As many of the European leagues head towards the most crucial part of the season, many of the top scorers are familiar names.

Robert Lewandowski, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain are just a few of the forwards in the race for the European Golden Boot. However, at the end of the calendar year, Pierre Aubameyang, topped the charts, and although he’s had a slow start to 2016 if he can regain his form he would be the first African player to receive the award.

Pierre is not the only African hotshot in Europe though. Many of the leagues have strikers at the top of the scoring charts, some familiar and others not so much. Here are some of them.

Odion Ighalo, Watford

The Nigerian striker has been something of a wanderer throughout his career, bouncing around a few European leagues before settling in the picturesque city of Granada.

Odion Ighalo of Watford celebrates scoring his team’s first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Watford and Newcastle United on January 23, 2016 in Watford, England © Getty Images

In 2014 he moved to Watford and although he doesn’t have the elegant sights of southern Spain, he is seeing a lot more of the back of the net with his strikes.

The ‘Ighalo Scoop’ has caused many a problem for defenders throughout England, and birthed this Twitter account.

2015 – 2016 goal scoring record: 15 goals in 28 games

Riyad Mahrez, Leicester

Now that Mahrez is a reputable Premier League player and Leicester’s matches are televised a little more, anyone paying close attention to the Algerian winger will notice that he has a different hairstyle every time he steps out on the field.

Riyad Mahrez celebrates scoring his team’s second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Leicester City on February 6, 2016 in Manchester, England © Getty Images

Fortunately for him, his performances have been outstanding, making it almost impossible to ridicule the star. His winning goal against Chelsea effectively ended José Mourinho’s reign.

15 goals in 27 games

Gohi Bi Zoro Cyriac, K.V. Oostende

The Belgian League has so many West African players, it can feel like you’re watching a match in Abidjan.

Mikel Arteta jumps with Gohi Bi Cyriac of Anderlecht during the UEFA Champions League Group D match between Arsenal FC and RSC Anderlecht on November 4, 2014 in London © Getty Images

The majority of the leading scorers in the country come from the region but one of the best of the bunch is the striker Cyriac who is leading the club K.V.Oostende. The club’s highest finish is seventh place in the 1993/1994 season, but they are currently in fourth.

Even though he isn’t the tallest guy on the pitch, he has shown that he is not a player to mess with.

11 goals in 24 games

Benjamin Moukandjo, FC Lorient

The mythological tale of Samson centred on a biblical judge that was given superhuman powers because of his hair.

Benjamin Moukandjo controls the ball during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Cameroon and Croatia at Arena Amazonia on June 18, 2014 in Brazil © Getty Images

Benjamin Moukandjo’s story seems to work the other way round, as his goal record has increased substantially after he removed his twists. The Cameroonian has garnered a great deal of attention and although 2016 has not been too kind to him (yet), he is a player that will receive interest from larger clubs in the summer.

12 goals in 24 games

Islam Slimani, Sporting Clube de Portugal

The 2014 World Cup was a coming out party for Algeria. They caused quite an upset by qualifying for the knockout stages of the competition for the first time.

Islam Slimani celebrates scoring a goal during the UEFA Champions League qualifying round play-off first leg match between Sporting CP and CSKA Moscow on August 18, 2015 in Lisbon, Portugal © Getty

Islam Slimani was one of the players that scored a number of goals in the competition and attracted attention from Premier League clubs. He is known for his commitment on the pitch with a touch of class.

18 goals in 21 games

Samuel Eto’o, Antalyaspor

It really is hard to keep a good man down and there aren’t many better men than the Cameroonian.

Samuel Eto’o attends the Preliminary Draw of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia at The Konstantin Palace on July 25, 2015 in Saint Petersburg © Getty Images

After a less than glorious 2014/2015 season, the striker has found a happy home in Turkey where he has topped the scoring charts. Samuel was briefly the interim-player manager of the team which made it very difficult for him to be subbed off! But if he is still scoring goals like this, why would anyone stop him?

14 goals in 21 games

Oumar Niasse, Lokomotiv Moscow (Now Everton)

When asked what the secret was to his recent success, Baye Oumar Niasse gave the simple reason ‘I’m a fighter’, which gave me the impression that he was a big Rocky fan.

Baye Oumar Niasse and Roman Shishkin of FC Lokomotiv Moscow celebrate after scoring a goal during the Russian Premier League match between FC Spartak Moscow and FC Lokomotiv Moscow on October 18, 2015 © Getty Images

The striker defied the odds by succeeding in Europe after his first attempt in Norway was ruined by an injury. After only managing three games he returned to Senegal but was given another shot in Russia and has not looked back. After, excelling in the Europe league, he secured a big-time move to the Premier League. It will be great to see him alongside Romelu Lukaku and Arouna Kone in 2016.

Note to defenders, be on your toes when you come up against him or this might happen.

8 goals in 15 games