Who has been Leeds United's best-performing striker this season?

As the 2014-15 Sky Bet Championship season draws to a close and the accolades are dished out, we analyse who has been Leeds' best-performing striker?

Clearly strikers are judged on goals, and to that end Mirco Antenucci is the leader as a contender for the best performing striker this season, with only his 10 goals hitting double figures.

Where Leeds are perhaps more typical of a lot of teams in modern football, however, is that they have asked their strikers to do a lot more than simply score goals. At one time or another all the strikers currently on the books - and therefore listed in the table below - have been asked to play in wide positions unfamiliar to them.

Leeds have also adopted a 4-2-3-1 formation very successfully since January, and key to that is the use of a lone front man, which in Leeds' case has been, more often that not, Steve Morison. Billy Sharp has also done the unselfish running up front on his own and this perhaps shows in the 'goals' figures not looking too hot for any of the strikers.

But how to represent the hard work done by the lone front man is difficult in simple figures, as running the channels and harassing defenders offers few tangible rewards, and perhaps the continued selection of Morison and Sharp by Neil Redfearn is proof enough that they are 'doing their job'.

In Sharp's case, at least, that job has also involved scoring goals, five to date and three of them decisive match-winning strikes.

  PositionTeamMins PlayedGoalsTotal Scoring AttOntarget Scoring AttHit WoodworkBig Chance MissedGoal AssistAppearances
Mirco Antenucci FW Leeds 2,115 10 77 27 3 7 2 32
Souleymane Doukara FW Leeds 1,439 5 31 9 0 0 3 24
Billy Sharp FW Leeds 1,363 5 31 10 1 4 1 26
Steve Morison FW Leeds 1,192 0 30 6 2 2 2 21
Edgar Cani FW Leeds 49 0 3 0 0 0 0 4

What is also telling is the 'goal assist' figure, which shows how the Leeds forwards have brought others in to play and which has borne fruit in some critical goals from midfield this season.

In terms of shots on goal, 30-year-old Antenucci is ahead again with a 35% shots on target accuracy, higher than Sharp (32%), Doukara (29%) and Morison (20%), although the Italian is also the most profligate with seven big chances missed.

However, none of the strikers can claim to have been particularly unlucky in front of goal, with Antenucci's lowly three strikes against the woodwork telling us that a lot of Leeds' attempts on goal have come from midfield and that their strikers have been particularly shot-shy.

Most of the above is food for thought for Leeds fans, while not coming as a great shock all the same. Most would agree that Antenucci has been the best all-round forward for Leeds this season, and while Morison has undoubtedly 'put in a shift' he has rarely threatened to look like scoring.

Certainly most will agree that a key 20-goal striker is top of the shopping list for the summer.

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