Running out as the season’s top scorer in a stacked Premier League is a tough task, but the prospect of winning the highly-sought after Golden Boot will likely prove a tougher prospect next season. Mohamed Salah and Son Heung-Min shared the honour last term after a tantalizing race went down to the final day of the season. While these two will certainly be in the mix again this year, they’re about to have a lot more company. Liverpool have brought in Darwin Nunez from Benfica who netted a remarkable 34 times from his 41 appearances last season and title rivals Manchester City have signed Norwegian superstar Erling Haalad whose goalscoring record in Europe’s elite competitions has been exceptional. Throw those two onto an already crowded list of contenders that includes the likes of Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy and Cristiano Ronaldo and picking an outright winner becomes a challenging task. So just who will end up on top?
Haaland is the frontrunner
The chances of winning the golden boot often increase when more chances are created for you and there is no doubt that Haaland is going to get plenty in the upcoming season. The champions had 713 shots throughout the course of the season, creating the second most chances behind their closest challengers Liverpool and with the 21-year-old having netted 86 goals in 89 games for previous club Borussia Dortmund he is more than likely going to take opportunities when they present themselves. Even though he has not proven himself in the pressure cooker of the Premier League UK betting apps have Haaland down as the favourite to win the coveted golden boot at 9/2. Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez will once again be pulling the strings in midfield next season, so you can expect City to come close, if not surpass their tally of 99 goals in 2022/23 and it would be no surprise if it turned out to be the exploits of the £51 million wonder signing that got them there.
Nunez a top contender
Another unproven entity in the Premier League but his performances for Benfica were nothing short of outstanding last season. A similar age to Haaland, his stock on the rise and under the watchful eye of Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, the Uruguayan youngster has all the tools at his disposal to flourish in England’s top-flight. The Merseyside club broke their transfer record to acquire the 22-year-old’s services for the gargantuan fee of £85 million so it goes without saying that Klop rates him as a potential world class talent. He scored 26 goals from 28 Primeira Liga games last season strolling to that league’s golden boot, six goals clear of second place. He is primed to fill Sadio Mane’s shoes in the central role up front and there is little doubt he will get good service from teammates Andy Robertson, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Mo Salah out on the wings marking him out as a solid option to top the list.
Can Salah retain his crown?
Liverpool’s talismanic ‘Egyptian King’ has been the main man at Anfield for the last four seasons so their fans were overjoyed to hear of his contract extension earlier this Summer. His contributions to Liverpool’s success over that spell cannot be overstated and as a three time winner of the golden boot he cannot be ruled out of the contest. Despite his impressive goal tally since arriving on Merseyside, it is fair to say that his finishing is not necessarily the strongest aspect of his game, especially when comparing to the likes Kane, Haaland, Nunez etc. Instead he will have to rely on chance creation and hope he is given enough opportunities in front of goal to capitalise. It helps then that he belongs to a side that is the only one in the country to have created more chances and had more shots on goal than the champions Manchester City. Salah will surely be amongst the top candidates next season.
Tottenham’s dangerous duo
2021-22 was undoubtedly Son’s best season yet. His partnership with captain Kane has been lethal in front of goal and seen him emerge as one of the league’s most potent attacking threats. It came as a surprise but when you being totting up the numbers only four players have scored more goals than Son since 2016/17, those four being Jamie Vardy, Sadio Mane, Salah and his teammate Kane. Speaking of England’s captain, Kane has won three golden boots in his tenure at Spurs and routinely finds himself in the conversation for top goalscorer with good cause. Albeit a slow starter, and his Summer transfer fiasco a much bigger contributor to that last time round, it is inevitable he will comfortably hit double digits when renewing his alliance with the South Korean this term.
Never rule out Ronaldo
Rumours are circulating that Ronaldo is seeking a move away from Manchester after their dismal season with the potential to reunite with former boss Jose Mourinho at Roma improving day by day. However, should the Portuguese legend stay put he will be in the mix. Perhaps the greatest goalscorer of the modern era, if not all time, the 37-year-old continues to set the standard high having dragged United through a torturous campaign netting 18 times in 30 matches and finishing third in the overall goalscoring standings. A remarkable feat given the distinct lack of chance creation compared to his counterparts. Erik Ten Hag’s arrival will likely improve his fortunes at Old Trafford should he stay in England and there is little doubt that he will bag a big haul if he’s provided better service.
Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic is a good bet having starred in the Championship with a record-breaking season. Elsewhere Jamie Vardy might be in the final stages of his career but he is still looking sharp in front of goal and consistently finding the back of the net. Ivan Toney’s debut Premier League season was impressive marking him out as one to watch next term and Calum Wilson’s recent form at Newcastle has been noteworthy but he is still relatively low on the pecking order.
Regardless of what happens from now to May, whoever seeks to top the pile will have to overcome a lot of competition to get there.
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