Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Who have been Europe’s surprise marksmen so far this season?

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With Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min helping Tottenham reclaim their spot at the top of the Premier League table thanks to a 2-0 win in Sunday’s North London derby, this year’s domestic campaigns certainly has the potential to throw up some real upsets across Europe.

While Bayern Munich might have expectedly found a route to top spot in the Bundesliga, the likes of Real Sociedad and AC Milan have started to believe that they can mount a serious title charge, largely thanks to the help of some of Europe’s hottest leading men.

So, with the race for the Golden Boot across the continent now in full swing, we have taken a look at three striking stars who have taken Europe by storm this season and are enjoying quite the free-scoring run.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin

While Everton would have been left frustrated to have only collected a point away at Turf Moor on Saturday lunchtime, Carlo Ancelotti would have taken some solace from the fact that a red-hot Dominic Calvert-Lewin managed to extend on his remarkable start to the 2020/2021 campaign.

Still dreaming of mounting a European charge this season, despite failing to live up to the same standards they set prior to November’s international break, the one-time Sheffield United starlet has taken the Premier League by storm.

Adding to his tally in Lancashire over the weekend, the 23-year-old has already managed to record 11 top-flight goals as we inch closer to the New Year and currently leads the race for the Golden Boot.

In fact, already recording more goals by himself than Arsenal have accumulated as a whole team, Calvert-Lewin’s performances have seen him rewarded with a call-up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad.

Zlatan Ibrahimović

Although Zlatan Ibrahimović might not have featured in AC Milan’s 2-1 win away at Sampdoria on Sunday night, the 39-year-old has enjoyed a stunning Indian summer in what has been an illustrious career.

With many in his native Sweden calling for their attacking icon to make a shock return at next year’s delayed European Championships, the one-time PSG marksman has really spearheaded a high-flying I Rossoneri.

Helping AC secure a five-point buffer at the top of the Serie A table and guiding them to the knockout stage of this year’s Europa League, Ibrahimović has already racked up 10 strikes in Italy’s top-tier, two more than Romelu Lukaku.

While Zlatan might have told Sky Sport Italia that he had considered hanging up his boots over the summer, the veteran striker has continued to take Italy by storm since ending his brief MLS adventure with LA Galaxy last year.

Mikel Oyarzabal

With Real Sociedad having to settle for a point away at Alaves on Sunday night, their 0-0 stalemate at the Mendizorrotza only highlighted just how vitally important skipper Mikel Oyarzabal has been for them this season.

Previously linked with a move to both Manchester United and Manchester City earlier in the year, the 23-year-old has received a string of rave reviews as he has played a vital role in Sociedad’s remarkable rise to second in the La Liga table.

Helped by the arrival of Premier League icon David Silva over the summer, Oyarzabal was voted Spain’s Player of the Month for November and now finds himself as Luis Enrique’s number one choice up top as we inch closer to next year’s European Championships.

Last seen out when drawing a close to November, the Sociedad homegrown talent has already managed to notch himself seven La Liga goals this season with a remarkable shot accuracy of 70%.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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