Stats review – Who are the most frequent goal scorers in the Bundesliga?

The Bundesliga has provided its fans with some high scoring matches after the league’s return from the winter. Two Dutchmen have made headlines for their prolific form in front of goal after Germany’s top flight kicked back into action. Bayern’s Arjen Robben seems unstoppable at the moment, having scored a staggering 10 goals in his last 8 appearances(and 6 in 5 in the Rückrunde), whilst Wolfsburg’s Bas Dost managed the incredible feat of scoring 8 goals in 8 days (6 in the Bundesliga and 2 in the Europa League).

With form like this, there’s little doubt that the pair are red hot contenders for the much coveted Torjägerkanone (the trophy handed to the league’s top scorer at the end of the season). Dost in particular has had a strong showing so far in 2015, having scored 9 of his 11 goals during his 5 appearances in the Rückrunde. His goal average of 1.8 goals per match in the Rückrunde was of course greatly helped by his incredible performance against Bayer Leverkusen on match day 21.

Based on playing time alone, Bas Dost is currently the most effective striker in the Bundesliga, scoring a goal every 66 minutes (last season this category was topped by Claudio Pizarro who scored a goal every 68 minutes). Furthermore, the Wolfsburg player needs fewer shots than his compatriot Robben to get on the scoring sheet (2.2 compared to 5 shots per goal for the latter).

Right now, it might seem like Robben’s lead for the title of the top scorer of the league might be insurmountable for Dost, however, if one takes a closer look at the stats one might find that Dost is still in with a fighting chance for the goal scoring crown.

Bayern dominate

It doesn’t come as a surprise for most Bundesliga fans that Bayern have four players on the list of the 10 most effective players in front of goal this season. The team has scored 10.5% of all goals scored in the Bundesliga, and Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Müller, Mario Götze and Arjen Robben have been responsible for 44 of the Bavarians 59 goals so far this season.

The fact that players like Franck Ribery and Claudio Pizarro haven’t been among the most important assets for Bayern’s attack just goes to show just how much quality there is within that side.

Odd entries

However, there are a few surprising entries on the list over the 10 most effective players. Bayer’s Josip Drmic has been criticised by fans of Die Werkself for a lack of performance. However, the Swiss has been getting on scoresheet every 128 minutes. Furthermore, he’s also one of five players in the league who have scored 2 goals after coming off the bench. Only Freiburg’s Nils Petersen has scored more goals after being subbed onto the pitch.

But perhaps the biggest surprise is the man whose placed third on the list. One wouldn’t necessarily use the name of Mainz’s Colombian holding midfielder Elkin Soto and prolific goal scorer in the same sentence. But, as it turns out the 34-year-old midfielder has somehow managed to score three goals in his 10 appearances. The reason for that is simple though: Soto has been subbed onto the pitch for 7 of his 10 matches. Four of those substitutions came after the 80th minute. Despite being a fringe player, the Colombian has delivered big time in terms of goals and assists. 3 goals from 9 shots and only 339 minutes on the pitch means that Soto scores more frequently than players such as Lewandowski, Di Santo, Müller and Götze.

Criteria for the list

All players with 10 or more appearances were eligible for the list. This meant that strikers such as Nils Petersen and Leroy Sane didn’t make it onto the list simply because they didn’t feature often enough.

Player Minutes on the pitch Minutes per goal Goals per match Shots per game Appearances Goals total
Bas Dost 727 66 1 2.2 11 11
Arjen Robben 1470 92 0.89 4.4 18 16
Elkin Soto 339 113 0.3 0.9 10 3
Alexander Meier 1760 126 0.67 3 21 14
Josip Drmic 513 128 0.25 0.9 16 4
Franco Di Santo 1310 131 0.67 2.1 15 10
Mario Götze 1321 147 0.45 1.7 20 9
Robert Lewandowski 1558 156 0.5 3.3 20 10
Marco Reus 995 166 0.5 3.4 12 6
Thomas Müller 1579 175 0.43 2.7 21 9


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Niklas Wildhagen

Niklas is a 33-year-old football writer and podcaster who has been following the Bundesliga and German football since the early 90s. You can follow him on Twitter, @normusings, and listen to his opinions on @TalkingFussball.

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