The Football Faithful
·20 March 2023
The Football Faithful
·20 March 2023
Confidence? Practice? Luck? Whatever it is going right for these Premier League names right now, it’s certainly working.
A number of the division’s forward talents have found their goalscoring groove in recent weeks and we’ve picked out eight of the most in-form attackers in the Premier League right now.
Marcus Rashford has been on the hottest of hot streaks since the season’s restart, with the Manchester United forward having only failed to score in three league matches since club football resumed in December.
Rashford has now scored 27 goals in all competitions, already his best-ever season for the Red Devils and a haul that includes ten goals in his last 12 Premier League appearances. The England international is also the leading scorer in the Europa League (6) despite starting just four games in the competition and has found his groove under the management of Erik ten Hag.
Rashford’s return has placed United into a strong position to secure Champions League football, while the club will have ambitions of adding both the FA Cup and Europa League to the League Cup won at Wembley last month.
After a tough period which saw Rashford criticised as he struggled for fitness and form, the 25-year-old is performing better than ever with his exciting attributes having come together as one potent cocktail.
Rashford was named as the Premier League’s Player of the Month for February, equalling the record for most wins by one player in a single season. It was his third monthly gong, after previous successes in September and January.
Is Erling Haaland in brilliant form? Or is Erling Haaland just brilliant?
Even when the Norwegian is below his usual standard, he finds a way to trouble defences and score goals. And lots of them.
Haaland’s record-breaking campaign continues to go from strength to strength, as the leading scorer in both the Premier League and Champions League this season. His 28 goals in the league is already a record for an overseas player in their debut campaign, while he is just five from breaking the Premier League landmark for a 38-game season.
Add in a tournament-leading ten goals in the Champions League – including FIVE as Manchester City thrashed RB Leipzig to reach the quarter-finals – and Haaland’s goalscoring is difficult to comprehend.
His 42 goals in all competitions is already a club record for Manchester City. It’s March.
Harry Kane might have been left chasing in the race for the Premier League’s Golden Boot, but it’s been another superb season from the Tottenham captain.
Kane’s records this season include becoming England and Spurs’ all-time record goalscorer, while he has joined Alan Shearer and Wayne Rooney as the only players to have scored 200+ Premier League goals.
Kane reached 21 for the season with a brace against Nottingham Forest last time out, the sixth time he has reached 20+ goals in a Premier League campaign. Only Shearer and Sergio Aguero can match that feat, with the 29-year-old now firmly cemented in the company of the division’s goalscoring greats.
He has eight goals in 12 appearances since the turn of the new year and Spurs will need their talisman to continue that form as the club battle to secure Champions League qualification.
Gabriel Martinelli has rediscovered his goalscoring touch at a crucial time for Arsenal, with six goals in six games having helped the Gunners bounce back from a mini-slump.
After three games without a win the league leaders have racked up six consecutive victories to establish an eight-point cushion at the top, with Martinelli’s form crucial to that run of results.
It’s now 13 league goals for the season for Martinelli, who alongside several of his teammates has had a coming-of-age campaign. Long regarded as an exciting prospect, the Brazilian is beginning to influence games with consistent quality.
23 - Gabriel Martinelli has scored 23 goals for Arsenal in the Premier League, levelling Nicolas Anelka's total for league goals scored for the club while 21 or under, and trailing only teammate Bukayo Saka (27) in this age category overall. Fearless.
Gareth Southgate named his England squad for March’s international fixtures last week and Ollie Watkins can consider himself an unfortunate omission.
Watkins missed out on a place in Qatar after a disappointing start to the Premier League season, but the Aston Villa forward is back among the goals and pushing for an international recall.
The 27-year-old – who has scored twice in seven caps for the Three Lions – has scored six goals in his last eight league games, a run which saw him become the first Villa player to score in five consecutive Premier League fixtures.
Only Marcus Rashford and Harry Kane have scored more among England’s centre-forward options, with Watkins’ having placed himself back into England contention.
Manor Solomon has found his feet at Fulham after missing the opening months of the season with a knee issue, with the winger impressive around goal in recent weeks.
Solomon has scored five goals in his last seven appearances for the Cottagers, a run of form which is set to increase speculation around his future. The Israel international is on loan at Fulham until June, when he will return to Shakhtar Donetsk.
Solomon was allowed to join Fulham as part of a FIFA ruling which allowed foreign players to suspend their contracts with Ukrainian clubs until 30 June 2023, due to the war in Ukraine.
The 23-year-old’s exciting performances for Marco Silva’s side are sure to have increased interest around him, as he looks to help Fulham to a top-half finish on their Premier League return. However, there is understood to be interest from both parties to extend his deal in west London.
Kaoru Mitoma is the talk of the South Coast right now, with the Japan international having shone as part of Roberto De Zerbi’s exciting Brighton side.
Mitoma signed for the Seagulls in 2021, before a season on loan at Union Saint-Gilloise as he awaited a work permit. The winger had to be patient for his chance this season, starting just once under former manager Graham Potter before his breakthrough following De Zerbi’s arrival as head coach.
He hasn’t looked back.
Mitoma has been in brilliant form for Brighton, filling the role vacated by Leandro Trossard’s exit to emerge as one of the Premier League’s most exciting talents. Sensational one-vs-one and with improving end product, he has scored five goals since the season’s restart and is closing in on a Japanese record.
🇯🇵 2012/13 - Shinji Kagawa (6) 🇯🇵 2017/18 - Shinji Okazaki (6) 🇯🇵 2022/23 - Kaoru Mitoma (6) @OfficialBHAFC’s @kaoru_mitoma needs one more goal to have netted the most goals in a single #PL season by a Japanese player
His six goals have equalled the record for a Japanese player in a single Premier League season, set by Manchester United’s Shinji Kagawa (2012/13) and Leicester’s Shinji Okazaki (2017/18).
Brighton are understood to be keen to tie the 25-year-old down to a new contract as rival sides begin to circle.
Few envisaged this level of improvement in Arsenal this season. Talented but raw, pre-season expectations were for a push for the top four.
As the season approaches the run-in Arsenal are top of the division and chasing the championship, having produced some sublime football under the management of Mikel Arteta. Bukayo Saka has been the spark of the side for the league leaders, having completed his evolution from exciting starlet to genuine – and regular – match-winner.
Saka is a creative force for Arsenal, with his direct brand of football tormenting defenders and carving up opportunities for teammates. He leads the division for completed dribbles (54), ranks highly for shot-creating actions (4th) and key passes (5th) and trails only Erling Haaland and Harry Kane for goal involvements.
He has 22 goal involvements in 28 appearances this season and seven in his last seven Premier League games for the Gunners.
Haaland might be the odds-on favourite to be crowned Player of the Year, but if Arsenal emerge triumphant in the title race then few will have a stronger claim than Saka.
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