Football Features

Revealed: Where Raheem Sterling ranks among Europe’s most effective forwards

By Harry Edwards

Published: 18:24, 23 March 2019

Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling is having yet another wonderful season under the guidance of Pep Guardiola and is one of the favourites to be named the Premier League’s Player of the Season.

Over the past few years, the 24-year-old has become one of the most important players for City as they look to impose a period of domination on the Premier League.

And he has also carried that form over to England duty, scoring a hat-trick in their recent 5-0 win over Czech Republic at Wembley.

Part of the reason for Sterling’s importance is his ability to both assist goals and finish them himself, making him just as dangerous inside the box as he is around it.

But how do Sterling’s numbers compare to other players in Europe’s top five leagues? Read on for the top most effective forwards, in terms of goals and assists, across Europe’s five major leagues – the Premier League, La Liga, the Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1.

Note: In cases where players share the same total, the forward to have played fewer minutes is ranked higher.

10. Eden Hazard (24)

Club: Chelsea

Goals: 13

Assists: 11

Minutes played: 2,346

Eden Hazard is far above any Chelsea teammate in terms of the number of goals he has been involved in.

The Belgian has played a part in 48% of Chelsea’s Premier League goals this season, an achievement encompassing a division-high 11 assists. Across Europe’s top five leagues, only two players have set up more goals.

9. Luis Suarez (24)

Club: Barcelona

Goals: 18

Assists: 6

Minutes played: 2,287

Some say Luis Suarez is slowing down due to age, but the Uruguayan’s numbers beg to differ.

The 32-year-old has played his part in Barcelona’s dominance of La Liga this season, scoring 18 goals while recording a further six assists. He may be overshadowed by some of his teammates, but Suarez has done his part.

8. Raheem Sterling (24)

Club: Manchester City

Goals: 15

Assists: 9

Minutes played: 2,146

In at eighth on the list is Sterling, who has been directly involved in an impressive 24 goals for Manchester City in the Premier League this season.

Only two players have recorded more assists in the league that Sterling, while his 15-goal total is just three off his personal best in a single season; this, he achieved en route to the title last year.

7. Sergio Aguero (24)

Club: Manchester City

Goals: 18

Assists: 6

Minutes played: 1,950

As the Premier League’s top-scorer, Sergio Aguero was certain to figure in this article. His 18 goals gives the Manchester City forward a good start, and the Argentinian has added a further six assists in fewer than 2,000 minutes. He joins Sterling, Salah and Hazard in being involved in 24 Premier League goals overall this season.

6. Nicolas Pepe (25)

Club: Lille

Goals: 17

Assists: 8

Minutes played: 2,591

Moving out of the Premier League, one of Ligue 1’s most sought-after young players, Nicolas Pepe has been running the show for Lille.

Only one player has scored more goals in Ligue 1 than the Ivorian’s 17, while only two have recorded more assists.

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5. Robert Lewandowski (25)

Club: Bayern Munich

Goals: 18

Assists: 7

Minutes played: 2,238

The Bundesliga’s sole representation in the top 10, Robert Lewandowski once again leads the way in the scoring charts as Bayern Munich chase another title.

Lewandowski has also added seven goals to his 18 assists to chalk up a goal involvement of 25, rather impressive considering his side’s start to the season.

4. Cristiano Ronaldo (27)

Club: Juventus

Goals: 19

Assists: 8

Minutes played: 2,326

Cristiano Ronaldo is no stranger to top 10s, and the Portuguese forward looks to be ending his first season with Juventus strongly.

The 34-year-old is Serie A’s second-highest scorer and has also added a further eight assists throughout the season – again the second-highest in the division. This from a player often accused of being selfish by his critics.

3. Fabio Quagliarella (28)

Club: Sampdoria

Goals: 21

Assists: 7

Minutes played: 2,239

Despite turning 36 in January, Fabio Quagliarella is still going strong in Serie A.

Now at Sampdoria, the Italian leads the way at the top of Serie A with 21 goals and doesn’t look like relinquishing his hold on the Capocannoniere. Quagliarella, the oldest player on this list, has also added seven assists.

2. Kylian Mbappe (32)

Club: Paris Saint-Germain

Goals: 26

Assists: 6

Minutes played: 1,862

What a remarkable player Kylian Mbappe is turning out to be. The 20-year-old has gone from strength to strength with every passing year and has scored a ridiculous 26 goals in Ligue 1 so far.

The French World Cup winner has also recorded six assists, making him second for overall direct goal involvements in Europe’s top five leagues. This is even more impressive when you consider that Mbappe has played the fewest minutes of anyone on this list.

1. Lionel Messi (41)

Club: Barcelona

Goals: 29

Assists: 12

Minutes played: 2,157

There was only going to be one name at the top of the list. Lionel Messi has been tearing La Liga apart once again this season, scoring 29 goals and recording 12 assists.

This also puts him at the top of the charts for each stat in Europe’s top five leagues, combining for a total goal involvement of 41.