Any way you cut it, Erling Haaland is having an epic debut season in English football and has already scored 42 goals in his first 36 games for Manchester City since his arrival last June.
In the Premier League alone, the Norwegian powerhouse has netted 28 goals in 26 games, a considerable tally that has already dwarfed those achieved 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 almost 30 years since Andy Cole (Newcastle United, 1993-94) and Alan Shearer (Blackburn Rovers, 1994-95) scored 34 goals in successive 42-game campaigns.
However, while Haaland leads the race for the European Golden Boot as the top scorer in Europe’s elite divisions, he is not entirely out in front on his own when it comes to impressive goal-scoring efforts this season.
His rate of 1.07 league goals per game this season is undeniably impressive, but it’s not the most prolific 2022-23 campaign in either Europe’s top-flight leagues or English football.
So who is beating Erling Haaland? Here we examine the league goal tallies and goal-per-game rates of the shrewdest forwards (with a minimum of 10 goals scored this season) to prove that City’s star is human.
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First Divisions of Europe
After reviewing the goalscoring lists from all of Europe’s top-tier leagues, here are this season’s top 10 forwards, ranked based on their goals-per-game averages.
Haaland is firmly at the top when it comes to his outright goal tally, but the Manchester City colossus is technically being outclassed by a 33-year-old journeyman who previously managed just 11 goals in 107 Premier League appearances early in his career. career.
10 jonathan davidLille (Ligue 1): 0.70 goals per game, 19 goals in 27 games
Canadian international David is the top scorer in Ligue 1 this season. The 23-year-old is right up there with a certain PSG striker who has played a handful more games.
9. Wissam Ben YedderMonaco (Ligue 1, France): 0.71, 17 in 24
Monaco are fourth in Ligue 1 and 12 points off title pace, but in Ben Yedder at least they have a striker who has proven pedigree when it comes to scoring goals in Ligue 1. The veteran striker needs just eight more goals this season to break into the top 20 all-time scorers in the division.
8. harry kaneTottenham Hotspur (Premier League, England): 0.75, 21 in 28
Kane, a three-time Premier League Golden Boot winner, faced a new foe on the goal standings this season and is a far cry from Haaland. The ever-reliable Spurs striker is coming along very well, but his Norwegian rival will suffer some takedowns.
7. kylian mbappeParis Saint-Germain (Ligue 1, France): 0.79, 19 in 24
Mbappe still has a ways to go if he is to surpass his career-high in Ligue 1 (33 goals in 29 games, 2018-19). Regardless, the newly appointed France captain is in fine form and commands one of the best. Per-game ratios of any striker in the elite European soccer league this season.
6. Victor OsimhenNaples (Serie A, Italy): 0.91, 21 in 23
Leading the rest of the field by a 19-point margin, Napoli looks set to win their first shield from 1989-90. Their commanding lead is largely the result of the flurry of goals scored by rising star Osimhen, who is a long way from second-placed. Lautaro Martinez (14 goals) in the Italian crown race capocannoniere this season.
5. Amahl Pellegrino, Bodo/Glimt (Eliteserien, Norway): 0.93, 25 in 27
In Haaland’s home country, Bodo/Glimt finished second in the 2022 Eliteserien table despite scoring at least 15 more goals than any other team in the Norwegian top flight, including eventual title winners Molde. The regular season came to an end 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 in 20
With McManus leading their line, The New Saints hold a 17-point lead in the Welsh top flight and have scored 89 goals in total – that’s 43 more goals than Bala Town, the next highest scoring team in the league with 46 goals. .
3. Erling Haaland, Manchester City (Premier League, England): 1.07, 28 in 26
When it comes to the sheer number of goals scored in the top flight, not a soul in Europe can match Haaland’s exploits right now with the Man City striker having worked his way up the tree thanks to his happy ability to average. more than one goal per game. On top of that, he has also scored 10 goals in just six Champions League appearances this term.
2. Rayan Philippe, Swift Hesperange (National Division, Luxembourg): 1.10, 21 in 19
Ostensibly a left winger by trade, Philippe has 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 as they sit top of the table.
1. jan valenciaFenerbahce (Super Lig, Turkey): 1.19, 25 in 21
Haaland might be the all-time top scorer in Europe, but his hit rate pales in comparison to that of veteran Ecuadorian Valencia, who is leading the way by a fair margin when it comes to ruthless efficiency in the six-yard box. Fenerbahce is the top scorer in the Turkish Super League this season, with former West Ham player Valencia accounting for 40% of their 61 goals.
english league pyramid
The bad news keeps coming for Haaland; after the revelation that he, while he has been outclassed in Europe, is also not the most prolific striker in English football this season.
With 28 goals in 26 Premier League appearances this season, Haaland can at least take solace in the fact that he is handily surpassing the most prolific forwards among the 92 clubs in the four divisions that make up the English Football League. Each of the three players here are the all-time top scorers in their respective divisions, as well as having the best goals-per-game ratio:
Championship: Chuba Akpom, Middlesbrough, 0.77 goals per game, 24 goals in 31 games
League One: Johnson Clarke Harris. Peterborough, 0.59, 22 in 37
League Two: Andy Cook. Bradford City, 0.59, 22 in 37
And if you want to venture a bit further down the English soccer pyramid, there are several notable non-league players who have impressive shooting rates.
Paul Mullin, Wrexham (National League): 0.81 goals per game, 31 goals in 38 games
Mullin, the star of Wrexham’s Hollywood-backed revival under Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, is reportedly on the brink of an international call-up for Wales despite playing non-league football. The 28-year-old striker has netted 31 of the Red Dragons’ 97 league goals so far as they sit top of the fifth-tier National League by three points.
Happy Birthday, @maccalangstaff 🤩 pic.twitter.com/W1KOAdqEwI
— Notts County FC (@Official_NCFC) February 3, 2023
Macaulay Langstaff, Notts County (National League): 0.97, 37 in 38
With Langstaff on fire, Notts County are already just three goals shy of a century this season as they bid to overtake Wrexham at the top of the table and win promotion to the Football League. The most impressive thing about his great run this season is that none of his goals have been scored from the penalty spot.
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 at the helm, the latter having been propelled into the upper echelons by goals from their top scorer. Poleon has scored 31 goals, which is just one goal less than the total for the bottom team in the division, Concord Rangers.
However, you have to go down to the ninth tier of English football to find the country’s most prolific striker: a stalwart from the lower leagues whose name may be familiar to fans of a certain era…
Brett Pitman, AFC Portchester, (Wessex League Premier Division): 1.23 goals per game, 47 goals in 38 games
Here are all the goals from last night’s win over Hamble Club.
Two incredible goals from Marley Ridge and two from Brett Pitman, taking him to 48 goals on the season. pic.twitter.com/urL5dvJBBp
— AFC Portchester (@AFCPortchester) March 8, 2023
Pitman, who had a respectable Championship and League One career at Bournemouth, Ipswich Town and Portsmouth, is now plying his trade at non-league AFC Portchester on the south coast. The 35-year-old forward has turned the years back by scoring a truly extraordinary 47 goals in 38 league games so far this season (and 48 overall).
As team captain and leading by example, Pitman is averaging 1.23 goals per game in league competition for Portchester and thus surpassing Haaland’s numbers in the process.
There may be a whole eight levels between the two of them in the English football pyramid, and a gulf in terms of the lucrative world of elite football and the semi-professional life of a non-league regional player, but as any self-respecting striker will tell you. : A goal is a goal, and everyone counts.