With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, we have taken our annual look at which pairs of footballers form the best goalscoring partnerships on the pitch.
We have measured this across a range of competitions by calculating the combined goalscoring rate of every pairing per 90 minutes spent together on the pitch since the start of last season.
Our rankings only allow each player to be in one pair and we have excluded any combination where one player has more than three quarters of their combined goal tally to ensure that we don’t reward attacking relationships which are too one-sided.
Any pairing that has spent fewer than 10 matches’ worth of minutes playing together in this period – five for continental competitions – have also been ignored as well as any that have not played together this season.
In Sergio Aguero’s absence, his understudy at Manchester City has flourished with one of the side’s more experienced attackers. Gabriel Jesus and Riyad Mahrez have scored at a combined rate of 1.22 goals per 90 minutes, netting 18 times between them in just 1,333 Premier League minutes.
Just behind them is the most potent pairing of rivals Manchester United, where Marcus Rashford’s combination with Mason Greenwood suggests that the latter – the latest youngster to roll off the club’s famous production line – should be in the starting line-up more often.
Completing the top three goalscoring partnerships is this season’s power couple of Harry Kane and Heung-min Son, who have also taken Europe by storm. Between them they have netted at a rate of over two goals per 90 minutes when on the pitch together in the Champions League and Europa League, narrowly edging out Robert Lewandowski and Serge Gnabry.
While nobody in the Bundesliga can hold a candle to that particular Bayern Munich combination, who have netted 51 times between them since the start of last season, the most fearsome of the domestic goalscoring partnerships in the ‘big five’ European leagues can be found in Ligue 1.
Mauro Icardi has formed a deadly partnership with Kylian Mbappe since joining PSG, with an eye-watering 2.1 goals flowing between them per 90 minutes of football.
Icardi’s former stomping ground of Serie A also has one pair of attackers performing significantly better than the rest. Lazio’s Ciro Immobile has been unstoppable in recent seasons and his partnership with Felipe Caicedo has yielded 1.84 goals per 90 minutes since the start of 2019-20.
Over in Spain, the recent decline of the ‘big two’ clubs is mirrored in La Liga’s top 10 goalscoring bromances, where neither club occupies top spot.
Instead it is Villarreal pair Paco Alcacer and Gerard Moreno who top the charts, edging out Barcelona’s leading partnership of Lionel Messi and Ansu Fati and Real’s combination of Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio.
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