Currently, Manchester United’s Dimitar Berbatov heads the Premier Leagues scoring tables with an impressive 19 goals with Carlos Tevez typically close behind on 18. But are they the best in the Premier League?
With many big names (with big price tags) to consider the flurry of midfielders filling the stats is not only surprising, but interesting in the pursuit of naming the leagues best striker.
The January transfer window saw Andy Carroll in a move worth around £40 million, rating him £22 million more than the prolific Darren Bent who is continuing to apply his trade at Aston Villa. Then there is Fernando Torres, who although currently out of form, should always be mentioned when talking about the best.
Still, money should be irrelevant when coming to such a decision. The player’s history and contribution stand out from other attributes along with the clubs they play for.
The best example of this is Darren Bent. As a player who has always got goals when given the chance, his club history allows him to be separated from the rest. Playing for the likes of Charlton and Sunderland, the service provided to the striker hasn’t always been the best but he has always managed to get goals. Before moving to Villa, Bent had scored more than half of Sunderland’s goals in the 2010-2011 season.
No matter where you look, the majority of strikers with the best goal scoring records have quality players assisting them. However when all is said and done, they still have to put the ball in between the posts.
Whilst Bent’s goal scoring record stands alone in terms of teams he has played for, the all round contribution of other players and their goal tallies tends to overshadow this factor. His international appearances also speak volumes of the fact he may not quite be ready to be classed as the best striker in the league.
Whilst Robin Van Persie and Berbatov have both showed they have what it takes, injury in the Dutchman’s case and lack of consistency for the Bulgarian has led to their records being damaged and trailing those in the running.
Covering all the bases leaves four strikers left to fight it out for years to come. These being Drogba, Tevez, Rooney and Torres. After sifting through stat after stat all four are very close, and the fact each striker comes with completely different traits make it almost impossible to separate them. So who would you have up front?
Drogba has 93 goals in 188 Premier League appearances but has also chipped in with over 50 assists in the 6 years he has been at Chelsea.
Tevez has 124 in 269 senior appearances but what jumps out when looking through his records are the 41 goals he has scored in 58 games for Manchester City in the Premiership. This stat is not replicated, or even challenged by the others.
Manchester United’s versatile Rooney has also accomplished 110 goals in 272 apps in the league. A total which, on the face of it seems less abundant than the others but he is the only one who has not played as an out and out striker for his whole career to date.
Torres holds the record for most goals scored in the quickest amount of time and averages more than a goal every other game. Scoring 65 in 102 appearances for former club Liverpool, his current form can not deny his class.
In percentages, one striker is head and shoulders above the rest, Torres goals to appearance ratio is a staggering 64% whilst the others are around 40%.
However, these figures do not take into account appearances; Torres has made over 200 less appearances than Drogba so only time will demonstrate whether or not he can keep his statistics up.
As previously mentioned each striker brings a unique attacking trait to their play. Tevez provides ever-lasting energy, skill and a natural goal scoring finesse. Rooney is perhaps the most all round footballer of the four but not a striker, his passing and ability to create for himself and others is unquestionable but his natural eye for goal is not quite as devastating.
This leaves the powerhouse Drogba and the all round Torres. Both have demonstrated why they are among the best strikers in the world, let alone the Premiership.
Drogba, on his day is unplayable and has the ability to score goals from anywhere on the pitch, his free kick’s and general striking of the ball trumps the others yet as a natural finisher he is erratic.
El Nino (Torres) provides the whole package. For pace, finishing, presence and skill he is the most complete striker of the four. However as we all know, this is when he is on form, and recently he has shown that when he isn’t at the top of his game, he sinks right down to the bottom of the strikers pile.
To finish with the most common of football phrases ‘At the end of the day’ all strikers bring with them a talent which any team would love to have. Their goal scoring records are impeccable and they all have multiple strengths to cause the best defenders all sorts of problems. But if you could only have one, who would it be?