Premier League. They have been somewhat reliant on the goals of Richarlison who leads the way with four. But taking his contribution of 23.08% out, the Toffees might still be able to manage with Dominic Calvert-Lewin close behind on three goals.

7. Liverpool (Sadio Mane)

Goals: 8

Team goals: 32

Percentage of team goals: 25%

Liverpool have been excellent this season with stars performing across the squad. Although Sadio Mane leads the way in terms of Premier League goals, the Reds would manage just fine without him, with Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino scoring six and four goals respectively. Including the attacking trio, Liverpool have had an impressive 13 different goalscorers this season.

6. Brighton & Hove Albion (Neal Maupay)

Goals: 4

Team goals: 16

Percentage of team goals: 25%

Brighton’s attacking football might have been expected to bring more goals to Sussex, but Neal Maupay is currently the Seagulls’ top scorer with four. This counts for a quarter of Brighton’s total goals, with Lewis Dunk, Leandro Trossard and Aaron Connolly all managing two each.

5. West Ham United (Sebastien Haller)

Goals: 4

Team goals: 17

Percentage of team goals: 23.53%

West Ham ended their long winless run with a victory over Chelsea at the weekend, courtesy of Aaron Cresswell. It further proved the can manage without top scorer Sebastien Haller, who hasn’t added to his four goals since the start of October. Behind Haller, West Ham have two players on three goals, including Cresswell, while Robert Snodgrass has managed two.

4. Newcastle United (Jonjo Shelvey)

Goals: 3

Team goals: 13

Percentage of team goals: 23.08%

Jonjo Shelvey’s late equaliser against Man City saw him move clear as Newcastle’s top scorer this season. The English midfielder now has three for the season, 23.08% of the Magpies’ total goals. There are only two other Newcastle players to have scored more than once, with Steve Bruce’s side having nine goalscorers altogether.

3. Manchester City (Sergio Aguero)

Goals: 9

Team goals: 39

Percentage of team goals: 23.08%

Although Man City definitely missed Aguero against Newcastle, Guardiola’s side aren’t too reliant on their Argentine striker – though his goals certainly help. Aguero is responsible for scoring 23.08% of Man City’s Premier League goals this season, with Guardiola’s side boasting two other players with at least five.

2. Watford (Gerard Deulofeu and Andre Gray)

Goals: 2 (each)

Team goals: 9

Percentage of team goals: 22.22% (each)

The lowest scorers in the Premier League, Watford’s nine goals have been spread across seven players so far this season. Gerard Deulofeu and Andre Gray after the only two to have managed more than one, contributing to 22.22% of Watford’s goals each. The Hornets may not be reliant on a key marksman, but finding the net at all is the real problem.

1. Aston Villa (Wesley)

Goals: 4 (each)

Team goals: 21

Percentage of team goals: 19.05%

Dean Smith’s side lead the way as the team least reliant on one player, with nine different stars scoring so far this season. Wesley sits highest with four, but Jack Grealish, John McGinn and Anwar El Ghazi have all managed three with a further three players on two. Certainly not a one-man team.