Mohamed Salah, Karim Benzema, Kylian Mbappe & Erling Haaland among Europe’s in-form players | Football news

Mohamed Salah tops the Premier League goalscorer list and Jamie Carragher claims that no player in Europe can perform at a higher level – but what do the numbers say?

The Egypt attacker has netted six goals and three assists in his seven league starts this season and delivered a customary, spectacular solo effort in the 2-2 draw with Manchester City super sunday.

“I don’t think anyone is playing better in the world or in Europe right now,” Carragher claimed after the full-time whistle. “His record at the start of this season was absolutely outstanding.”

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Jamie Carragher says Mohamed Salah is one of the best players in Europe and urges the club to tie the striker to a new contract

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So, is anyone else challenging Salah for that cloak? Undoubtedly there is one player in the running based on the current form: Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema, who scored nine goals in seven games and also provided seven assists.

Indeed, the Sky Sports Power Rankings remove all subjectivity. The algorithm applies a fixed formula to rank players’ form based on starting positions and awards points for 35 match day stats – not just goals and assists.

I don’t think anyone is playing better in the world or in Europe right now.

Jamie Carragher

The result? Benzema beats Salah as Europe’s best performing player with the best margins – with Erling Haaland, Kylian Mbappe, Edin Dzeko and Mikel Oyarzabal in pursuit.

Purely on goal commitment, the French international is also alone this campaign with 16 in La Liga – six more than Haaland and seven more than Salah and Bayer Leverkusen’s midfielder Florian Wirtz.

Incredibly, Haaland comes second despite only playing five league games – having missed the previous two with a muscle injury, which will see the 21-year-old miss Norway’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Turkey and Montenegro.

In terms of representation in the Premier League, the West Ham striker Michael Antonio is in joint fifth place in Europe with five goals and three assists from just six starts, while Jamie Vardy, Paul pogba, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Gabriel Jesus are all in the top 20.

What about the past year?

The Ballon d’Or nominees will be announced on Friday after last year’s awards ceremony was canceled due to the pandemic crisis.

By applying the same methods as above in the past 12 months, Lionel Messi reigns supreme for pure form – with the Argentinian looking to expand his record-breaking Ballon d’Or catch to seven this year.

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Lionel Messi shocked the world when he left Barcelona and joined PSG for free this summer

A large number of players are rallying behind the Argentinian, but a remarkable changing of the guard seems in sight, with Mbappé, Bruno Fernandes and Haaland in the fold.

In particular, Robert Lewandowski is in second place, ahead of Benzema and Mbappe.

However, no striker in Europe comes close to Lewandowski for sheer goal power. The Bayern Munich striker has scored 47 league goals in the past 12 months. To put that in context, Haaland follows in his wake with 32 to his name.

Robert Lewandowski scored twice in Bayern's big win over Dynamo Kyiv
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Robert Lewandowski is one of the favorites to win the Ballon d’Or. to win this year

Add six more assists in that span and the Poland international records a return of 53 goals – six more than Benzema.

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Romelu Lukaku has been in joint sixth place for overall goalscoring goals since October 1, 2020 Рafter switching from Inter Milan for £97.5 million at Chelsea this summer

Despite leading the form chart, Messi slips into joint fourth place for goal involvement alongside current team-mate Mbappe, suggesting the 34-year-old may have contributed more to his overall game – in addition to receiving notable boosts from his eight goals from outside the penalty area.

Watch Euro hotshots live on Sky Sports this week

You can see goal machines Mbappe, Benzema and Romelu Lukaku in action as France take on Belgium in the Nations League semi-finals live on Sky Sports Football Thursday from 7.30 pm (kick-off at 7.45 pm).

Thursday 7 October 19.30 hrs

Kick-off 19:45


Lewandowski is likely to take the lead when Poland plays San Marino on Saturday and Albania on Tuesday – with both matches live on the air sports red button.

Portugal trio Andre Silva, Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo are also set for international action in front of the Sky cameras with a friendly against Qatar on Saturday before Luxembourg hosts on Tuesday.

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