In football, particularly in the Premier League, a common belief is that the highest-paid players are often the top scorers. However, the data tells a different story. More money doesn’t mean more goals scored. This challenges the conventional wisdom about player salaries and performance in one of the world’s most competitive football leagues.

This is not to underestimate the value of those who do not score. For every Erling Haaland, there is a Kevin De Bruyne who passes them the ball. This is an exercise to look at salaries and the top ten players based on goals for the 2022-2023 season only. I’ll do more player evaluations later and start putting deeper analysis into the value of players based on many factors.

Now, let’s focus on goals. 

Only two players were in the top 10 for being the highest-paid players and goal scorers. No football fan would be surprised that Erling Haaland is among the highest-paid players. His salary and bonus for the 2022-2023 season was 52.15 million euros, and he scored a league-leading 36 goals during the regular season (not counting cups, etc.). You might be surprised to learn that Haaland was not the highest-paid player in the Premier League. 

The honor of highest-paid Premier League player in 2022-2023 was Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo made 62.26 million euros but scored only one goal. That might be why he wasn’t asked to return to Man United or any other Premier League team. 

Mohamed Salah was third in salaries, 20.86 million euros, and fourth in goals with 19. 

Below are two data frames: 1/ Top 10 players by salaries and 2/ Top 10 players by goals scored. Notice their ranking by salary. 

Top 10 players by salaries:

full_nameCurrent Clubseasonpositiongoals_overallannual_salary_eur
Cristiano RonaldoManchester United2022/2023Forward1$62,265,790.00
Erling HaalandManchester City2022/2023Forward36$52,153,200.00
Mohamed SalahLiverpool2022/2023Forward19$20,864,480.00
Jadon SanchoManchester United2022/2023Forward6$20,859,601.00
Kalidou KoulibalyChelsea2022/2023Defender2$17,907,786.00
Jack GrealishManchester City2022/2023Midfielder5$17,901,221.00
CasemiroManchester United2022/2023Midfielder4$17,849,832.00
Raheem SterlingChelsea2022/2023Forward6$17,765,042.00
Kevin De BruyneManchester City2022/2023Midfielder7$17,680,000.00
Gabriel JesusArsenal2022/2023Forward11$15,798,202.00

Top 10 players by goals scored:

full_nameCurrent Clubseasonpositiongoals_overallannual_salary_eursalary_ranking
Erling HaalandManchester City2022/2023Forward36$52,153,200.002
Harry KaneTottenham Hotspur2022/2023Forward30$11,944,036.0017
Ivan ToneyBrentford2022/2023Forward20$1,262,091.00204
Mohamed SalahLiverpool2022/2023Forward19$20,864,480.003
Callum WilsonNewcastle United2022/2023Forward18$5,473,935.0066
Marcus RashfordManchester United2022/2023Forward17$11,946,012.0016
Ollie WatkinsAston Villa2022/2023Forward15$3,900,000.0094
Martin ØdegaardArsenal2022/2023Midfielder15$6,867,558.0049
Gabriel MartinelliArsenal2022/2023Forward15$7,726,299.0042
Aleksandar MitrovićFulham2022/2023Forward14$3,583,914.00102

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Premier League Stats,

Last Update: January 18, 2024

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