Ok, this marathon for top goalscorer in Belgium looks like it may be over, as Lukasz Teodorczyk is 5 goals ahead of his nearest contender, but it got me thinking, does being top goalscorer guarantee two things? Firstly, will that player even remain at the club he is at the next season, and secondly, does a top goalscorer guarantee a title?
I went allllll the way back to the turn of the millennium, well, the 2000/01 season to check all of this out, and what it shows is that 17 years isn’t long in the grand scheme of things, but a whole lot can happen, some glorious and some extremely tragic.
In this list of top goalscorers, the same name crops up just twice through Jeremy Perbet and a player I had on the back of an old Ajax shirt, Wesley Sonck. These 2 are the only two who appear on the list twice in the timescale I looked at. The other thing is that only 5 Belgians appear on the list, the last being Romelu Lukaku in the 2009/10 season…7 years ago! That either shows the lack of quality Belgian finishers, or more likely, they are signed up by a foreign club the minute they show real quality?
This season’s top scorer, the already mentioned Lukasz Teodorczyk, follows two trends as well on this list, and depending on how the league finishes, it could be 3 ticks on this list. Firstly, he isn’t Belgian, he is Polish, meaning the foreign scorers keep growing. Secondly, unless I’ve missed a deal, he is on loan from Dynamo Kiev, so he won’t be at Anderlecht next season. The reason I’ve brought this up is that only 4 players have stayed put at the same club they scored their goals at. The third thing, if this does happen, is that you don’t necessarily win the league if you bag the goals.
Going from 5 Belgians, to 4 players remaining at their club, only on 3 occasions since the 2000/01 has being top scorer meant you’ve lifted the title as well. Tomasz Radzinski, Wesley Sonck and Romelu Lukaku are the only 3 to lift the league title and claim the Taureau D’or as well. The list of top goalscorers is impressive as well, with such names as Radzinski, Sonck, Lukaku, Ivan Perisic, Jeremy Perbet, Carlos Bacca and Aleksandar Mitrovic being amongst the names of Pro League top scorers.
But amongst such quality there is that tragedy I mentioned, whether it be the demise of Germinal Beerschot, who had 2 top goalscorers back to back in 05/06 and 06/07, but one of them also being quality striker François Sterchele who sadly died the season after he hit the heights regarding goals. The other tragedy, similar to Germinal Beerschot, is that Mons, as they were, had 2 top goalscorers within this time, and they also dissolved just 2 years ago, an all too common fate to most Belgian clubs over time.
Sorry to end on a sad note, but it fascinated me how scoring goals doesn’t link to winning titles, staying at that club to maybe build something, or that being Belgian means that you’ll score goals in your country, but a move away is potentially most viable. So many connotations, maybe next term if you’re Jelle Vossen, you‘d be better off scoring 10 and winning a title, than being Belgian and scoring 25 as that only assures personal glory, going by history!