Ronaldo, Kane, Lukaku: Ranking 2021/22 Premier League strikers from worst to best

  • Kobe Tong
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The Premier League squads for the 2021/22 season are virtually locked in.

Barring minor moves to nations where the summer transfer window is still open, fans of English football can start to assess how the 20 clubs are shaping up at least until the winter market opens.

Here at GIVEMESPORT, we have been taking an in-depth look at the personnel from every rung of the Premier League ladder to see which teams are strongest in certain positions on the pitch. 

2021/22 Premier League strikers

We have already ranked the division's goalkeepers and centre-backs from worst to best and now we're going for the jugular by tackling the most glitzy position of all: centre forwards.

To do so, we're calling upon the trusty medium of Tiermaker to rank the players who predominantly ply their trade in the number nine position from 'Not good enough' to 'World-class'.

And with everyone from Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Kane to Christian Benteke and Teemu Pukki in the mix, there are great swathes of Premier League goalscoring talent to cast our verdict on.

RANKING THE BEST & WORST TRANSFERS (Football Terrace)

Our decisions are ultimately based on the opinion of yours truly, which is no more or less legitimate than your outlook, with everything from statistics and guttural instincts informing the placements.

Oh, and lest we forget that anyone playing as a Premier League striker is worthy of praise for both their hard work and talent, so even the forwards ranking in the lower tiers are amongst some of the best in the business.

Besides, being called one of the worst strikers in the Premier League might as well be compared to someone pointing out the weakest Ferrari in a showroom full of them.

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Ranking Premier League strikers

But anyhow, enough of the disclaimers and housekeeping, it's time to dive headfirst into the riches of Premier League goalscorers, so be sure to check out how they stack up in our eyes down below:

Not good enough

Shane Long, Cenk Tosun, Dwight Gayle, Jay Rodriguez, Jordan Ayew, Joelinton, Ashley Fletcher and Marcus Forss

Right, let's make one thing clear: we're not inherently saying that these players aren't good enough for the Premier League, period, but rather that their current goalscoring isn't good enough in their respective roles.

Besides, let's put it simply: should Newcastle's record signing only boast six goals in 69 Premier League games and one of Palace's leading strikers only net 12 times in more than 100 outings? Exactly.

At the end of the day, goalscoring is the ultimate currency for centre-forwards and while we take no pleasure in airdropping these strikers at the bottom of our list, they have all scored far too few goals in recent years to claim that they are living up to their roles.

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They do, however, possess more than enough talent to turn the tide, so we'd love nothing more than to see them returning to the goals this season.

Inconsistent

Neal Maupay, Christian Benteke, Ashley Barnes, Jean-Philippe Mateta, Josh Sargent, Cucho Hernández, Emmanuel Dennis, Eddie Nketiah and Danny Welbeck

While, yes, there is undoubtedly an element of low goalscoring in this tier, too, the likes of Maupay, Welbeck and Barnes are perhaps better defined by their inconsistency than outright lack of goals.

That being said, Benteke can count himself as lucky to avoid a spot in the 'Not good enough' tier because he was destined for a spot there until his 2020/21 renaissance with 10 Premier League goals.

As for Mateta, Sargent, Hernández and Dennis, we would love to be proven wrong by seeing them fly in the Premier League, but their previously tumultuous goalscoring records mean we're erring on the side of caution for now.

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Too early to tell

Adam Idah, João Pedro, Aaron Connolly, Fabio Silva and Folarin Balogun

A late addition to our tier structure, this, because we just felt as though there wasn't a correct rung for younger strikers who hadn't really been given enough time to prove themselves in the Premier League.

While we can cast a little more judgement on strikers new to English football who are a little older due to their larger resumés, we feel as though there is insufficient data to rank strikers like Balogun and Idah with too much confidence yet.

Perhaps we've been a little kind to Silva because he does have 32 Premier League outings to his name, but lest we forget that he's 19 years old and only started playing professional football in 2019.

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Overrated

Divock Origi, Anthony Martial, Roberto Firmino and Teemu Pukki

Ok, it's important to clarify with both this section and the 'underrated' tier to come that their position in the overall structure of the Tiermaker doesn't necessarily reflect how we think they rank overall.

In other words, spoiler alert, we don't think that Salomon Rondon is a better striker than Firmino; we just happen to think that the Liverpool striker's poor goalscoring record doesn't justify the hype that surrounds him.

And this is the thing with 'overrated' labelling because it has more to do with how fans wax lyrical about them than how the players are necessarily performing.

