Who is Europe’s most influential Striker this season?

    Barcelona striker Luis Suarez finished the season with 40 goals and the numbers just beats everyone by far in any of the Europe’s elite leagues. But these numbers hardly tell the exact story of the actual contribution to a team or the particular striker’s role in his team’s season ambitions.

    An alternative look into this situation can be achieved by analysing the match-by-match contribution of each player. For a striker or forward, it is always the goals that come up first, whereas for a midfielder it must the assists and chance creation.

    Coming back to the question here, we broke down the matches each of them has played, number of games he scored and calculated the actual points he has won for the team. To create the real influence, we them analysed how he performs in big and important fixtures. For convenience, only stats from leagues are taken into consideration.

    7. Harry Kane

    Harry Kane is in the list because he finished the season as the top goal getter in English Premier League 2015/16. After scoring 21 goals in the 2014/15 league season, he was touted by many pundits and fans as a one season wonder. But the 22-year old hit-man has proved doubters wrong by scoring an incredible 25 goals this season, even though it only helped Tottenham finish third in the standings.

    Harry Kane English Premier League Stats 2015-16

    Despite being a pivotal presence in Pocchetino’s set-up at White Hart Lane, Kane has contributed 37% percentage of total team goals. His actual contribution to the team’s total points is a meagre 8. Also he had failed to score in 21 of the 38 games he played. Spurs may well replace him with another striker and could benefit by ans inflated price tag. But a big caution, White Hart Lane is not a place where ‘just any striker’ flourish well.

    6. Zlatan Ibrahimovic

    Zlatan Ibrahimovic will soon be a free agent and even at the age of 34, the big Swede is quite influential to his team, on and off the field. He finished this season with 38 goals for PSG at the top of Ligue 1 scoring chart. At the same time, PSG will win the league every season and score 100 odd goals every season, if the other teams in the league remains where they at the moment.

    Zlatan Ibrahimovic-PSG– French Ligue1 Stats 2015-16

    Zlatan’s overall contribution to the team’s overall goals is a 38%, whereas he has a first hand in 17 points won in the league this season. He failed to score in just 8 matches out of 35, but also made 13 assists. Probably a remainder of what he is still capable of.

    5. Cristiano Ronaldo

    At 5, we have Cristiano Ronaldo, the world’s best player for many, also the most selfish player for others. He broke a number of records this season to the extent that one lost count, but it was never a comfortable season for the Portugal ace. Still, he managed to finish with a total of 35 goals this season, in a La Liga filled with ordinary teams.

    Cristiano Ronaldo-Real Madrid–Spanish La Liga Stats 2015-16

    Cristiano Ronaldo has failed to score in 16 of the 35 matches this season, which account for 44.4% misfiring rate. He managed just one goal in 4 games against the strong teams of the league, Barcelona and Atletico. Real Madrid’s Champions League semifinal win against Manchester City is a clear evidence of the fact that the team could cope without him. But if they sell him off this season, the marking aspect he bring will be certainly missed.

    Real Madrid scored a massive 108 La Liga goals this season, Ronaldo contributing just 32% of them. A genuine number nine could do the same, with the kind of talent they have in their squad.

    4. Robert Lewandowski

    Robert Lewandowski has scored 30 goals in the Bundesliga this season and this might not come as no surprise. But Bayern Munich is a team where strikers always flourish, if you remember the likes of Giovane Elber and Roy Makaay. No doubt that the striker is a wonderful capture for any club side and he is already tipped to lead the scoring charts at Euro 2016 for Poland.

    Robert Lewandowski-Bayern Munich-German Bundesliga Stats 2015-16

    Lewandowski has contributed 38% of total team goals and won 19 points for Bayern in Bundesliga this season. But he had went through patches where he was unable to score in matches in rows. He failed to score in 13 out of 32 matches played. Considering Bayern’s dominance in Bundesliga and easiness to score, they could replace him without much fuss.

    3. Luis Suarez

    The bad boy from Uruguay had a very polite season by his standards. A massive 40 goals helped him win the Spanish La Liga Pichichi this season. It is also relatively easy to score goals in La Liga and he has the support of one of the best midfield in world support.

    Luis Suarez–Spanish La Liga Stats 2015-16

    Barcelona could do the same without him, but this is one striker you want to keep hold on to.
    His 40 goals this season account for 37% of Barcelona’s 109 league goals. Also his goals won them 17 points this season, which was very vital in this season’s title race. He failed to score in 13 of the 35 matches played, just around 37%. He also made 16 assists, just an indication of how effective he can be inside the penalty box.

    2. Jamie Vardy

    Jamie Vardy scored 24 goals from 36 matches he played for Leicester City this season. Without his goals, the Foxes will be 24 points less in the league and would have probably finished in lower mid tables. Riyad Mahrez, Danny Drinkwater and N’golo Kante had made big contributions in Leicester’s title win this season. But Vardy added a different dimension to their game and just his presence in the field was a nightmare for opposition defence.

    Jamie Vardy-Leicester City-English Premier League Stats 2015-16

    Vardy’s 24 goals came from 19 matches, means he failed to score in 47% of the matches. But the number of matches he helped Leicester to earn a win or draw is 14. Leicester were also the highest goal scorers in the Premier League this season with 68 Vardy alone contribute 36%. Can Leicester do the same without him? We wait to see another season.

    1. Gonzalo Higuain

    Gonzalo Higuain’s 36 goals from 36 Serie A games this season played a vital role in Napoli to finish second in the standings. He contributed 46% of the total team goals and Napoli’s slip at the end of the season in his three-match absence is the evidence of the role he played this season.

    Gonzalo Higuain-Napoli-Italian Serie A Stats 2015-16

    Without Higuain, Napoli would have been 36 point less, which is certainly a lower mid-table position. He failed to score in just 11 matches out of the 35 played, which is a meagre 31%. Higuain could play in any top team and soon many elite teams will join the race for his signature. But certainly, Napoli won’t be the same without him.