Another season with Melbourne City, and another Golden Boot award for Socceroos marksman Jamie Maclaren.
City’s number 9 yesterday clinched his second consecutive Golden Boot award following his side’s 1-1 draw in the Melbourne Derby.
The Socceroos forward has been lethal in front of goal ever since he returned to the A-League in 2019. To get a gauge on just how good Maclaren is, he won the Golden Boot with 22 goals in 23 appearances last year, finishing above Sydney FC’s Adam Le Fondre.
Maclaren in a league of his own
Maclaren’s talent has never been questioned. His raw pace, ability to shoot with both feet, and his aerial prowess make him a serious threat every minute he is on the pitch. In this campaign, Maclaren has found the back of the net 25 times. He has spearheaded a City attack that has blown away the competition.
He has led the line superbly all season for Patrick Kisnorbo and has accounted for nearly half of City’s 56 league goals this season. An over-reliance on one player? Yes, but when that player is of Maclaren’s calibre, you would be a fool not to ride his coattails.
He has finished top of the Golden Boot standings for the second consecutive year. Maclaren was a huge 11 goals clear of second-placed Matt Derbyshire from Macarthur FC. His tally of 25 league goals is impressive. However, when you delve into the stats, his season only gets more impressive.
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Of his 25 goals, only five were penalties. He averaged a goal every 82 minutes, with a shooting percentage of 56.5%. Of his 92 shots on goal for the year, 52 of them were on target.
The next best goal scorer for City was winger Craig Noone on six. Jamie Maclaren’s goals have been the reason as to why they have blown away the league this campaign.
Maclaren made history in 2021
To put Maclaren’s feats into perspective, ex-City striker Bruno Fornaroli was the club’s all-time leading goal scorer with 57 in 83 appearances. Jamie Maclaren surpassed Fornaroli to be City’s all-time goal scorer with 59 just last month. The best part? It took him 20 fewer games to usurp the Uruguayan frontman.
The 27-year-old is at the peak of his powers. Melbourne City knows what a talent they have, and it is no secret he holds the key to all of City’s impending success.
With time still on his side, ‘J-Mac’ seemingly has the A-League world at his feet. Time will tell if an overseas club comes knocking for his services. It seems to be the case of late, with Aaron Mooy the most recent big name to move on.
J-Mac crucial to City’s title chances
Currently on Socceroos duty, the club’s fans will be hoping he comes through the World Cup Qualifiers unscathed. His importance to Melbourne City’s Grand Final bid can not be underestimated. A forward who is on top of his form with 25 league goals make City a tough proposition for anyone.
A homegrown talent with three A-League Golden Boot awards, and now a consistent Socceroo. Is Jamie Maclaren perhaps the best Australia forward we have ever seen? Other names like Mark Viduka and Harry Kewell immediately spring to mind when talking about the best.
However one thing is for certain, “J-Mac” is quickly closing the gap.
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