Javier Hernandez: The Mexican known as “The Little Pea” has lived up to his considerable hype, scoring 10 goals in 20 league outings for United this season. While his goals have generally come from close range, some of his finishing has been exquisite.
Gary Lineker: A career of goal-hanging earned Lineker three English top scorer trophies, a golden boot at the 1986 World Cup, and a lucrative contract with a well-known snack manufacturer.
Hernan Crespo: Broke the world record transfer fee upon moving from Parma to Lazio in 2000. £35m seemed like a lot at the time for a player that rarely left the penalty area, but Crespo repaid the Rome club with 39 goals in 54 league games. He was markedly past his best when arriving at Chelsea in 2003, but still managed 25 goals in 47 starts.
Andrew Cole: The name-changing striker made his name (while it was still Andy) at Newcastle before moving to Manchester United (still Andy) for £7m. At some point in the journeyman career that followed Cole became Andrew for reasons which were never made entirely clear. Whatever his name, he never lost his touch from close range.
Ian Rush: Snapped up by Liverpool after just 34 games for boyhood club Chester, Rush became a star for Liverpool under Bob Paisely. His ability to score a lot of goals from not very far out earned him a move to Juventus, where he was altogether less sucessful, but a move back to Liverpool a season later helped him regain his previous form.
Filipo Inzaghi: You don’t earn a reputation as being “born offside” if you’re anything other than an exemplary poacher. Inzaghi was once described by Johann Cruyff as follows: “Look, he can’t play football at all, he just knows how to get in the right place.”
Ruud van Nistelrooy: After a protracted transfer from PSV Eindhoven and a lengthy enforced delay to his debut due to injury, the pressure was on van Nistelrooy. He emphatically delivered, breaking a Premier League record in his first season by scoring in eight consecutive games.
Ally McCoist: Scored with almost tiresome regularity as the pinnacle of Ranger’s all-conquering “nine in a row” team in the 1990s. The vast majority of his record 355 for Rangers were from close range.
Shaun Goater: “Feed the goat and he will score,” Manchester City’s fans once sang. True, provided he was fed within spitting distance of the goal. A remarkable number of the Bermudan’s 101 goals for City were tap-ins.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: Manchester United’s super sub scored the most important tap-in in the club’s history, clinching the 1999 European Cup by prodding home in typically opportunistic style at the Nou Camp.