Who is the best striker on the planet right now?

Opinion

Costa? Benzema? Falcao? These imperious forwards aren’t even in the top ten for goals scored in the top five European leagues from 2014/15 onwards, so who really is the greatest goal scorer in the world at this moment in time?

Looking at goals scored since the 2014/15 season, it is a very difficult task in trying to name the best forward in recent history. Ronaldo leads the way on 98, closely followed by La Liga companions Messi and Suarez on 89 and 74 respectively. Higuain sits one behind the Barcelona forward, with Ibrahimovic one behind the Argentine. Lacazette represents Ligue 1 on 69, while Lewandowski does likewise for the Bundesliga with 66. The English Premier League is then dominant in the last three of the ten with Kane and Aguero on 63 and 61 respectively, either side of Cavani on 62.

Focusing on the English Premier League, which has undoubtedly produced some of the greatest forwards that the game has even seen, do we need to look much further for the world’s best right now?

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, after heavy criticism before his move to United, incredibly already has 15 league goals to his name this season. A truly remarkable achievement, especially considering the giant striker arrived to Old Trafford for free. He has won trophies throughout his career wherever he has been, and is almost single-handedly continuing this feat for his current club.

Harry Kane is another who seemingly cannot stop scoring, adding his 17th league goal with a stunning hat-trick against Stoke. City forward Sergio Aguero has also bagged an impressive 11 league goals in a somewhat disrupted season, yet often again single-handedly dragging the Manchester side out of several sticky situations.

Ligue 1 also has a famous history for housing some phenomenal goal-scorers, and this season is no different. Cavani has scored a remarkable 26 league goals in France this season, stepping up to the plate after spending much of last season under the unflattering limelight of Zlatan. Lyon striker Lacazette isn’t far behind on 22, paving the way for a long-awaited stint as the national team’s leading man.

The Spanish league however cannot be rivaled, with Ronaldo, Messi and Suarez finding the net every other week for their clubs. The Real Madrid forward has found the net 16 times in the league this season, adding to his incredible tally of 276 goals in 231 games for his beloved side. Messi meanwhile has 20 league goals to his name, impressively leading the way, two goals ahead of his team-mate Suarez.

In Italy, Higuain has shrugged off his often-criticized price tag by banging in 19 goals to drive Juventus towards yet another league title, while finally Lewandowski continues to hit the highs in Germany with 19 goals to similarly send Bayern towards Bundesliga success.

There are of course, as always, up and coming stars to knock these goal scoring legends off their perch. Koln’s Anthony Modeste is firing his side to European qualification through an impressive 17 league goals, while RB Leipzig’s 20-year-old star Timo Werner isn’t far behind on 13.

Torino’s young forward Andrea Belotti has found the net 19 times in Serie A this season, keeping him in the running for the Serie A Golden Boot Award, while former Premier League misfits Iago Falque and Iago Aspas are both finding fantastic form away from England.

Familiar faces Edin Dzeko and Radamel Falcao are once again back among the goals with 19 and 16 respectively, a happy sight for many in European football, with several exciting youngsters also making a name for themselves at this early stage with many vital goals for their team.