The likes of Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe are up there with the top goalscorers in European football this season, but that’s more to do with the volume of chances they get as opposed to how clinical they are with their finishing.
We’ve taken a closer look into the underlying data that tells us which players across Europe’s top five leagues – Bundesliga, Ligue 1, La Liga, Serie A & Premier League – have been the most clinical finishers.
Here are the 10 players across Europe’s major leagues that have most overperformed their rate of expected goals (xG) in 2023-24 – with statistics via FBref.
10. Wissam Ben Yedder
Nine goals from 4.4xG is a more than decent return for Monaco’s experienced and proven France international centre-forward.
The red and whites need someone with that kind of clinical edge, given that his strike partner Folarin Balogun is underperforming his rate of expected goals – having missed no fewer than four penalties this season.
9. Kirian Rodriguez
The Spanish midfielder is far from a household name, but he’s enjoying himself a fine season for a Las Palmas side that are punching above their weight to sit comfortably in La Liga’s top half.
Rodriguez’s six league goals have come from just 26 attempts (11 on target), which is comfortably the lowest of any player in this top 10. He’s outperforming his expected goals by a rate of +4.7xG.
8. Alex Grimaldo
The La Masia academy graduate joined Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen from Benfica last summer, and he’s undoubtedly proven one of the signings of the season.
Grimaldo’s performances for the Bundesliga table-toppers have earned him long-overdue Spain call-ups, and in this kind of form he looks a decent bet to start at Euro 2024 for La Roja.
He’s scored eight goals (from just 3.2xG!) and notched a further nine assists in 23 appearances. Him and Jeremie Frimpong on the opposite flank have ripped apart Bundesliga defences in 2023-24 so far.
A STUNNING free-kick from Alex Grimaldo 🤯 pic.twitter.com/KWBBRmoE7n
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) September 15, 2023
7. Son Heung-min
Ange Postecoglou has managed to get Son back to his scoring best. Whether he’s played on the left-hand side or through the middle, he’s been absolutely prolific.
The South Korea international has managed to score 12 goals from an xG of just 7.1.
6. Jarrod Bowen
After scoring his first career hat-trick against Brentford the other night, Bowen has moved up the Premier League’s top scorers chart. Only Mohamed Salah and Erling Haaland have bettered his tally of 14 goals, but neither of them have done so much with so little when it comes to the quality and volume of chances.
Bowen has been the Premier League’s most clinical goalscorer with those 14 goals coming from 9.0xG. Haaland has double that (19.2xG), to put the West Ham forward’s return in context.
5. Serhou Guirassy
The Stuttgart forward has enjoyed the most prolific season of his career to date, having already scored 18 goals from just 12.9xG.
Time will tell whether the striker – who is 27, who has tended to average 10 league goals a season prior to this season – has suddenly blossomed into an elite-level forward, or whether this is just the hottest of hot streaks that’s destined not to last.
Some might remember Krzysztof Piatek, who was ridiculously prolific for Genoa and Milan in 2018-19, but failed to keep it up. Nowadays the Polish striker is turning out for Istanbul Basaksehir.
4. Alexandre Lacazette
The former Arsenal striker has been on a hot streak of late, helping to guide Lyon away from the relegation zone and up towards midtable safety by scoring in six of his last seven Ligue 1 outings.
Lacazette’s 12 league goals this season have come from just 41 shots, 24 on target, totalling just 6.8xG.
3. Jude Bellingham
Stats nerds will tell you all about regression to the mean and that Bellingham can’t possibly keep up this kind of output throughout the season.
There’s probably something in that, given that the 20-year-old is on to score over 25 La Liga goals if he can maintain this rate. He’s scored 16 goals from just 50 shots, 26 (52%) of which have been on target, totting up to just 10.1xG.
But then again, he just keeps on scoring – so maybe he can? England should have no trouble converting chances at Euro 2024, especially given Bellingham’s set to line up alongside…
2. Harry Kane
The England captain has been ridiculous at Bayern this season. He’s already scored more goals in the Bundesliga than any player managed in the entirety of last season, and reached that feat before Christmas.
It’s his debut season in Germany and he’s on track to smash the records set by Gerd Muller and Robert Lewandowski.
Kane is the early frontrunner for the European Golden Shoe in 2023-24, with 27 goals scored. He’s done so from 20.9xG, which is higher than any other player in Europe has managed. Frequent chances and deadly finishing is an unstoppable combination.
1. Lautaro Martinez
The Argentinian World Cup winner has given serious competition to Victor Osimhen’s claim to be Serie A’s best striker.
Martinez is playing the best football of his career right now. He’s proven he can be Inter’s main man up top, having notched 22 goals from as many Serie A starts, overperforming his rate of expected goals by +8.6xG.
The tone for this clinical season so far came with a substitute appearance against Salernitana back in September. He appeared off the bench in the second half, played 36 minutes, and scored all four of Inter’s goals in a 4-0 win – coming from just four attempts and 1.5xG.