As the Premier League season reaches its climax, attention is beginning to turn to this summer’s hugely anticipated European Championships and – most importantly – who will make into Gareth Southgate’s England squad.
With a whole host of in-form English talent to choose from, the Southgate’s task of selecting his side has been made a little easier by UEFA’s recent announcement that each nation will now be allowed to name an increased 26-man squad for the tournament.
One area that remains particularly divisive as the summer approaches is who will be selected for a supporting role to captain Harry Kane, the striking department looking particularly well-stocked after an impressive campaign for a number of English forwards – most of whom have benefitted from the tournament’s initial postponement last year.
With that in mind, here’s a look at who the five current, highest-scoring Englishmen in the Premier League are this season:
Ollie Watkins – 13 goals
Just edging out the likes of Danny Ings (12) and Callum Wilson (12), the Aston Villa forward makes his way onto this list following a fine debut campaign in the top-flight, after having arrived at Villa Park in the summer.
The 25-year-old began his career in the lower divisions with Exeter City, before joining Brentford in 2017, going on to net 45 Championship goals across the next three seasons, including a stellar 25 strikes last term.
That electric form saw him earn a £28m move to Villa, linking up with former Bees boss Dean Smith, where he has since swiftly adjusted to the rigours of the Premier League, helping the club to a possible top-half finish after just about scraping survival last season.
The athletic forward opened his top tier account in some style, netting a perfect hat-trick in the 7-2 demolition of last season’s runaway champions, Liverpool, while he has since netted a brace against Arsenal at the Emirates, as well as getting on the scoresheet in the return fixture against the Reds at Anfield.
Not just a goalscorer, the striker has also demonstrated his willingness to win back possession and press from the front, a fact that clearly caught the attention of the England boss, with Watkins going on to make a scoring debut for the Three Lions in a 5-0 thrashing of San Marino back in March.
Ollie Watkins. Relentless. 💪 pic.twitter.com/rfV9VDEbu1
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) May 8, 2021
Jamie Vardy – 13 goals
While not likely to be earning a call-up to Southgate’s squad any time soon after retiring from international duty following the 2018 World Cup, the Leicester City striker has been in fine form once again nonetheless, playing a crucial role in the Foxes hunt for Champions League qualification.
Although perhaps not quite at his prolific best this term – the Englishman having netted 23 goals last season en route to winning the Golden Boot, becoming the oldest player to do so – the former Fleetwood Town striker has still chipped in with his fair share of goals, while also showcasing his playmaking abilities.
The 34-year-old has registered an impressive nine assists so far this season, having struck up an excellent, seemingly telepathic, striking relationship with the in-form Kelechi Iheanacho, the two men spearheading Leicester’s top-four charge.
After squandering a top-four spot at the end of last season, Brendan Rodgers’ side are looking to avoid a repeat performance this term, currently sitting third with two games remaining, while they also have an FA Cup final showdown with Chelsea to look forward to this weekend.
As for the evergreen Vardy, he has seemingly not yet lost his blistering pace and continues to look sharp, with plenty of time to add to his already mightily impressive tally of 116 Premier League goals, a total that places him ahead of top-flight greats such as Didier Drogba, Eric Cantona, Dennis Bergkamp and Cristiano Ronaldo on the all-time list.
Patrick Bamford – 15 goals
It’s been a long road to regular Premier League football for the Leeds United striker, yet he appears to be thriving having been afforded total faith from manager Marcelo Bielsa, with an impressive 15 goals to his name to date.
After joining Chelsea as a teenager back in 2012, the forward then spent the next few seasons out on loan, the best stint coming in the second tier with Middlesbrough in 2014/15 where he won the Championship Player of the Year gong, before enduring three successive failed spells in the top-flight with Crystal Palace, Norwich City and Burnley.
🤩 "Bamford's on the move!" pic.twitter.com/Jazb299n6Q
— Leeds United (@LUFC) May 9, 2021
Having essentially been written off at the top level, the Englishman finally left the Blues permanently in 2017 to rejoin ‘Boro, going on to make the £10m move to Elland Road a year later.
Despite an injury-hit first campaign with the club, he retained his place in the side the following year, netting 15 times in the 2019/20 season to help fire the Yorkshire club back to the top tier for the first time since 2004.
While doubts remained over whether he could cut it at the highest level prior to the current campaign, Bamford has quashed those fears in emphatic fashion, earning huge plaudits for not only his goals but his all-round play in Bielsa’s relentless side, sparking suggestions he should earn a place in the England set-up this summer.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin – 16 goals
The man most likely to keep him out of the Three Lions squad is Everton striker, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, the 24-year-old having enjoyed a real breakout campaign under Carlo Ancelotti.
Much like Bamford, there were many who had their doubts about the former Sheffield United man’s Premier League credentials, as he initially struggled to deliver the goods following his move from the Blades in 2016.
Everton take the lead at the London Stadium
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) May 9, 2021
After a difficult first few seasons at Goodison Park, in which he netted just 11 league goals in three years, the hard-working forward seemed to blossom following the arrival of the legendary Italian manager midway through the previous campaign, ending the 2019/20 season with 13 league goals.
The Toffees forward then followed that up with a blistering start to the current campaign, netting eight goals in his opening five games in all competitions to earn a first senior England call-up back in October, going on to net on his debut against Wales,
While he’s since netted three more times for his country, including a brace against San Marino in March, the goals have slightly dried up at club level, the player having only netted six times since he reached ten league goals for the season back in late November.
Harry Kane – 21 goals
Amid all the turmoil at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Harry Kane has continued to deliver the goods, the England skipper enjoying perhaps his finest individual campaign to date.
The 27-year-old is not just the highest scoring Englishman in the division, but also the top scoring player full stop, the striker currently en route to securing a third Premier League Golden Boot, ahead of Liverpool’s Mo Salah.
While his 21 goal campaign isn’t his most prolific – the 2017/18 season seeing him hit a breathtaking 30 top-flight goals – his all-round game has really caught the eye this term, also registering 13 top-flight assists thus far this season.
That tally means he also leads the way at the top of the assist charts, the Tottenham talisman having thrived alongside teammate Heung-min Son in attack, supplying the Korean international with a league-high nine assists.
Such form, particularly at the start of the season, had left Spurs well-placed to challenge for the title, before the wheels well and truly fell off around the turn of the year, culminating in the departure of Jose Mourinho last month and putting Kane’s future at the club in doubt.