Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham: Have a look at Crystal Palace’s Glenn Murray
Hands up if you know who is the top scorer in English league football? Not in the Premier League – Luis Suarez falls seven goals short. We are talking about the top scorer across all four divisions.
It wouldn’t be a surprise if you haven’t heard of him. He isn’t even the most talked about player at his club. But it is something of a shock that more people aren’t singing his praises. His exploits certainly deserve it.
Crystal Palace striker Glenn Murray already has 29 league goals this season. And yet it is his precocious teammate Wilfried Zaha who hogs the headlines. And when observers talk of other Palace players, they mention Yannick Bolasie or Jonny Williams.
Somehow, the player who scores all the goals has missed all the headlines.
But after years as what we will somewhat lazily term a journeyman, Murray is having the season of his life. And with his Palace side sitting third in the table, one point from automatic promotion, it could get even better.
To say that Murray has arrived out of nowhere would be doing him a disservice. Now 29, he has been scoring goals at various levels since his debut for non-league Workington Reds in 2002. After a spell in America, he returned to score nine goals in nine games for Barrow, before winning consecutive promotions with Carlisle United, although this was also his most barren scoring period.
A goal every other game for Rochdale and almost the same in three years at Brighton show a man who has been doing what he does for a long time. Only now he is doing it one step away, one place away in fact, from the Premier League.
Currently the second highest goal scorer in Europe – or more specifically across the top two divisions in the five leading European leagues – only Lionel Messi has found the net more often than Murray this season.
It is a statistic that has reportedly piqued the interest of England manager Roy Hodgson; and one that has no doubt been noticed by a Premier League club or two.
His current team will hope he continues to excel under the radar and that the likes of Charlie Austin and Matej Vydra carry on being thrown into the annual rumour mill ahead of him.
Many players in the past have had that one great season. Maybe this is Murray’s. Or maybe next year the Eagles will show that you don’t need wonder-kids to have a shot in the Premier League. Sometimes you just need a bloke who knows where the goal is.