Adrian Clarke identifies tactical trends from the 2020/21 Premier League season.
After a sharp and unexpected drop in the total headed goals in 2019/20 to lower than 150, strong individual campaigns from three players helped to redress the balance this season.
|Season||Headed shots||Headed goals||Conversion %|
The total of 170 headed goals was almost 25 per cent up on the 2019/20 tally, but remained below that of 2018/19, as more teams attempted headed shots and players' conversion rates for headers returned to about 12 per cent.
|Club||Headed shots||Headed goals|
No Premier League player had more headed shots than Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
The Everton striker racked up a total of 32 headed shots during the season, scoring a league-high seven of his 16 goals with his head.
|Player||Headed shots||Headed goals|
Cavani was ruthless with his chances in the air, converting an incredible 54 per cent.
Christian Benteke also enjoyed a resurgence of scoring form with his head.
Like Cavani, the Crystal Palace forward netted six headed goals, albeit from nearly three times as many attempts.
The Belgian was rewarded for his form this week with a two-year contract extension at Selhurst Park.
Overall there were fewer crosses and set-piece goals in 2020/21 compared with last season, but the finishing was better.
West Ham United showed the biggest improvement with their aerial threat during the campaign.
Their tally of headed goals jumped from six in 2019/20 to a league-high 14 in 2020/21.
This was thanks to their excellent set-piece skills and abundance of aerial threats under the management of David Moyes.
Part 1: Patient passing produces record figures
Part 3: Free-kicks fall and penalties rise
Part 4: Away success rises as top sides falter
Part 5: Busy schedule not reflected in rotation
Part 6: Season trends: Managers changing shape more often