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Rating the probable Premier League top scorers

Premier League top scorers

Another season opens for business and, although we’ve already made our predictions on the finishing positions, we also decided to rate the chances of the probable Premier League top scorers for the 2019/20 campaign. Will we witness another tie at the top or will a hero emerge from the pack and claim the Golden Boot for themselves? Find out below.

 

Harry Kane

The England captain has had a full summer to recuperate which spells trouble for his domestic rivals. Since breaking into Tottenham’s first team in 2014/15, Kane’s Premier League goalscoring tally is incredible, netting 122 goals in in 167 matches.

What makes this record even more insane is that Kane had a longstanding goal drought in the month of August that he only overcame last year, his strike against Fulham ending a barren run of 15 matches. That he should still regularly finish as one of the Premier League top scorers despite taking a month off is absurd.

His haul of 17 last season was a drop from the 25, 29 and 30 goals he managed in the seasons prior but he did only play 28 matches and was visibly fatigued for much of the season after a summer in which he captained England to the World Cup semi-finals. Expect a fully fresh Kane to push for 30 goals once again, especially if Tottenham’s rumoured creative midfield signings come to fruition.

Golden Boot rating: 9/10

 

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

The Gabonese goal machine is another who has proved a revelation since coming to England, scoring 32 goals in 49 matches. He shares the goalscoring burden at Arsenal with Alexandre Lacazette and, starting next season, Nicolas Pépé.

Rumours have swirled over the summer that Aubameyang could be heading for the exit door but, with the transfer window creaking closed, he is still there at the moment. Despite their glaring deficiencies when protecting their own goal, Arsenal’s transfer business has prioritised attack over defence this season. As such you can expect to see a lot of high-scoring matches at the Emirates with Aubamayang playing a huge part.

Should he stay for the duration of the season, he could well prove to be Harry Kane’s biggest challenger.

Golden Boot Rating: 8/10

 

Mo Salah

It’s fair to say that Mo Salah’s return to the Premier League, after a previous spell at Chelsea, has been a success. 32 goals in his debut Premier League season for Liverpool was a league record and won him the Golden Boot, an award he defended last year with a further 22 goals in a tie for first place.

Like Kane, the drop in his tally can be attributed to his exploits at the World Cup and, although Salah was still lethal, at times he seemed to have lost some of his zip. Unlike Kane though, he didn’t have this summer off and was playing in the African Cup of Nations for Egypt as recently as  a month ago, depriving him of a pre-season.

As the season progresses, fatigue may become an issue for Salah and, as a result, game time could decrease. He will undoubtedly be among the leading contenders once again but I wouldn’t expect him to beat Harry Kane this time.

Golden Boot Rating: 7.5/10

 

Sergio Agüero

Martin Tyler screaming ‘Agüerooo’ as the Argentinian marksman famously clinched the title for Man City in 2012 has become part of Premier League folklore. However, Agüero’s reach in the Premier League goes far deeper than even that individual moment.

Since his arrival, ‘Kun’ has scored 164 goals in 239 games for City, netting 20 or more in six of his eight seasons, including the last five in a row. His highest tally is 26 but he hasn’t scored above 21 in the previous three seasons and, at the age of 31, my fear is that he may have peaked.

There is no disputing Agüero’s status as one of the greatest strikers, or indeed players, that the Premier League has seen and you would expect him to contribute another tally around the low 20s. However, if the previous three players get close to the 30 goal mark  then the Argentinian may struggle to keep up.

Golden Boot Rating: 6.5/10

 

Raheem Sterling

For a player whose finishing ability was once derided, Raheem Sterling hasn’t done too badly in the last couple of seasons, notching 18 and 17 league goals for Man City. His tutelage under Pep Guardiola has been the single greatest success story of the Spaniard’s reign and the big question is, how much further can Sterling go?

According to the Premier League’s own website, he missed eight ‘big chances’ in the league last season. By contrast Aubameyang missed 23, the most in the league, Kane missed 11 and Agüero missed ten. This suggests that Sterling is actually quite clinical when presented with an opportunity and the logic follows that if those opportunities increase, so should his return.

With Agüero’s game time likely to be controlled carefully to prolong his shelf life, Sterling could become City’s most dependable attacking outlet and I reckon he can threaten the 20 goal mark this year. It’s probably not enough to win the Golden Boot but would be definite progress.

Golden Boot Rating: 6/10

Jamie Vardy

He of ‘chat sh*t, get banged’ fame took the decision to retire from international football after the World Cup in a bid to extend his top flight career and a return of 18 goals last season suggests that it may have been a shrewd decision.

Ten of those goals came in the 11 matches after Brendan Rodgers took charge of The Foxes which is a hugely promising sign, with the Northern Irishman implementing a system that brought the best out of Vardy. If he is able to carry that form over, he’s got a real chance of smashing last year’s total.

Leicester look set for a big season and Vardy will be pivotal to that. He turns 33 in January so age is slowly turning against him but, as long as he retains his pace, a 20+ goal season isn’t beyond the realm of possibility yet and he could be one of the Premier League top scorers this season.

Golden Boot Rating 6/10

 

Anthony Martial

A slightly speculative suggestion here, though one with a rationale behind it. Romelu Lukaku is seemingly on his way out of Old Trafford, his apparent lack of mobility not endearing him to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

United will need somebody to step up and, by all accounts, it is Martial who has been used more centrally in pre-season, as opposed to the equally highly-rated Marcus Rashford.

Martial’s ten strikes in 27 games last season was his best return at the club so far in terms of goals per game, narrowly edging ahead of the 11 in 31 in his debut season. It was also a better record than the ten in 33 that Rashford managed and that is part of the reason that I suspect it it Martial who might be the one to step up this year. A big outside shout for the Golden Boot.

Golden Boot rating 5.5/10

 

 

Nicolas Pépé

No foreign player has ever won the Premier League Golden Boot in their first season in English football. However, that doesn’t mean that several haven’t finished amongst the Premier League top scorers. Arsenal’s Nicolas Pépé could be the next to make an instant impression, with the Ivorian seemingly becoming more prolific by the season.
Prior to his move to Lille, Pépé had scored 11 goals in 79 career appearances, hardly noteworthy. However, after that transfer something seemed to click. 13 goals in 36 Ligue Un matches in his first season was a decent return for a winger but 22 goals in 38 matches last season was a fantastic effort and placed made him the league’s second highest scorer behind only Kylian Mbappé.

He won’t win the Golden Boot in his first season, especially with Aubameyang and Lacazette also at the club sharing the glory, but he should be in for a strong season which will enhance his goalscoring reputation significantly.

Golden Boot Rating: 5/10

 

 

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