The top 10 scorers in Europe’s big five leagues in 2021: Gundogan, Messi…

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We’re now well into the 2020-21 season across Europe’s top five leagues and some of football’s best goalscorers are starting to really hit their stride. 

Since the turn of the year, there’s an interesting mix of names in the scoring charts of the Bundesliga, Serie A, Ligue 1, La Liga and the Premier League, featuring some of the usual suspects alongside surprise challengers.

Interestingly, 2020’s top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo misses out on the top 10, but he’s got plenty of time to catch up. Here’s who does make the list of top scorers since January 1.

10. Wissam Ben Yedder

The Monaco striker scored his third brace of 2021 so far in a 2-2 draw at home to Lorient on Valentine’s Day, taking his tally to six Ligue 1 goals in the calendar year so far.

Ben Yedder has been powering an unlikely title charge from Niko Kovac’s side, and the second of his two goals claimed a late point against Lorient. But, after winning seven in a row, they lost ground at the top of Ligue 1 last time out.

9. Terem Moffi

Ben Yedder’s brace against Lorient cancelled out the two from 21-year-old Nigerian striker Moffi, who started 2021 by extending a run of scoring in five consecutive Ligue 1 games. 

Six of his eight Ligue 1 goals this season for Lorient have come since New Year’s Day. One to watch.

8. Alexander Isak

Real Sociedad’s No.19 maintained his record of scoring in every one of his La Liga appearances in 2021 so far with the match-winner in a tight 1-0 win at Getafe on Sunday.

With six goals in five appearances since the turn of the year, Isak has already matched his tally of nine in total from last season, having gone from impact substitute to undisputed starter.

Sweden will hope the 21-year-old rising star can take this form into the Euros in a few months time. 

7. Luis Muriel

Arguably the best super-sub around with a long-established goals-per-minute ratio, Colombian forward Muriel has tended to be kept out of Atalanta’s starting XI by his compatriot Duvan Zapata.

Thirteen of his 20 appearances in Serie A this season have come off the bench, but he’s Atalanta’s top scorer with 13 goals in the league – five more than Zapata.

Six of those goals, including a late match-winner against Cagliari, have come since the turn of the year. He averages a goal every 50 minutes in Serie A in 2021 so far. That’s the best rate of any player in this list.

6. Robert Lewandowski

It would be quite the feat for Lewandowski to beat his mind-blowing 55 goals in Bayern’s treble last season, but he’s certainly trying his best.

With 24 Bundesliga goals in 2020-21, he’s six ahead of anyone else in Europe’s top five leagues, maintaining that lethal streak with seven in seven since the turn of the year.

Chasing down Gerd Muller’s all-time Bundesliga record, the Polish striker can also have ambitions of beating the German legend’s best single-season tally of 40 league goals. To match it, Lewandowski needs 16 more with 14 games to go…

5. Luis Suarez

Diego Costa was allowed to leave Atletico Madrid in December, but Diego Simeone will barely have noticed he’s gone given the form of Suarez.

The Uruguayan striker is one ahead of his old Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi in the Pichichi race, with 16 La Liga goals so far. Half of those have come in just seven appearances in 2021 so far.

Atleti have a comfortable lead at the top of La Liga, and it’s all thanks to him.

READ: Never mind Diego Costa, here’s Superb*stard Luis Suarez

4. Youssef En-Nesyri

One thing Julen Lopetegui’s Sevilla have lacked over the past 18 months has been a reliable centre-forward. Luuk de Jong, for example, has looked more like the player he was at Newcastle than the prolific goalscorer he was for PSV in the Eredivisie.

That’s all changed in recent months, with Moroccan forward En-Nesyri in the form of his career with eight goals in eight games since the turn of the year.

He’s already scored two La Liga hat-tricks in 2021 so far, with all six of Sevilla’s goals in wins over Real Sociedad and Cadiz. Monchi’s unearthed another gem.

3. Lionel Messi

After his contract dispute in the summer, Messi looked a little off-colour in the first few months of the season.

For the first time in over a decade, the Argentinian’s radar was askew, peppering shots at goal as ever but struggling to find the target with seven goals in 14 appearances before the turn of the year.

He’s looked a lot more like his old freakish self in 2021 so far, with eight goals in six La Liga appearances, averaging one every 57 minutes.

2. Andre Silva

The 25-year-old Eintracht Frankfurt forward has already hit a career-best tally of 18 league goals so far this season, with plenty of the race still to run.

Silva has been in particularly phenomenal form of late, with nine goals in eight Bundesliga appearances in 2021. The star at the top of Adi Hutter’s Christmas tree formation, Eintracht could well go on to pip Borussia Dortmund to Champions League qualification if he can keep up this form.

1. Ilkay Gundogan

The explosive goalscoring form of Gundogan could well be the defining story of the season when it comes to the Premier League title race, making him an unlikely frontrunner for the PFA Player of the Year award.

The German midfielder has scored nine goals in nine league appearances in 2021 so far.

“He is playing closer to the box,” Pep Guardiola explained after he scored twice in Man City’s 3-0 victory over Tottenham, the club’s 16th straight win in all competitions.

“When Fernandinho was out two seasons ago he was a holding midfielder, where it was difficult to score goals.

“Now he plays close to the striker and he has an incredible sense to do movements to the box. Then there is the finishing. When a guy shoots the way he did for the second goal, Lloris cannot stop it.

“He won the award for player of the month. If he keeps playing this way in February, he is going to win it again.”

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