Which attackers are out Haalanding Haaland this season?

Whichever way you slice it, Erling Haaland is enjoying an epic first season in English football having already scored 42 goals in his first 36 games for Manchester City since joining last June.

In the Premier League alone, the Norwegian powerhouse has scored 28 goals in 26 games – a considerable tally which has already eclipsed those mustered by each of the league’s five previous Golden Boot winners.

Haaland, 22, is firmly on track to equal or better the Premier League record for most goals scored in a single season. That record has stood for nearly 30 years since Andy Cole (Newcastle United, 1993-94) and Alan Shearer (Blackburn Rovers, 1994-95) both scored 34 goals in successive 42-game campaigns.

However, while Haaland leads the European Golden Shoe race as the top scorer in Europe’s elite divisions, he isn’t quite in the lead when it comes to impressive goalscoring efforts this season.

His rate of 1.07 league goals per game this season is undeniably impressive, but it is not the most prolific 2022-23 campaign in Europe’s top leagues or in English football.

So who is Erling Haaland passed by Haaland? Here we take a look at the league goal tally and goals-per-game rates of the sharpest strikers (with a minimum of 10 goals scored this season) to prove that City’s star is only human.

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The best European divisions

Having scoured the goalscoring charts across all of Europe’s top leagues, here are this season’s top 10 forwards, ranked by their goals-per-game averages.

Haaland is firmly at the top when it comes to his goalscoring tally, but the Manchester City colossus is technically overtaken by a 33-year-old journeyman who previously scored just 11 goals in 107 Premier League appearances earlier in his career.

10. Jonathan David, Lille (Ligue 1): 0.70 goals per game, 19 goals in 27 games

Canadian international David tops the Ligue 1 scoring charts this season. The 23-year-old is level with a certain PSG striker having played a handful more games.

9. Wissam Ben Yedder, Monaco (Ligue 1, France): 0.71, 17 in 24

Monaco are fourth in Ligue 1 and 12 points off the pace of the title, but in Ben Yedder they have at least one striker who has proven himself when it comes to scoring goals in Ligue 1. The veteran striker n only need eight more goals this season to break into the division’s top 20 all-time goalscorers.

8. Harry Kane, Tottenham Hotspur (Premier League, England): 0.75, 21 for 28

A three-time Premier League Golden Boot winner, Kane has faced a whole new foe in the goalscoring stakes this season and is trailing Haaland from afar. The ever-reliable Spurs striker performs well but his Norwegian rival will suffer a few knockdowns.

7. Kylian Mbappé, Paris Saint-Germain (Ligue 1, France): 0.79, 19 in 24

Mbappe still has some way to go if he wants to break his Ligue 1 career record (33 goals in 29 games, 2018-19). Either way, France’s new captain is in fine form and commands one of the best goals. ratios per game of any striker in elite European league football this season.

6. Victor Osimhen, Napoli (Serie A, Italy): 0.91, 21 for 23

Leading the rest of the field by a margin of 19 points, Napoli appear to have every chance of winning their first Shield since 1989-90. Their commanding lead is largely the result of a flurry of goals scored by breakout star Osimhen, who is a far cry from runners-up Lautaro Martinez (14 goals) in the Italian league title race. Capocannoniere this season.

5. Amahl Pellegrino, Bodo/Glimt (Eliteserien, Norway): 0.93, 25 out of 27

In Haaland’s home country, Bodo/Glimt finished second in the 2022 Eliteserien despite scoring at least 15 more goals than any other team in the Norwegian top flight, including eventual title winners Molde. The regular campaign ended in November, but Pellegrino is still eligible for the 2022-23 European Golden Boot.

4. Declan McManus, The New Saints (Cymru Premier, Wales): 0.95, 19 out of 20

With McManus in the lead, the New Saints have a 17-point lead in the Welsh top flight and have scored 89 goals in total, 43 more than Bala Town, the league’s second-highest scoring team with 46 goals.

3. Erling Haaland, Manchester City (Premier League, England): 1.07, 28 in 26

When it comes to the number of top-flight goals scored, not a single soul in Europe can match Haaland’s exploits at the moment, with the Man City striker having fought his way to the top of the tree thanks to his fortunate talent as an average. more than one goal per game. Besides that, he has also scored 10 goals in just six Champions League appearances this season.

2. Rayan Philippe, Swift Hesperange (National Division, Luxembourg): 1.10, 21 in 19

Apparently a left winger by trade, Philippe enjoyed the best season of his career in front of goal, with Hesperange having scored almost a third of his club’s 66 league goals while top of the table.

1. Enner Valencia, Fenerbahçe (Super Lig, Turkey): 1.19, 25 in 21

Haaland may be Europe’s top scorer, but his strike rate pales in comparison to veteran Ecuadorian Valencia, who leads the way with a good margin when it comes to ruthless efficiency inside the penalty area. Fenerbahce are the Turkish Super Lig’s top scorer this season, and former West Ham player Valencia account for 40% of their 61 goals.

English league pyramid

Bad news keeps coming for Haaland; after the revelation that while he has been upgraded in Europe, he is also not the most prolific striker in English football this season either.

With 28 goals in 26 Premier League games this campaign, Haaland can at least take solace in the fact that he comfortably outperforms the most prolific strikers among the 92 clubs across the four divisions that make up the English Football League. Each of the three players here are the top scorers in their respective divisions, as well as the best goals-per-game rate:

Championship: Chuba Akpom, Middlesbrough, 0.77 goals per game, 24 goals in 31 games
League 1 : Jonson Clarke Harris. Peterborough, 0.59, 22 of 37
League 2: Andy Cook. City of Bradford, 0.59, 22 of 37

And if you want to venture a little further down the English football pyramid, there are several notable non-league hotspots that have their own impressive strike rates.

Paul Mullin, Wrexham (National League): 0.81 goals per game, 31 goals in 38 games

The Hollywood-backed resurgence star of Wrexham under Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, Mullin is believed to be on the verge of an international call-up with Wales despite playing non-league football. The 28-year-old striker has scored 31 of the Red Dragons’ 97 league goals until they top the National League Fifth Division by three points.

Macaulay Langstaff, Notts County (National League): 0.97, 37 for 38

With Langstaff on fire, Notts County already have just three goals left in a century this season as they bid to overtake Wrexham at the top of the table and earn promotion to the Football League. What’s most impressive about his huge run this season is that none of his goals have come from penalties.

Dominic Poleon, Ebbsfleet (National League South): 0.81 goals per game, 31 goals in 38 games

Just below the National League are the North and South Divisions with Ebbsfleet leading the way, the latter having been propelled to the upper echelons by goals from their top marksman. Poleon has scored 31 goals which is just one goal shy of bottom division side Concord Rangers.

However, you have to descend to the ninth tier of English football to find the country’s most prolific striker – a lower league stalwart whose name might be familiar to fans of a certain vintage…

Brett Pitman, AFC Portchester, (Wessex League Premier Division): 1.23 goals per game, 47 goals in 38 games

Pitman, who had a respectable career at Championship and League One level at Bournemouth, Ipswich Town and Portsmouth, now plies his trade at non-league AFC Portchester on the south coast. The 35-year-old striker has rolled back the years by scoring a truly extraordinary 47 goals in 38 league games so far this campaign (and 48 in total.)

Skipping the team and leading by example, Pitman averages 1.23 goals per game in league competition for Portchester and knocks Haaland’s numbers out of the park in the process.

There may be a full eight levels in between in the English football pyramid, and a chasm in terms of the lucrative world of elite football and the semi-professional life of a non-league regional player, but like any worthy striker of this name will tell you: a goal is a goal, and they all count.


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