Who Will Be the EPL’s Top Scorer This Season?
Last updated: January 18, 2017 by Leon Marshal
While the EPL season is largely dominated by the title race and the quest to secure a lucrative Champions League berth, there are a number of sub-plots and individual battles that also make the competition enduringly fascinating. Take the race to win the league’s Golden Boot, for example, which is keenly-contested and offers a highly coveted award to the sharpest shooters in England.
This year is no exception, with the top seven scorers in the top flight currently separated by just four goals. There are currently 3 players with 14 goals, while there are also several other players just a goal or two off the leaders, who will fancy their chance of winning the Golden Boot before the season’s end.
The 5 Key Contenders to Win the Golden Boot
With this in mind, let’s take a look at five key contenders who could claim this coveted price at the end of the 2016/17 season.
Diego Costa, Chelsea
Let’s start with the current front-runner, whose impressive haul of 14 goals has already superseded his total from last season. Back then, the volatile Costa often cut a frustrated figure, and one who would become embroiled in running battles with rival centre backs rather than channelling his anger in front of goal.
He has found a new lease of life under Italian boss Antonio Conte, however, with Costa’s prolific return having fired the Blues to a record-equalling 13 game winning run and a six point lead at the top of the table. The Spaniard was the bookie’s favourite to win the golden boot, but his falling out with his manager and exclusion from the matchday squad last week has cast doubt over his game time for the remainder of the season.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Manchester United
Next up is the man they call Zlatan, who despite concerns surrounding his age and motivation has taken the Premier League by storm. The Swede could also afford himself a barren run during the autumn months, either side of which he has plundered 13 league goal and 18 in total for a resurgent Manchester United form.
The only question that remains is whether Zlatan can continue to cope with the physical demands of the EPL, although his levels of fitness and mental strength suggest that he is more than equipped to manage this feat. Given this and United’s continued consistency and attacking potency, he is currently the favourite at 11/4.
Alexis Sanchez, Arsenal
Currently the league’s top performer with 14 goals and 7 assists is Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez. Sanchez – just like Arsenal – started the season fantastically, benefitting from Olivier Giroud’s absence by taking up the lone striker role. His returns might have diminished a little since Giroud’s return, but Sanchez is still knocking them in from his new role on the flank.
Sanchez’s chances will likely depend on whether Arsenal can keep up with the pace of the leaders, such is their tendency to fade at the crucial stage of a campaign. But there are signs that this year could be different for the Gunners and if Chelsea do start to lose ground to the chasing pack, Arsenal could well be the ones to overtake them.
Despite missing some of the season through injury, Harry Kane has wasted no time on his return and finds himself with 13 goals, just one behind the leaders. Due to this, Kane boasts the best minutes per goal ratio, with a goal every 105 minutes. Kane is also the most in-form of our featured players, after notching a hattrick against West Brom.
Spurs came agonisingly close to the title last season and look like the could go all the way this year. Kane’s goals will be vital if they are to do so, but the team are currently sharing the goal scoring duties, with Eriksen and Alli chipping in. Tottenham are currently scoring for fun though, meaning Kane should be getting plenty of chances in the coming weeks.
Romelu Lukaku, Everton
Despite being just three goals behind with 11 strikes, Lukaku is considered as an outsider for the Golden Boot at inviting odds of 16/1. Given his quality and occasionally unplayable nature, however, along with the fact that Everton are likely to strengthen their attacking options in January, the Belgian powerhouse offers huge value in a league where anything is possible.
Of particular interest is the Toffees’ potential signing of Manchester United’s Memphis Depay, who despite failing at Old Trafford still has bags of quality and could provide Lukaku with some outstanding service from out wide. If he is well served and manages to maintain the form he showed during the New Years’ win against Southampton, it could be unwise to bet against Lukaku.