The Most Overrated Strikers in Modern Football History

Most overrate strikers

Last Updated on October 28, 2021

Top Strikers usually cost a fortune. They have only one goal – to score goals (with regularity). Unfortunately, some strikers fall short of this mark after a lot of expectations. Worse still, these strikers get more respect than they truly deserve. Hence, there is a need to know the most overrated strikers in Football.

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In recent years, there seem to be a plethora of elite strikers. However, there is also no shortage of overrated strikers who flattered to deceive but still get a lot of praises.

In no particular order, we’ll highlight some of the most overrated strikers in football.

Emile Heskey

Emile Heskey has been a striker that’s long-respected within the football industry. However, after a 516 appearance Premier League career, he never came close to being an elite Premier League striker.

Heskey’s best-ever Premier League tally in a single season was in the 00/01 season where he featured 36 times. In that campaign, he scored only 14 goals. His sheer size meant he fit a tactical profile that was suitable to the Premier League of that time. But his technical ability was not the very best.

Indeed, Heskey is one of the most overrated Strikers.

Read ALso: Are Goal Scorers More Favored for Personal Accolades?

Gabriel Agbonlahor

Blessed with electric pace, Gabby Agbonlahor had the most important physical attribute. The pace and intensity of the Premier League meant he was one of the most fitting physical striker profiles you had in England.

Despite a few important goals against some of the top sides at the time, he never quite reached the heights we expected.

After 322 Premier League appearances, Gabby Agbonlahor only has 74 Premier League goals to show for his long career. He averaged just 0.23 goals per game.

That’s not going to light up any football fans’ eyes. But he did score some goals that were out of this world. However, he never did that with any consistency that reason why he’s one of the most overrated strikers. Now, nobody would go say he was a 1 in 1 chance striker or even 1 goal in 3 chance striker.

In fact, his highest ever goal tally in a season was in the 09/10 season when he made 36 appearances and scored only 13 goals.

Consider Reading: The Best International Footballers At Every Position

Danny Welbeck

A Mancunian boy who came through the United academy, there aren’t many places Danny could have received a better football education.

With Sir Alex Ferguson as his manager, Wayne Rooney, Tevez, and Cristiano Ronaldo all teammates that he once had, one would expect a young, tall, and quick striker such as Welbeck would actualize the potential many saw in him. Who would have thought that Wellbeck would be one of the most overrated strikers?

It must be said that Danny didn’t always play up top and that was part of the reason he sought a move to Arsenal. In 2014/2015 after limited game time, and being played out of position, Welbeck sought a new challenge. But how did it fare?

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It is important to note that Wellbeck has never scored more than 10 goals in a single Premier League campaign, in over 250 appearances. It’s also fair to say that along with physique, pace, and great link-up ability, “wasteful” is also an adjective one would associate with him.

Consider Reading: Worst Arsenal Signings

Mauro Icardi

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Icardi proved to be a top-class center-forward when at Inter Milan. At some point, he was poised to take the baton from Sergio Aguero as the next best Argentinian forward. This never materialized for him. However, one can count a myriad of on-pitch & off-pitch reasons (his wife is his agent and hindsight suggests that may not have been the best move). 

Indeed, Icardi was impressive at Inter Milan for 5 seasons. Particularly, in the 2017/18 campaign, he scored 29 Serie A goals in 34 appearances as captain of the club too. After dealing with off-pitch issues (thanks to his wife and agent), he managed to get a move to PSG. Ever since he has never come close to the heights he achieved at Inter. His highest ever goal tally in the French League was a measly 12 goals in his first season. 

He may not be the most overrated, but his demise has been so sharp that you wonder; was he just simply overperforming? Was he in the most optimal system to maximize his potential during his time at Inter? It’s very will in blurred lines territory but it’s certainly worth dissecting.

Michi Batshuayi

The Batman, as he was commonly known, was meant to be a breakout star after an amazing debut season at Marseille scoring 9 goals as a youngster in 26 appearances. The next season, he featured 36 times and scored a much improved 17 times in the French League.