For us, Martial gets off incredibly lightly with United fans considering his perpetual inconsistency and Origi still seems to be cruising by at Anfield on the carryover credit of his important goals from 2019 and 2020.

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And while some fans would have you believe that Pukki is Premier League proven on the basis of his flying start to the 2019/20 term, we're inclined to think that a Championship level suits him best.

Middle of the road

Che Adams, Kelechi Iheanacho, Patson Daka, Odsonne Edouard and Salomon Rondon

We can split this section in half really because Daka and Edouard will quickly rise through our tiers if they replicate their goalscoring form from the Scottish Premiership and Austrian Bundesliga.

However, with both divisions proving far less difficult than the Premier League, we don't want to get ahead of ourselves and we're duly putting them amongst some of the division's sturdiest finishers.

Rondon will always get you goals with his aerial presence, Adams is going from strength to strength with his underrated link-up play and Iheanacho is on the brink of graduating to the next tier if he picks up from he left off last season.

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Underrated

Alexandre Lacazette, Michael Antonio, Adam Armstrong, Chris Wood, Timo Werner and Ivan Toney

Again, this doesn't necessarily mean that we think these players are better than every single striker that has featured below them, but we believe that they deserve far more credit than they receive.

Antonio is currently the highest-rated player in Europe's top five leagues, not that you'd know it, while Lacazette smashing home 17 goals in one of Arsenal's worst ever seasons isn't talked about enough.

Wood's goalscoring record is remarkably consistent in an inconsistent Burnley side, Toney is poised to take the Premier League by storm and Southampton's capture of Armstrong could prove to be an inspired coup.

And no, I haven't lost my mind by calling Werner underrated because although his scoring record at Chelsea is undoubtedly disappointing, he had a much better debut season than all the vitriol would have you believe.

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Reliable goalscorer

Callum Wilson, Raul Jimenez, Richarlison, Danny Ings, Patrick Bamford, Ollie Watkins, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Mason Greenwood

There's not much to say here other than these players are never too far away from the goals despite not necessarily posting the sort of numbers that see them rank amongst Europe's finest finishers.

You can always depend upon Wilson, Ings and Jimenez to score goals in the Premier League, while Watkins and Bamford have proven themselves enough to justly catch the eye of Gareth Southgate.

And while we might have been a little generous to Greenwood here, we think he deserves a high placement by way of being a generational talent and arguably one of the divisions' best pound-for-pound finishers.

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Top drawer

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Jamie Vardy, Edinson Cavani, Diogo Jota and Gabriel Jesus 

These five players are the cream of the crop when it comes to Premier League goalscorers who don't qualify - by our estimations - for the coveted status of world-class.

Jota's glorious start to life at Liverpool has underpinned his status as one of the division's most lethal finishers, while Vardy's Premier League pedigree speaks for itself just like the unwavering brilliance of Cavani.

Criticise Jesus until you're blue in the face, but his goalscoring record speaks for itself because his record of 51 Premier League goals at 24 years old is just as underrated as his link-up play.

And finally, although Aubameyang's poor recent form almost saw him drop down to the tier below, we can't allow that to distract us from his sumptuous record of 64 Premier League strikes in just 116 games. 

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World class

Harry Kane, Romelu Lukaku and Cristiano Ronaldo

While, yes, I don't doubt for a second that I've annoyed every Premier League fan and their dog with my rankings so far, I can feel pretty confident that we're on the same page with this selection - right?

Kane is arguably the world's most complete number nine with three Premier League Golden Boots to his name and Ronaldo is the greatest goalscorer in history both in terms of international and club football.

As for Lukaku, it's surely no longer a debate that the Premier League 100-club member is amongst the world's best poachers on the back of smashing home 64 goals in just 95 games for Inter Milan.

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Premier League 2021/22: Fixtures, Results, Odds, Ball, Tickets And Everything You Need To Know

Wow. It's fair to say that was incredibly tough.

Quality all around

At the end of the day, the Premier League is such a high watermark in the beautiful game that anyone mixing it in the division deserves praise whether they're smashing in the goals or not.

As such, we would love nothing more than for some of the strikers lower down on our list to prove us wrong because you're only ever a purple patch away from being the talk of the town in this sport.

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ENTER GIVEAWAY

For now, though, the Premier League's head table of goalscorers sees Kane making some new friends and we can't wait to see how Lukaku and Ronaldo fare during the 2021/22 campaign.

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