The 2021-22 season of the Indian Super League (ISL) has witnessed the talents of many impressive forwards. These have led their respective sides upfront and have terrorized opposition defenses with not just their goal-scoring abilities but also other skills.
Hyderabad FC are leading the chart with the highest number of goals and that wouldn't have been possible without the contribution of Bartholomew Ogbeche. He is also the all-time leading goal-scorer in this tournament.
Second in line are ISL Shield winners Jamshedpur FC. Owen Coyle's side started the season with Nerijus Valskis and Greg Stewart upfront. But the Lithuanian forward left the side to join Chennaiyin FC. The Men of Steel then needed someone alongside Stewart, who could pose a threat to the opposition.
In came Daniel Chima Chukwu as the Nigerian forward was allowed to leave by SC East Bengal. Chima and Stewart have clicked since day one and Jamshedpur FC have reaped all the rewards due to their contributions.
Third on the list of goals scored are Kolkata giants ATK Mohun Bagan. The Green and Maroon Brigade have had a major shift in their philosophy since the departure of Antonio Lopez Habas. Juan Ferrando was appointed to take charge of the side and guide them back to their former glory.
The lack of goals from Fijian ace Roy Krishna did perturb the Mariners as Liston Colaco took charge of scoring goals on most occasions in their fight to qualify for the play-offs.
Having looked at the most prolific goal-scoring teams in the ISL 2021-22, let's now take a look at the five best forwards from the this season.
#5 Alvaro Vazquez Garcia (Kerala Blasters FC)
The Spanish forward from Barcelona, who featured for Sporting Gijon earlier in his career, has played a crucial role in the Kerala Blasters FC team. Alvaro has netted eight times in 22 appearances for the Tuskers.
Alvaro's role in Ivan Vukomanovic's plan required him to drop deep in midfield during counter-attacks and help progress the attack through the flanks. Alvaro has registered the highest number of shots on target for Kerala Blasters FC.
One of his most important goals came in the match against NorthEast United FC, when he caught the goalkeeper off his line and decided to shoot from the halfway line. His volley against Mumbai City FC in their first meeting of the season was also a spectacular one to witness.
#4 Liston Colaco (ATK Mohun Bagan)
The former Hyderabad FC star did not take long to become a fan favorite in the Green and Maroon. Featuring on the left flank, Liston Colaco has shone even more since Juan Ferrando took charge of the Mariners.
Liston has netted eight times for the Mariners and some of his goals have been visual treats. The curler against Kerala Blasters FC in the season-opener and the long range effort against FC Goa are two of the examples of what Liston brought to this ATK Mohun Bagan side.
Liston's pace and skill on the ball have been a major threat to opposition full-backs. Although many figured that disallowing him from cutting inside could stop him, it was only effective to a certain extent.
#3 Daniel Chima Chukwu (Jamshedpur FC)
Daniel Chima Chukwu brought along a huge bag of expectations when he had initially signed for SC East Bengal in ISL. The Nigerian forward had been crucial to Molde FK winning the Tippeligaen thrice and the Norwegian Cup twice.
Unfortunately for him and the club, things did not fall into place for both parties as Chima failed to shine for the Red and Gold Brigade. He only bagged two goals for the Kolkata-based outfit and both came against Odisha FC in their 6-4 defeat against the Juggernauts. He parted ways with the club in January.
Jamshedpur FC head coach Owen Coyle took note of this and moved quickly to bring the Nigerian to the club. Since signing for the Men of Steel, Daniel Chima Chukwu has scored seven goals in nine appearances and assisted once in the ISL.
His physical strength allows him to bully opposition defenders and also shield the ball from them. Daniel Chima Chukwu is surely the second-best signing made by Owen Coyle for Jamshedpur FC.
#2 Greg Stewart (Jamshedpur FC)
The former Rangers forward joined Jamshedpur FC at the start of the 2021-22 season of the ISL and has steered the Red Miners to their first ever silverware this season. The Scot has been influential in amplifying Jamshedpur FC's journey to lift the ISL Shield.
Greg's performance has been breathtaking, having contributed 20 goals this season for the Red Miners with an equal number of goals and assists. His prowess in deadball scenarios has been unmatched. Greg Stewart has surely been a star in the Red Miners' shield win.
#1 Bartholomew Ogbeche
The Nigerian forward, who has featured for other teams in the ISL, namely NorthEast United FC, Kerala Blasters FC, and Mumbai City FC, continued his reign in the league with the Nizams, and justified his recruitment with 18 goals.
The former double-winner with Mumbai City FC has displayed experience and body strength inside the box and also dropped into a number 10 role for Manolo Marquez's side.
Mumbai City FC's Igor Angulo deserves some credit despite the Islanders bowing out of the competition after failing to make it to the play-offs. The former Golden Boot winner has bagged a total of 10 goals during the ISL 2021-22 season. Although his form has dipped gradually, the Spaniard petrified opposition head coaches with his abilities during the season.
Much like Alvaro Vazquez, Cleiton Silva's performance cannot be rated with just the number of goals he has bagged this season. Cleiton was involved in playmaking in the absence of Jayesh Rane and did well in the department.
Under Marco Pezzaiuoli, Cleiton Silva played the role of a false 9 and dropped close to the midfielders to progress the ball to the flanks. This allowed him to dictate the defender's positioning and get himself into free space to score or set one up for a teammate.