Mohamed Salah tops the Premier League goalscoring chart and Jamie Carragher says no player in Europe performs at a higher level – but what do the numbers say?
The Egypt striker has scored six goals and notched three assists in his seven league starts this term and produced a usual and spectacular solo effort in the 2-2 draw with Manchester City on Super sunday.
“I don’t think there’s anyone playing better in the world or in Europe right now,” Carragher said after the full-time whistle. “His record at the start of this season has been absolutely exceptional.”
So, is someone else is challenging Salah for this coat? Arguably one player is in the running based on his current form: the Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema, who has scored nine goals in seven games and collected seven assists.
Indeed, Sky Sports Power rankings remove any subjectivity. The algorithm applies a fixed formula to rank the form of players based on starting positions and awards points for 35-day matchday stats – not just goals and assists.
I don’t think there is anyone playing better in the world or in Europe right now.
The result? Benzema leads Salah as Europe’s best player by the best margins – with Erling Haaland, Kylian Mbappé, Edin dzeko and Mikel Oyarzabal in pursuit.
Based purely on goal involvement, the France international is also alone with 16 in La Liga this season – six without Haaland and seven without Salah and the Bayer Leverkusen midfielder. Florian Wirtz.
Incredibly, Haaland clinches second place after having made just five league appearances – after missing the previous two games with a muscle injury that will see the 21-year-old miss the upcoming FIFA Cup qualifiers. world of Norway against Turkey and Montenegro.
In terms of Premier League representation, the West Ham striker Michel antonio ranks fifth in Europe with five goals and three assists in just six starts, while Jamie Vardy, Paul pogba, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Gabriel Jesus are all in the top 20.
What about over the past year?
The Ballon d’Or nominees are expected to be announced on Friday after last year’s awards ceremony was canceled due to the pandemic crisis.
By applying the same methods as above over the past 12 months, Lionel messi reigns supreme for pure form – the Argentine looking to take his Ballon d’Or record to seven this year.
A host of players rallied behind the Argentinian but a notable change of guard appears in sight, with Mbappé, Bruno Fernandes and Haaland in the fold.
Notably, Robert lewandowski comes second, ahead of Benzema and Mbappe.
However, no striker in Europe comes close to Lewandowski for his scoring power. The Bayern Munich forward has scored 47 league goals in the past 12 months. To put that in context, Haaland follows in his wake with 32 to his name.
Add six more assists in that span and the Poland international is recording a return of 53 goals, six more than Benzema.
Despite leading the form chart, Messi slips into fourth place in goal engagements, alongside current teammate Mbappe, suggesting the 34-year-old has potentially contributed more to his overall game. – in addition to receiving notable improvements from his eight goals from outside the area.
Watch Euro hotshots live on Sky Sports this week
You can watch goal machines Mbappe, Benzema and Romelu Lukaku in action as France faces Belgium in the Nations League semi-finals live Sky Sports Football from 7:30 p.m. on Thursday (kick-off at 7:45 p.m.).
Lewandowski is likely to lead the line when Poland take on San Marino on Saturday and Albania on Tuesday – with both matches live on the Air sports red button.
Portuguese trio Andre Silva, Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo are also set for international action on Sky cameras with a friendly clash against Qatar on Saturday before hosting Luxembourg on Tuesday.