Scoring goals is often described as the hardest aspect of football and it’s the reason that the game’s greatest goalscorers are lavished with praise, the presence of a leading forward so often the difference been success and failure.
The world’s finest finishers are those who can score goals amid minimal service, a sharp-shooting striker capable of turning a tie by providing a cutting edge around the penalty area.
We’ve decided to look at some of the most clinical forwards on the continent at present, here are the six players with the best shot conversion rate in Europe’s top five leagues so far this season:
Jamie Vardy – 31%
Jamie Vardy continues to terrorise Premier League defences and despite entering what many regard as the twilight of his career is still very very good.
Vardy finished as the leading scorer in the Premier League last season to win a maiden Golden Boot and has scored prolifically once more this season, scoring 11 goals in just 12 league starts for the Foxes so far this season.
The 33-year-old leads the division in terms of xG and xG/90, with the Foxes’ forward a talismanic presence in Brendan Rodgers’ side as they go in search of Champions League football this season.
Currently second at Christmas, few would bet against Vardy firing Leicester to a top four finish this season given his ruthless record in front of goal during the current campaign.
Boulaye Dia – 31%
Boulaye Dia is a name reportedly attracting significant interest from the Premier League following a stunning start to the season with Reims, scoring nine goals for the season so far to trail behind only Kylian Mbappe in the race to finish as Ligue 1’s leading scorer.
Dia’s fine form has seen him called up to the Senegal national side and the 24-year-old is understood to be interesting the likes of Newcastle and West Ham, who will no doubt have been impressed with his shot conversion rate of 31%.
🙇♂️ "Poetic, balletic, exquisite."
Boulaye Dia with the best bit of footwork you're going to see this weekend. 🔥
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) November 8, 2020
Only four players across Europe’s top five leagues can better than figure and Reims will need the star to maintain his form if they are to move clear of relegation troubles, Dia’s nine goals having come despite playing for a struggling side with just three league wins for the campaign.
Erling Haaland – 33%
Erling Haaland is a player who needs little introduction following his astronomical rise to prominence over the past year, the Borussia Dortmund forward already amongst the finest number nines in the game.
Haaland has scored prolifically for the Bundesliga side since signing from Red Bull Salzburg last January, netting 10 goals in just seven league starts during the 2020/21 season and adding a further six in four appearances in the Champions League.
The Norwegian is a deadly finisher and the statistics back up his efficiency in front of goal, Haaland boasting a shot conversion rate of 33% in the Bundesliga so far this season.
It’s frightening to think that the star is still just 20-years-old, no goalscoring record seemingly safe from a player whose potential appears to have no limits.
Romelu Lukaku – 34%
Romelu Lukaku has gone from strength to strength since leaving Manchester United for Inter Milan, his incredible form for the Italian side having seen the forward rightfully compared amongst the continent’s leading names.
Lukaku has plundered a phenomenal 49 goals in 68 appearances for the Nerazzurri in all competitions, including scoring 11 in 12 league games so far this season with only Cristiano Ronaldo having netted more in Serie A.
Lukaku, however, has the best shot conversion of any player in Italy’s top flight, his 34% conversion rate bettered by just one player across all of Europe’s major leagues.
The Belgium international has flourished in a side who play to his strengths and also finishes the calendar year as the leading scorer across UEFA competitions after scoring 16 times in Europe for Inter in 2020.
Robert Lewandowski – 34%
Bayern Munich stand as arguably the best side in world football at presence and possess the game’s leading forward, Robert Lewandowski having been named as the best men’s player at the Best Fifa Football Awards earlier this month.
The coronation of the Poland international as the planet’s finest footballer comes following a stunning year of success in which the 32-year-old has reached extraordinary levels of consistency, scoring 55 goals in all competitions last season as Bayern won a historic treble.
Lewandowski has continued to score at a remarkable rate this season and has scored a staggering 17 goals in just 11 Bundesliga starts, setting him on course to finish as the league’s leading scorer for a sixth time and fourth season in succession.
— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) December 23, 2020
Lewandowski’s shot conversion rate of 34% is the second highest figure of any player across Europe’s major leagues, the star set for another season of stunning success in Bavaria.
Son Heung-Min – 44%
Tottenham’s strong start to the season has been boosted by the fine form of Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min, the latter having recorded a frankly ridiculous record in front of goal.
The South Korean has improbably scored 11 goals from just 25 shots for the north London side, comfortably the highest figure in the Premier League and the highest of any player across Europe’s major leagues.
His clinical edge in front of goal has already seen the 28-year-old match his tally of league goals from last season, whilst he has catapulted himself into the conversation of the world’s best wide forwards.
Jose Mourinho’s side remain in transition but have found success this season in remaining organised defensively and springing attacks through Kane and Son, two of the finest finishers in world football at present and pivotal players in the club’s hopes of silverware success.