The Premier League, as usual, saw goals pouring in from everywhere last season.
This list is dedicated to players who play down the middle of the pitch. The Premier League is lucky to have been blessed with strikers who are tall, strong and aerially good whilst also consisting of some blisteringly quick and nippy strikers. This list throws light on those players who primarily play through the middle of the pitch.
10. Alexandre Lacazette
The striker on No. 10 on this list is Alexandre Lacazette. Many would argue that he didn’t score enough goals last season; he scored just four. However, Lacazette played a crucial role in the way Arsenal functioned. The Frenchman was instrumental to his side’s link-up play, often dropping deep to make space for the wingers in behind. He was extremely unselfish as well; he generally created chances for his teammates when he had his back turned to goal. He provided seven assists for the season.
Lacazette has now re-joined Lyon, having bid farewell to Arsenal after a five-year-long stay at the club.
9. Gabriel Jesus
Up next on this list is yet another player who did not quite feature regularly for his club during the course of the season. Manchester City often employed a false-nine system and left out their more natural striker in Gabriel Jesus. However, Jesus delivered whenever called upon by his side.
The Brazilian scored eight goals and provided eight assists in the Premier League from his 28 appearances. These numbers are not bad at all, considering he was not a regular starter on the side.
Jesus is likely to do well in a club where he does get regular football, given that he has the numbers in a side where he barely gets to play.
At No. 8 is the Brazilian striker Richarlison. He played a crucial role in securing safety for Everton last season and was key for the Toffees as their main man up top, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin missing most of the season due to injury.
Richarlison led the line for Everton during Clavert-Lewin’s absence and scored ten league goals last season. He also provided five assists and was key to the Everton press. His industry and work rate is highlighted by the fact that he averaged over 21 pressures every ninety minutes.
7. Ollie Watkins
Up next is the Aston Villa striker, Ollie Watkins. Many expected Danny Ings to come over and stamp his authority as the main man up top for the Villains. However, Watkins stood his ground and at times played alongside Ings last season.
In many ways, Watkins is a complete striker. He’s quick, has a good shot on him, and can head the ball. He scored eleven goals last season and provided two assists. Despite rumours that other clubs could be after him, Villa would like to ensure that he remains with them next season.
6. Teemu Pukki
It is not often you see resounding numbers for a player who was a part of the team that finished bottom of the league. But Teemu Pukki proved his class yet again by leaving a mark on the Premier League, just as he did a couple of seasons ago when Norwich City went down.
Pukki scored eleven goals and provided three assists last season. He too was highlighted for his hard work throughout the campaign, having averaged over nineteen pressures every ninety minutes.
5. Michail Antonio
The player who takes up the No. 5 position on this list is Michail Antonio. The West Ham United striker is robust, mobile, and has a decent shot on him. Apart from the goals he scores, Antonio is pivotal to West Ham’s hold-up play. Furthermore, he is often the Hammers’ outlet when they are defending for long spells in the game.
In terms of numbers, Antonio scored ten goals last season and provided eight assists in the league. He proved pivotal to most of West Ham’s moves, averaging over three shot-creating actions every ninety minutes. Managers would be more than happy to have a player like Antonio on their side.
4. Ivan Toney
Brentford had a flying start to their first-ever Premier League campaign. However, the Bees found it difficult to win games as the season went on. Towards the end of the season, though, they did manage to comfortably secure their spot in the Premier League for the upcoming campaign.
Ivan Toney led the line with his goals last season when Brentford were in form. He scored twelve goals in the league and provided five assists. Brentford will look to Toney once again to provide inspiration and drive his side forward next season.
3. Diogo Jota
The third place on this list goes to Liverpool’s Diogo Jota. Unaware of when exactly he would start for the side, Jota constantly delivered impressive performances last season whenever called upon. He played through the middle and was picked over Roberto Firimino for most of the campaign. However, he lost out on games after Liverpool brought in Luis Díaz, who pushed the now-departed Sadio Mané into a more central position.
Jota might be a small striker, but he has a brilliant leap and scores often with his head. He scored fifteen league goals last season and provided four assists. He also averaged over seven touches in the opposition’s penalty box, which increased his chances of netting a goal.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo often looked frustrated on the pitch last season given how things panned out at Manchester United. The Red Devils finished outside the Champions League places, in sixth. However, this didn’t stop the Portuguese star from scoring goals. Ronaldo was crucial for whatever little success Man United enjoyed last season, scoring eighteen league goals and providing three assists.
Ronaldo, in general, received decent service throughout the season, although many think that’s not the case. He averaged over six touches in the opposition penalty area, a decent stat for a striker of his stature.
1. Harry Kane
Harry Kane takes the No. 1 spot on my list. After being linked with moves away from Tottenham last summer, Kane had an iffy start to the season. However, his performances improved drastically as the season progressed. His relationship with Son continued to brighten with each passing game, and their ability to link up together proved vital for Tottenham’s Champions League qualification.
Kane scored a total of seventeen goals last season and provided nine assists, which seems quite reasonable for a player who did not want to be at the club at the start of the season. His choice to stay at the club has raised the spirits of the Spurs fans ahead of the coming season.