Forget Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi — there are some new names challenging for the European Golden Boot this season.
Three of Europe’s top five leagues — La Liga, the Premier League, Serie A, Bundesliga and Ligue 1 — have leading marksmen that few would have predicted at the beginning of the campaign. And while there are some familiar names topping the scoring charts in France, most of the chasing pack may not be as recognizable.
Last season, household names led the scoring charts across Europe’s leading leagues with Lionel Messi as No. 1 in Spain, Mohamed Salah in England, Mauro Icardi and Ciro Immobile joint leaders in Italy, Robert Lewandowski in Germany and Edinson Cavani in France.
But it’s somewhat different with a quarter of the 2018-19 campaign almost behind us.
Cristhian Stuani, now of Girona and formerly of Middlesbrough, is leading the way in Spain with eight goals so far. The 32-year-old scored the second of his three doubles in a 2-2 draw against Barcelona. Perhaps even more impressively, he is the top scoring Uruguayan with Cavani on five and Luis Suarez on three.
Just behind Stuani is on-loan Sevilla man Andre Silva, who has seven so far — including a hat-trick on his debut and two against Real Madrid.
Chelsea star Eden Hazard has raced into the lead in England with seven in eight games so far — but, despite the Belgian being widely regarded as one of the best around, he already has over half of his league tally for the whole of last season.
Next are four players on five goals. Harry Kane and Sergio Aguero are names that won’t surprise anyone. However, level with them are Brighton’s Glenn Murray and Fulham forward Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Krzysztof Piatek is the Genoa centre-forward who just can’t stop scoring. He has nine in Serie A so far, which doesn’t even include his four-goal haul in a 4-0 Coppa Italia win over Lecce. He also hit his first goal for Poland in only his second international appearance. He has yet to play for Genoa without finding the back of the net, but next up are Juventus.
Next is Napoli’s Lorenzo Insigne, who has six.
Paco Alcacer is leading the charts in Germany — and he has scored in every single match he has played so far this season. He has six goals in his three Bundesliga appearances and also found the back of the net in the Champions League as well as in the UEFA Nations League for Spain.
Next, with five apiece, are Borussia Monchengladbach forward Alassane Plea and Ondrej Duda of Hertha Berlin.
Kylian Mbappe’s four-goal haul against Lyon saw him double his tally for the campaign and he now tops the charts in France, level with Paris Saint-Germain teammate Neymar on eight.
Marseille’s Florian Thauvin is one of three players to have hit the back of the net seven times, with Lille’s Jonathan Bamba and Bordeaux’s Francois Kamano aren’t names many would have picked to be so close to the top.