The role of the humble striker is always evolving.
These days you’ve got false 9s, false 10s, target men, inverted target men, poachers, raumdeuters… we’ll spare you the xG chat.
You’ve also got the non-scoring striker. Due to a variety of reasons, be it tactical or technical, these strikers can’t find the back of the net for love nor money. Actually, they get plenty of money.
The role is becoming something of a fixture in Premier League XIs. So who’s king of the non-scoring strikers?
9 Kenneth Zohore (Cardiff)
Big Ken scored ten goals in 11 games for Cardiff between 31 January 2017 and 1 April 2017. But since then, and in spite of Cardiff’s promotion to the top flight, the goals have dried up.
The 24-year-old is yet to score in the Premier League, meaning the last time he found the back of the net was 14 April.
He’s not helped by the fact the service he receives at Cardiff makes Tiger Woods teeing off at St Andrews look subtle.
8 Jurgen Locadia (Brighton)
Brighton splashed out on Locadia in January after watching the Dutchman scored nine goals in 15 Eredivisie games.
He netted on his debut, an FA Cup win against Coventry, and then scored eight minutes into his first taste of Premier League football.
This goalsoring lark is easy. But after 15 games without a goal, Locadia has very much lost his place to the surprisingly prolific Glenn Murray.
7 Laurent Depoitre
The man with a pop star’s name and a builder’s frame.
Depoitre joins David Nugent in the exclusive ‘one international game, one international goal club’, having scored on his Belgium debut.
But, with no Premier League goal since 9 May, it’s unlikely he’ll be adding to his international résumé soon.
6 Ashley Barnes
Did you know Ashley Barnes played for Austria Under-20? Of course you did, because someone mentions it every time his name pops up in conversation.
Two goals against Bournemouth in September were a rarity for a man who hasn’t hit double figures in a league season since 2012.
Marko Arnautovic’s place up front for Austria is safe, for now.
5 Salomon Rondon (Newcastle)
Buying House of Fraser hours after deadline day wasn’t the only bit of trolling Mike Ashley did during the summer transfer market.
He swapped Dwight Gayle, a striker permanently too good for the Championship but not quite good enough for the Premier League, for West Brom’s Rondon.
Rondon hasn’t scored a Premier League goal since April. Top bit of work that, Mike.
4 Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace)
Once worth £32.5million, Palace couldn’t pay anyone to take Benteke off their hands in his current form.
The 27-year-old’s goalless streak dates back to 28 April, although you’ve got to go even further, to 30 January, to find his last strike from open play.
Alexa, show me the opposite of prolific.
3 Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton)
Calvert-Lewin is the type of player you assume, having seen him fleetingly on Match of the Day, is prolific.
But what if we told you he scored four goals last season, and has netted just once this campaign?
You’d call us liars. You’d be wrong.
Calvert-Lewin got off the mark against Crystal Palace after writing this. Shows what we know.
2 Olivier Giroud
Making firing blanks sexy.
Giroud’s scuffed his way to a ‘French Emile Heskey’ nickname, such are his perplexing combination of woes in front of goal and effective link-up play.
Nine Premier League games and counting without a goal. At least his beard still looks good.
1 Shane Long (Southampton)
Imagine turning up to work for two years, clocking out each day without picking up a pen and not getting sacked for it. You’d be classed a genius.
So it is that Long leads the way when it comes to non-scoring Premier League strikers.
The Irishman scored two Premier League goals last season and hasn’t found the back of the net since April. All whilst cashing cheques. Well played, good sir.
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