The most difficult thing in football is to score goals - and that makes the striker’s role the most important on the field.
The transfer market would certainly agree. The biggest fees are often commanded by the most frequent goal botherers and a decent hitman can hide a multitude of sins for your team.
Of course, being a striker isn’t just about finishing anymore. You have to hold up, link play, press, run the channels and bully defences. These lads have certainly got the role sussed…
NOTE: this list consists of the players who play as a central striker, rather than wide forwards, which you can find here. So, sorry Mo Salah: you’ve played more games on the wing this season.
10. Dusan Vlhaovic (Juventus)
After hitting 49 goals in 108 Fiorentina appearances, Juventus fans expected big things when the Serbian arrived in Turin in January 2022. While he hasn't quite hit those heights, with the Old Lady enduring a transition period, the Serbian has still hit double figures in Serie A this season, despite off-field issues with the club has troubled matters on the pitch.
A battler, Vlahovic is equally adept at bringing the ball under his spell from a long ball as he is sprinting in behind or challenging defenders in the air. Still only 23, if Juve recruit right next season Vlahovic could come into his own.
9. Alexander Isak (Newcastle)
Joining a Premier League side for more than £60 million in the summer of 2022 certainly heaps pressure on a young player, but Isak has certainly risen to those expectations since pitching up at St. James' Park. While injury plighted the opening months of his Newcastle career, the Swede has made up for lost time by bagging a goal every two games and occupying defenders with his electric pace and mesmeric touch.
If you want a glimpse of his talent, just take a look at the mazy dribble he produced before Jacob Murphy's goal against Everton in Newcastle's 4-1 win.
8. Gabriel Jesus (Arsenal)
Unlike the majority of other strikers, it's what Jesus brings to the team aside from goals that prove so important for Arsenal. Indeed, his movement, link-up play and tireless work ethic make him such a valuable addition to the Gunners, vindicating Mikel Arteta's decision to sign him from Manchester City.
Few strikers in world football harry defenders with the same level of dedication as Jesus, while double figures in the Premier League still highlights his ability in front of goal.
7. Lautaro Martinez (Inter)
Captaining Inter to their first Champions League final since 2010 might not even be a highlight for Martinez in the 2022/23 season, with the diminutive frontman also part of Argentina's World Cup-winning squad in Qatar. While he faced ridicule at the tournament for his performances, Martinez has answered his critics by smashing in 20 Serie A goals and reaching the aforementioned final.
The Argentine boasts blistering pace and a ferocious shot. A number of Premier League clubs have been linked with deals for Martinez, and it's easy to see why.
6. Robert Lewandowski (Barcelona)
A little low down this list, perhaps, but hopefully we'll be forgiven for the array of quality still to come. Regardless, the prolific Pole became the first man to score Champions League hat-tricks with three different clubs when smashing in three for Barcelona against Viktoria Plzen in early September.
At 34, Lewa could have taken the easy option when leaving Bayern over the summer. Instead of MLS, however, he went to Catalonia, and has continued the scoring form which saw him bang in more than 344 goals in 375 appearances for the German giants. He’s still as unstoppable as ever.
5. Victor Osimhen (Napoli)
Napoli have a lot of players to thank for their stunning Scudetto triumph in the 2022/23 season, but none deserve praise more than Victor Osimhen. A big-money move to Naples didn't quite go to plan initially, but in the most recent campaign the Nigerian goal-getter has proven his worth with 23 strikes in 29 games.
A focal point for Napoli attacks, Osimhen is direct and only has one thing on his mind: goals. Whether its leaping for headers or getting onto the end of inviting crosses, his desire to stick the ball in the back of the net is clear to see. It's no wonder the majority of Europe are chasing his talent.
4. Harry Kane (Tottenham)
If it weren't for the superhuman exploits of another Premier League striker this term, Kane's season would be rightly heralded as exceptional, not least because he is playing in a Spurs side devoid of confidence, attacking verve or, dare we say it, even ability. 25+ goals highlights his importance to Tottenham - they'll desperately miss him if he decides to leave.
Now Tottenham's all-time leading scorer, Kane recently overtook Wayne Rooney's tally of 208 to move into second place in the all-time EPL top-scorers list. Alan Shearer, he's coming for you.
3. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)
The burly Frenchman continues to defy time, maturing beyond the wrong side of 30 like a fine wine. His precision shooting, strength, desire and immense work rate are simply exceptional for a 35-year-old, and it doesn't look like he's slowing down anytime soon.
While he hasn't managed to quite replicate his Ballon d'Or-winning form, Benzema is still dragging Real Madrid to trophies and the latter rounds of the Champions League with his goalscoring and link-up play. Los Blancos could seriously struggle when he decides to move on.
2. Kylian Mbappe (PSG)
Despite all of the noise surrounding Mbappe's future at PSG, even after the bumper new contract he signed in the summer of 2022, the Frenchman has continued to excel in a less-than convincing squad. Yet another astonishing haul of 35+ goals highlights his ability - there's simply no stopping Kylian when he fancies it, as defences in Ligue 1 have had the misfortune of realising over the years.
Oh, and he also bagged a hat-trick in the World Cup final. No biggie.
1. Erling Haaland (Manchester City)
There were some who (foolishly) doubted whether Haaland would do it in the Premier League, believing superior English defending would limit the threat he posed in Germany. He’s answered those critics emphatically, and then some.
The Norwegian has made a mockery of Premier League defences, reaching double figures in just six league matches, bagging four hat-tricks and smashing the single-season goalscoring record with consummate ease. Buckle in, Premier League record holders - Haaland's here to take the lot.
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Get FourFourTwo Newsletter
The best features, fun and footballing quizzes, straight to your inbox every week.
Ed is a staff writer at FourFourTwo, working across the magazine and website. A German speaker, he’s been working as a football reporter in Berlin since 2015, predominantly covering the Bundesliga and Germany's national team. Favourite FFT features include an exclusive interview with Jude Bellingham following the youngster’s move to Borussia Dortmund in 2020, a history of the Berlin Derby since the fall of the Wall and a celebration of Kevin Keegan’s playing career.
- Ryan DabbsStaff writer