It’s been a strange season in many ways, largely due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, which has kept spectators out of stadiums for far longer than anyone could have anticipated. Nonetheless, the show has gone on, and it’s been a campaign full of surprises and drama, although there is nothing all that surprising about the fact that Manchester City are the runaway leaders at the top of the Premier League table.
Many of the league’s best goalscorers have enjoyed solid campaigns, with the likes of Harry Kane and Mohamed Salah leading the scoring charts. However, there are some players who have a tendency to squander good opportunities in front of goal, and the ‘big chances missed’ statistic is one that Premier League strikers do not want to feature highly in.
Let’s take a look at five of the most profligate players from the current Premier League season so far (information correct at the time of writing).
It’s been a fine first season back in the Premier League for Leeds United, who have well and truly upset the English Premier League odds. Part of that is down to the goals of Patrick Bamford, who has silenced his doubters by proving that he can cut it at top-flight level. However, despite Bamford’s 14 goals this season, he is also the most profligate player, having missed 21 big chances so far. He’ll need to sharpen those shooting boots even more if he is to help Leeds reach their true potential.
At the age of 34, Jamie Vardy continues to be an important cog in Leicester City’s machine. His speed and clever run-making sees him get on the end of numerous clear-cut chances, and the nature of the Englishman’s game is such that there are bound to be a few missed ones here and there. This season, Vardy has squandered 17 big chances, which perhaps suggest that his powers are starting to wane ever so slightly.
Much has been made of Timo Werner’s sluggish start to life at Chelsea. It was hoped that the arrival of German coach Thomas Tuchel would help Werner rediscover his best form. Unfortunately, that hasn’t proved to be the case, and Werner’s poor season is backed up by the fact that he has missed 17 big chances, while notching just six goals. If there is any consolation for Chelsea supporters, it’s that Werner is at least getting into the right areas. Perhaps next season, after he has had a full campaign to become accustomed to the Premier League, we will see more goals fly in for the German.
By his own exceptionally high standard, it’s been a disappointing campaign for Liverpool’s Sadio Mané. Having shared the Golden Boot award in the 2018-19 season with 22 goals, before notching 18 last season, the goals have well and truly dried up for the Senegalese forward. He has just eight goals to his name so far this season, and has also missed 16 big chances for the Reds, which helps explains the defending champions’ disappointing campaign. It’s hard to know whether this year is just a blip for Mané, or if it’s the start of a more serious decline.
New Zealand international Chris Wood has become a mainstay of Sean Dyche’s Burnley team since he arrived at the club in 2017, and has scored plenty of goals in that time. However, his 16 big chances missed this season suggests that he hasn’t quite been at the peak of his powers recently, though a recent hat-trick against Wolverhampton Wanderers proved he is still a striker to be feared. With that, Burnley could breathe a little easier in terms of the Premier League relegation odds from Betfair.