Melissa Johnson: The stats that rank higher than Hegerberg

Aston Villa forward Melissa Johnson has enjoyed a world-class start to the season.

Johnson has scored 10 goals so far this season, with all 10 coming in just six league appearances.

She signed for Aston Villa at the end of last season after a successful campaign with Leicester City.

How good is she?

In short, very.

Her goal ratio is a goal every 50.1 minutes of league football. This one of the best in the world. For reference, Ada Hegerberg – who is regarded as one of, if not the best in the world – scores on average every 70.4 minutes.

When you read that stat, your first thought is probably that she’s not doing it on the same level as Hegerberg and you would be right. Sort of.

There are many factors that you have to consider when trying to decide how good a footballer is.

The team around her

Players such as Hegerberg, Vivianne Miedema, Danielle van de Donk and Sam Kerr have all played for world-class sides.

Miedema and van de Donk play together and you know Lyon could probably beat every other team in the world with their eyes closed.

That’s not to say that Aston Villa are void of quality but they are nowhere near the level of having Lucy Bronze, Nikita Parris, Shanice van de Sanden, Dzsenifer Marozsán and Izzy Christiansen all in the same squad.

The quality of opposition

Is the difference really that big? Probably.

But that doesn’t take away from the point. Where Aston Villa have to play against Coventry United and Blackburn Rovers, Lyon have to play Metz.

Wolfsburg have to play USV Jena. Arsenal have to play Liverpool.

The point is that you can only play the teams in front of you and more importantly you can only smash goals in against the teams you are playing. Johnson has done that in droves so far this season.

In-league competition

Also in the Championship are two other crazily prolific scorers – both of which play for Sheffield United.

Jade Pennock and Katie Wilkinson have both been on fire this season but still, neither of them compare to Johnson.

Pennock has four in four in the league and Wilkinson has six in six.

Still neither of them can come close to the 10 goals Mel Johnson has in six league games.

Five of Johnson’s 10 goals have come with the game in the balance. She’s scored three goals with games at 0-0, and also an equaliser and eventual winner in a 3-2 win over Sheffield United.

Johnson already has three hat-tricks to her name, too. Crazy, crazy form. She is averaging 1.8 goals per 90 minutes.

Is she the best?

At the moment, probably not but in the future, anything could happen.

If 28-year-old Melissa Johnson gets a move to the WSL in January or gets promoted with Villa at the end of the season, what’s stopping her from being one of the best strikers in the world next season?