Who is the Premier League's best striker?
By Peter Smith
Last Updated: 05/01/16 5:01pm
Who has been the best striker in the Premier League this season?
It's a question debated by football fans across the land. Leicester City's break-out star Jamie Vardy could point to his goal haul. But so, too, could Everton's Romelu Lukaku, who is also top of the goal-scoring charts with 15.
How about Watford's Odion Ighalo, the top scorer in England in 2015, who has made the step up from the Championship look easy with 14 goals this season?
Arsenal fans would no doubt trumpet the qualities of Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud, while their north London rivals would insist Harry Kane's relentless goal-scoring for Tottenham sets him apart.
Then there's Diego Costa at Chelsea, Anthony Martial and Wayne Rooney at Manchester United and a certain Sergio Aguero at Manchester City. Not to mention Liverpool's main man Daniel Sturridge, despite his injury struggles.
It seems the only fair way to rank the league's strikers is to look purely at the stats. Here they are…
Premier League goals
|Jamie Vardy||Leicester City||15|
Vardy and Lukaku lead the way when it comes to the scoring charts with 15 apiece. They're closely followed by Ighalo (14), with Kane (11) and Giroud (10) not far behind.
Minutes per Goal
Minutes played per Premier League goal (min 2 goals)
|Kelechi Iheanacho||Man City||83.0|
|Sergio Aguero||Man City||111.4|
|Jamie Vardy||Leicester City||116.9|
Kelechi Iheanacho has made his brief Premier League appearances for Manchester City count this season, scoring twice despite playing just 166 minutes. His team-mate Aguero has scored consistently throughout the campaign.
Big Chances scored/missed
Percentage of big chances scored (min 3 big chances)
|Player||Team||Big chances scored|
|Bojan Krkic||Stoke City||71%|
|Anthony Martial||Manchester United||71%|
Troy Deeney may have scored just six goals this season but when it comes to regularly tucking away clear chances, the Watford striker has been the best in the Premier League in 2015/16. Opta defines a clear chance as 'a situation where a player should reasonably be expected to score usually in a one-on-one scenario or from very close range'.
Clear chances - A definition
Opta defines a clear chance as a situation where a player should reasonably be expected to score, usually in a one-on-one scenario or from very close range.
Deeney has had five such openings and found the net on four occasions - a conversion rate of 80 per cent. Stoke City's Bojan and Manchester United's Martial (71 per cent) have also been effective. However, Bournemouth's Callum Wilson had scored two and missed none of his big chances before his injury.
Shot conversion rate
Shot conversion rate in Premier League (min 3 goals)
|Player||Team||Shot conversion rate|
|Saido Berahino||West Brom||30.00%|
|Jamie Vardy||Leicester City||26.79%|
|Jordan Ayew||Aston Villa||26.32%|
Who is the most clinical striker in the Premier League? We looked at forwards who have scored three or more times this season and found Wilson has the best shot conversion rate. The Cherries striker found the net with 62.5 per cent of his shots before being sidelined in September. West Brom's Saido Berahino has seen his game time limited but has found the net with three of his 10 shots to date.
Shooting accuracy in Premier League (min 15 shots)
|Mame Biram Diouf||Stoke City||86.67%|
|Jordan Ayew||Aston Villa||68.42%|
|Andy Carroll||West Ham||61.11%|
Hitting the target is Mame Biram Diouf's forte - the Stoke forward has worked the 'keeper with 86.67 per cent of his shots this season. Of players to have had at least 15 shots, that puts him top of the pile, followed by Sunderland's Jermain Defoe (70.83 per cent) and Aston Villa's Jordan Ayew (68.42 per cent).
Assists in Premier League
A striker's role isn't purely about scoring goals, though. They also have to provide openings for team-mates - and when it comes to assists Lukaku and Deeney lead the way, teeing up five goals for others.
Big chances created
Big chances created in Premier League
|Player||Team||Big chances created|
|Anthony Martial||Manchester United||5|
|Jamie Vardy||Leicester City||4|
As well as leading the assists rankings, Deeney has also created more clear-cut chances for his team-mates than any other forward in the Premier League. On eight occasions, he has presented a colleague with a big chance. Martial and Arsenal's Sanchez have also performed well in this department, creating five major opportunities.
Penalties won in Premier League
|Jamie Vardy||Leicester City||5|
Vardy has drawn the most fouls in the penalty area among Premier League forwards this season. The England international has been felled in the box a remarkable five times already. No other forward has won a penalty more than twice.
Who do you think the best striker in the Premier League is? Let us know by tweeting @SkyFootball