Jermain Defoeâ€™s five-goal display against Wigan helped make the Tottenham star the outstanding performer in Europeâ€™s five major leagues last month and reinforced the strikerâ€™s claim to partner Wayne Rooney at next yearâ€™s World Cup finals.
Castrol Performance Analysts have studied every minute of every match in the top five European leagues and the Champions League over the last 12 months and Defoeâ€™s exhibition of top class finishing was rated as the best individual performance by any player, lifting the forward 107 places to 124 in the November 2009 Castrol Rankings.
Rooney (28) is the stand-out striker in Fabio Capelloâ€™s squad but Defoeâ€™s current burst of form has helped lift him above his main rivals. He is now the second highest ranked England forward in the Castrol Rankings as the battle to impress the England coach hots up.
Performance of England strikers since December 2008
PlayerÂ Chance Conversion Rate (%)Â Â Â Â Â GoalsÂ Â Assists Castrol Rankings position
Wayne RooneyÂ Â Â 19.4Â Â Â 18Â Â Â Â Â 3Â Â Â Â Â Â 28
Jermain DefoeÂ Â 20.9Â Â Â 14Â Â Â Â Â 2Â Â Â Â Â Â 124
Carlton ColeÂ Â Â 19.2Â Â Â 14Â Â Â Â Â 3Â Â Â Â Â Â 178
Gabriel AgbonlahorÂ Â Â Â Â 19.4Â Â Â 12Â Â Â Â Â 5Â Â Â Â Â Â 269
Darren BentÂ Â Â Â 21.5Â Â Â 14Â Â Â Â Â 2Â Â Â Â Â Â 313
Peter CrouchÂ Â Â 7.8Â Â Â Â 7Â Â Â Â Â Â 5Â Â Â Â Â Â 431
Emile HeskeyÂ Â Â 11.1Â Â Â 4Â Â Â Â Â Â 2Â Â Â Â Â Â 739
Michael OwenÂ Â Â 22.2Â Â Â 6Â Â Â Â Â Â 0Â Â Â Â Â Â 852
Castrol Ambassador and former England striker Alan Shearer said: â€œI know just how hard it is to score five goals in a Premier League game and Jermain should be proud of his achievement. Heâ€™s an instinctive striker and is deadly whenever he finds space in and around the box. This season he seems to have taken his game to a new level which is great news for Spurs and England. Jermain was unfortunate to miss out on the last World Cup but if he can maintain his current form he will be a real threat in South Africa next year.â€
Manchester United keeper Edwin van der Sar is the highest ranked â€˜keeper in the Castrol Rankings after moving up 23 places to 20th. Van der Sar conceded just one goal in his two Premier League games and saved 91% of shots directed his way last month, confirming why, at the age of 39, he remains Sir Alex Fergusonâ€™s first choice â€˜keeper and continues to block England World Cup hopeful Ben Fosterâ€™s route into the starting line-up.
Fernando Torres (4) remains the top-ranked Premier League player in Castrol Rankings and is the top scorer over the last 12 months with 19 league goals scored at an outstanding rate of one strike every 102 minutes.
Chelsea striker Didier Drogba – Europeâ€™s top performing player in October â€“ continued his excellent form with two goals in the defeat of Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium and a brace in the Champions League draw with Atletico Madrid. Indeed, in the last 12 months, only Cristiano Ronaldo (8) has netted more Champions League goals than Drogba (7).
Spainâ€™s La Liga continues to dominate the Castrol Rankings, with seven of the top nine players plying their trade in Spain, including six Barcelona players. In total there are ten Spanish players in the top 50, seven from France, five Brazilians and a trio of players Representing England – Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Wayne Rooney.
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