Forwards are the goalscoring heroes of world football, often commanding the highest transfer fees and salaries. The role of the forward has evolved significantly in recent years, with the modern attacker expected to be much more than just a goalscorer.

Today’s forwards are dynamic and versatile, possessing a wide range of technical and physical abilities. They are expected to press from the front, create scoring opportunities for their teammates and contribute to the team’s defensive efforts.

With the emergence of false nines, inside forwards and attacking wingers, the modern forward has become a multi-dimensional player capable of wreaking havoc on opposition defenses in a variety of ways.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at five of the best forwards in European football this season (2022-23).

#5 Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)

Marcus Rashford seems to have come of age this season and has taken leaps towards delivering on the promise of his early years. The 25-year-old has been Manchester United’s main man in attack and has been a reliable presence up top for Erik ten Hag this term.

His dynamism and versatility have enabled him to take on a variety of roles in attack and he has invariably turned in exceptional performances. Rashford is an excellent dribbler and also possesses an eye for a pass, making him a joy to play alongside for his teammates.

In 49 appearances in all competitions, the Manchester United forward has scored 28 goals and provided 10 assists.

#4 Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid)

Vinicius Junior’s growth over the last two seasons has been astounding. The Brazilian maverick has been in sublime form for Real Madrid and has arguably eclipsed Karim Benzema as Real Madrid’s main man in attack this season.

Vinicius is one of the best dribblers on the planet and his decision-making inside the final third has been impressive. The Real Madrid youngster has scored goals and created goalscoring chances in equal measure this term.

The 22-year-old has scored 22 goals and provided 19 assists in 48 appearances across all competitions for Real Madrid so far this season.

#3 Victor Osimhen (Napoli)

Victor Osimhen has well and truly established himself as one of the best centre-forwards in Europe this season. The Nigerian marksman has terrorized defenders with his blistering pace, intelligent movement and lethal finishing in the ongoing campaign.

Osimhen’s form has been crucial to Napoli’s title charge this term. By virtue of his consistent and exceptional performances, the 24-year-old has garnered interest from some of the biggest clubs in Europe.

Osimhen has scored 26 goals and provided five assists in 32 appearances across all competitions.

#2 Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain)

Following on from his mesmerizing performances for France at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Kylian Mbappe has been a nightmare to defend against in Europe. Mbappe is a force to reckon with thanks to his burst of pace, excellent close control and shooting ability inside the final third.

Mbappe is widely viewed as the crown prince of football and is tipped to be a future Ballon d’Or winner. He is the leading goalscorer in Ligue 1 this term and has been one of the most productive players in the world in terms of goals and assists.

He has scored 34 goals and provided nine assists in 37 appearances across all competitions.

#1 Erling Haaland (Manchester City)

Erling Haaland is inarguably the best signing of the season. He has been in phenomenal goalscoring form for Manchester City since arriving at the club last summer. Haaland has solved City’s centre-forward problem and has added plenty of goals.

Better yet, despite already being the most prolific goalscorer on the continent, the 22-year-old seems to be going from strength to strength as the season progresses. His hold-up play has improved and his finishing is simply elite.

Haaland has already broken the record for most goals scored in a single Premier League season (33 goals) and we’ve just reached the home straight of the 2022-23 season. He has scored a whopping 49 goals and provided eight assists in 43 appearances across all competitions so far this term.

Haaland is well on way to winning the European Golden Shoe this season.