As is the case in football, he immediately attracted attention & expectation. But when it came right down to it, Michi never delivered at a consistent rate in the Premier League. He eventually moved to Chelsea and had two spells at Selhurst Park with Crystal Palace.

Although he had a decent spell at Borrusia Dortmund, he never hit double figures for any club he played for after Marseille.

Of course, there are many reasons that can help justify his lack of consistency. It’s frustrating for many because there was genuine potential in Michi. However, for a myriad of coaching, tactical and other reasons, it was never actualized.

Read Also: Pele Vs. Maradona: Who Was Better?

Mario Balotelli

Mario Balotelli is arguably the most wasted striking talent in recent memory. He has to be the king of the most overrated strikers in modern football.

Considering the way he burst onto the football scene, he’s never actualized that raw potential he had. He struck the Serie A by storm with spectacular goals in his teenage years yet considering all of that, much like the strikers in this article, he also never delivered consistency or reached the levels his talent demanded. 

His highest goal tally came in the French Ligue 1 playing for Nice where he bagged a respectable 18 goals in 28 league appearances. One cannot mention Balotelli without referring to the off-pitch and on-pitch troubles he faced; racism, a bad attitude, and a love for the nightlife always seemed to get in the way. 

Christian Benteke

The Belgian is another striker who promised so much in the earlier parts of his Premier League which even earned him a 32 million pounds move to Liverpool after scoring 23 goals for Aston Villa in his first season. 

He’s never managed anywhere near that goal tally ever again. Apart from a memorable bicycle goal for Liverpool against Manchester United, he had a torrid time in Merseyside amassing a meager 10 goals in 42 appearances

Now playing for Crystal Palace where he has spent 6 years, his highest goal count was 15 goals in the English Top Flight from 36 appearances. Frankly, he looks so far removed from the highly-rated striker he once was.

Consider Reading: Highest Goal SCoring Midfielders

Anthony Martial

There is no doubt that Anthony Martial is one of the most overrated strikers in modern football.

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The French prodigy was once a highly rated youngster that many if not most expected to be a global star striker for the modern era.

Impressing in the brave Champions League campaign in Monaco’s 14/15 season, he then was the subject of a 60 million pound move to Manchester United.

After scoring a fabulous Henry-Esque goal versus Liverpool, the world of football started touting him to be the “next Thierry Henry”. He did draw similarities to the Arsenal legend because he played off the wing.

Consider Reading: Highest Goal SCoring Defenders in Football

That proved to be disgustingly premature because, despite a handful of moments, he still hasn’t lived up to the expectations. To be fair, he only did ever score 9 goals in 35 appearances for Monaco. Maybe the expectations were unfair on the young man at the time. However, after once being the subject of a 60 million pound transfer, he still scored his personal high of 17 Premier League goals from 32 games in the 19/20 season. 

After a couple of injuries, he looks shorn of confidence and possibly needs a move away from Old Trafford to reignite his career.

One could probably assume that Kylian Mbappe once wanted to be like Anthony Martial, but the roles have well and truly been reversed now.

Alexandre Lacazette

Lacazette was once one of the most highly-rated strikers in world football during his spell with Lyon. He scored more than 20 goals in each of his 3 seasons at Lyon; 27, 21, and finally 28 league goals respectively. Then Arsenal signed him for a massive 46 million pound in the summer of 2017. Granted, the Frenchman may have not moved to the Emirates at the best of time. He came during Arsene Wenger’s final years and Arsenal has been on a downward trajectory, rebuilding ever since his departure. 

However, Lacazette never replicated his Lyon form, seemingly losing his pace and striking instinct. In his 5 years at the club, the Frenchman has never hit over 20 goals in the league – his highest Premier League tally being 14 goals in his debut season in London.

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Consider Reading: Best Midfielders in Football History

Final Thought

As mentioned before, most of the overrated strikers get undue media attention praises from fans. They are portrayed to be better than what they actually are.

However, in reality, many of them are not as good as they are portrayed.

Anyway, in your opinion, who is the most overrated striker?

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