These are the top-5 strikers in the English Premier League for 2013/14 season (as of 05/01/2014). The ratings are accumulated by the Player Performance Index (PPI) powered by EA Sports – the official player-rating system of the Barclays Premier League.
5) Romelu Lukaku (Everton) PPI Rating: 411 points
After enjoying two excellent seasons with his hometown-club Anderlecht including finishing as top-scorer in the Belgian Pro League at the tender age of 17, Romelu Lukaku made a high-profile £10 million switch to join his ageing childhood hero Didier Drogba at Chelsea in the summer of 2011. His debut season with the Blues however, did not unravel according to plan. Although Chelsea lifted their first UEFA Champions League trophy that season, Lukaku did not feature for even a single minute in the competition and often ended playing for the reserves instead. That prompted him to move away to West Bromwich Albion on a year-long loan for the 2012/13 season and it proved to be a breakthrough spell for Lukaku. His tally of 17 goals from 35 league games for the Baggies meant that he had outscored all his Chelsea teammates in the league that season. However it was not enough to impress new Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho to retain the Belgian striker who decided to move away on-loan once more, this time to Everton. With 9 goals from 16 games so far for the Toffees, Lukaku has once again managed to outscore all the misfiring Chelsea strikers.
4) Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) PPI Rating: 467 points
Six months ago it seemed as though Wayne Rooney’s spell with Manchester United was effectively over after the England star handed a transfer request with a host of top European clubs queuing for his signature. But retaining the services of Rooney in spite of all the hullabaloo has perhaps been David Moyes’s biggest achievement in his short career so far as the Manchester United manager. Under Moyes the defending champions are enduring the one of their worst seasons in recent history having already lost four times at Old Trafford. The Red Devils are currently sitting seventh in the table, eleven points off league-leaders Arsenal. Yet in spite of United’s lacklusture displays, Wayne Rooney’s performances have remained as exhilarating as ever with the England striker has often singlehandedly carriying United’s fortunes on his broad shoulders this season. Besides his tally of 9 league goals, Rooney has inevitably been at the heart of the little that has been impressive about United this season. Without his presence on the field Manchester United have steadily fallen victims to considerably lesser opponents; just like they did in their recent FA Cup exit at home against Swansea City.
3) Sergio Aguero (Manchester City) PPI Rating: 498 points
Sergio ‘Kun’ Aguero spent five seasons with Atletico Madrid, joining the club at the age of 18 before quickly establishing himself as one of the brightest young talents in Europe. With the departure of Fernando Torres to Liverpool, Aguero was paired with Uruguayan forward Diego Forlan by veteran manager Javier Aguierre to form one of the most exciting strike-partnerships in Europe for the past decade to help Atletico claim the UEFA Europa League and the UEFA Super Cup. In the summer of 201, Aguero completed a £38 million transfer to move to Manchester City and finished his debut season in the Premier league with 23 goals. In the final game of the season, Aguero struck the injury-time winner against Queens Park Rangers which allowed City to claim their maiden Premier League title from the jaws of failure. It is the remarkable trait about Kun Aguero because not only is he a clinical finisher in front of goal but he has a queer knack for providing it at crucial junctures. This season City has been scoring for fun under the refreshing attack-minded philosophy of new manager Manuel Pellegrini which has also added fuel to Aguero’s fire. The Argentine poacher has already amassed 13 goals in the league and another 6 in Europe until his knee-injury before the festive period forced him out of action.
2) Eden Hazard (Chelsea) PPI Rating: 512 points
After making his professional debut with the French club Lille OSC at the age of just 16, Hazard quickly grew in stature to emerge as the lynchpin of the team. His performances earned him the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year award in 2008 to becoming the first foreign player to win the award. After inspiring Lille to a remarkable ‘league and cup double’in 2011/12 season, Hazard was named Ligue 1 Player of the Year for two staright years. With a host of top European clubs chasing for his signature, Hazard opted to move to the Premier League with Chelsea in the summer of 2012. He enjoyed a terrific debut season with the Blues and alongside Oscar and Juan Mata, with whom he swiftly developed a phenomenal understanding on the pitch to form one of the most delightful attacking combinations in Europe. Chelsea’s current manager Jose Mourinho has however preferred to use Hazard as a winger-forward rather than an attacking midfielder and the tactic has produced more goals out of the Belgian international. With 8 league goals from 20 games so far, Hazard is Chelsea’s leading scorer and arguably their most consistent and most important player this season.
1) Luis Suarez (Liverpool) PPI Rating: 681 points
Since leaving Ajax to join Liverpool during the January transfer window four winters ago, Luis Suarez’s journey with the Merseyside club has been nothing short of a rollercoaster ride. Brilliance and controversy in equal amounts always surrounds the Uruguayan striker and he has had his fair share of them in his not too long spell in England. But since returning from his 8-game ban for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic on the neck, Luis Suarez has simply been on fire for Liverpool this season. Suarez was forced to miss the opening five league-games due to his suspension, but he has more than made up for lost time. On New Year’s Day Suarez reached 20 goals for the current season becoming the joint-quickest to reach the mark in the Premier League along with Andy Cole in 1994/95 season. Earlier he had thumped four past Norwich City at Anfield to become the only player in Premiership history to manage three hat-tricks against the same opposition. In the absence of club-captain of Steven Gerrard, manager Brendan Rodgers presented the captain’s armband to Suarez to lead Liverpool for the first time in 0-5 mauling of Tottenham at White Hart Lane. Within a week following the mammoth win, Suarez signed a contract-extension to keep him at Anfield until 2018 besides making him the club’s highest-paid player.
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