The Premier League’s top centre-forwards are tasked with scoring goals at crucial moments, with the key to remain cool and composed when chances arrive.
Some of the very best goalscorers miss clear-cut opportunities, however, and we’ve looked at the Premier League players to have spurned the most ‘big chances’ this season.
A big chance is defined as a situation where a player should reasonably be expected to score. Here are the Premier League players to have missed the most in 2023/24 so far.
=5. Alexander Isak (Newcastle), Rasmus Hojlund (Manchester United), Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton) – 9
Alexander Isak, Rasmus Hojlund and Dominic Calvert-Lewin kick off this list, each having missed nine big chances in the Premier League this season.
Isak’s return comes alongside an impressive goal record for Newcastle, however, with the Swedish striker having hit seven league goals from just 12 league starts for the Magpies. It’s been a different story for Hojlund, who has endured a challenging first season at Manchester United.
Despite impressive performances in Europe, the Denmark international went goalless across his first 14 league games for the Red Devils, before opening his account with a late winner against Aston Villa.
Come for Rasmus Hojlund’s first Premier League goal, stay for the huge celebrations 🎉 pic.twitter.com/9HgV6JisKk
— Premier League (@premierleague) December 29, 2023
Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who has three goals for Everton this season, will hope to improve his goal record across the second half of the campaign, after an injury-hit spell with the Toffees.
4. Nicolas Jackson (Chelsea) – 12
It’s fair to say it’s been a mixed first season at Chelsea for Nicolas Jackson.
Amid the disorder of the club’s rebuild has been Jackson’s up and down debut campaign, in which the Senegalese striker has scored a respectable seven goals in 16 league starts, but frustrated with glaring misses on occasion.
The 22-year-old was perhaps not signed to be Chelsea’s main man from the off, but a pre-season injury to Christopher Nkunku increased the expectation – and pressure – on the £32m recruit.
— DR Sports (@drsportsmedia) December 28, 2023
There’s raw potential in Jackson, though improvements are required. He has more yellow cards than Premier League goals this season.
3. Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa) – 13
Proof that even the Premier League’s most in-form forwards can miss big chances.
Ollie Watkins is producing the best football of his career at Aston Villa and has nine goals and eight assists in 20 league appearances this season. That return could have been even more impressive, had the 28-year-old not missed 13 ‘big chances’ so far this season.
Still, he appears a shoo-in for England’s Euro 2024 squad on current form. His performances have placed Aston Villa in contention for Champions League qualification.
2. Erling Haaland (Manchester City) – 17
Manchester City are a chance-creating machine and no player has benefitted more from that than Erling Haaland.
The Norwegian broke the Premier League goal record (36) for a single season in 2022/23, while also topping the league for big chances missed (28).
This season, he’s the joint-leader for goals (14) alongside Mohamed Salah, and ranks second for big chances missed.
1. Darwin Nunez (Liverpool) – 18
There’s a lot to like about Darwin Nunez. There’s also a lot that makes his supporters tear their hair out in frustration on a weekly basis.
The Uruguayan must be a nightmare to defend against, but there’s little convinced when the chances arrive at present. Against Newcastle last time out, Nunez racked up the highest xG (1.61 from eight shots) of any player in the Premier League this season without scoring. The 24-year-old also ranks fourth on that same list, after a goalless xG of 1.14 against Aston Villa earlier this season.
“Nobody has to worry about Darwin. He is fine. Played a really good game. Decided the game with an unselfish pass to Mo,” Jurgen Klopp said after the win over Newcastle.
🙃 Darwin Nunez has now missed more big chances (18) than any other player in the Premier League this season pic.twitter.com/v7EEoe6pP3
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) January 2, 2024
“We needed him there. As long as Darwin has all these moments today which he has today, it is all fine. I don’t know exactly what amount of goals he has scored in the season but a lot, Darwin will score and there is no doubt about it.
“The only problem is if the public wouldn’t watch us, it is all fine. Because then it is just he is doing right and he has to start again and again. He gets questioned on social media and that disturbs slightly.”
Nunez has plenty of exciting attributes, but a return of five Premier League goals from an xG of 11.13 is clear evidence that his finishing must improve.