Harry Kane? Sergio Aguero? Mo Salah? The race for the Golden Boot intensifies
With the end of the season looming, it is increasingly looking like Manchester City will be crowned Premier League Champions for the 2017/18 season. Yet with nine games remaining in another enchanting season, there is one prestigious award which the identity of the winner still remains wide open.
Any guesses of who will be victorious would be an extremely speculative prediction at this stage, and with only three goals separating the top three Premier League strikers, the quest for the golden boot is well and truly on. Although an Englishman is clear favourite to scoop the prize, there is an Egyptian and Argentinian breathing down his neck to claim the honour.
In a Premier League season where so far 781 goals have hit the back of the net, there’s no better individuals at dispatching the ball past opposition keepers then the experienced strikers mentioned below. Around 9% of these goals have been scored by the Premier League’s three leading scorers and 90MAAT takes a closer look at the top three contenders and analyses the bookies thoughts into who will be victorious come 13th May.
The three front runners
Harry Kane – Spurs – 24 Goals
With already twenty-four goals in 29 games, Harry Kane is in an exceedingly prosperous position to pass his finest Premier League goal tally of twenty-nine last season. These twenty-nine goals helped his side to a second-place finish behind Chelsea and it was his twenty-five goals in the 16/15 season which guided Spurs to a third-place finish behind Leicester and Arsenal. With only one more goal needed this season to hit 25, he will be only the third player to score 25 goals in three consecutive seasons in the Premier League. For Spurs, he is the influential cog in their machine and he is the man Pochettino places his trust in week by week to lead the line and provide the goal-scoring expertise required to compete in the top six.
Come Russia, it will be Gareth Southgate who is relying on the Spurs centre forward who will be carrying a nations hopes on his shoulders. At 16/1, Kane is fourth favourite ahead of some illustrious strikers to bring home the World Cup golden boot too, which certainly would be a dream come true for the London born striker.
The significance of Kane is that every time Spurs score, we almost expect him to be the goal scorer. This tells you something about his deadliness in front of goal. His instinctive nature and his confidence is a pleasure to watch and his team can always rely on him to find the back of the net. His tenacity and endeavor off the ball is second to none and at only 24 he has the potential to be one of the greatest to grace the Premier League.
The last game of the season sees Spurs face Leicester, Kane has scored 5 goals in his last two fixtures against the Foxes and will be relishing his final fixture of the campaign.
Fixtures remaining: Bournemouth (A), Newcastle (H), Chelsea (A), Stoke (A), Man City (H), Brighton (A), Watford (H), West Brom (A), Leicester (H)
Mohammed Salah – Liverpool – 24 Goals
After Liverpool’s £38m transfer fee bringing Salah in from Roma last summer, there were many questioning this transfer as the Egyptian struggled in his first spell in the Premier League with Chelsea. After playing only 19 games for Chelsea between 2014-16 he only managed two goals and was sent out on loan spells to Fiorentina and Roma respectively. Already at Liverpool he has managed 32 goals in only 38 appearances, a momentous difference between the two spells.
His form under Klopp has been unbelievable and with the Brazilian prodigy that is Roberto Firmino working alongside him his form will inevitably continue. A fascinating stat which belongs to Salah is that nobody has scored more goals with their left foot in a Premier League season then him. 21 of his 24 league goals have come using his left peg and with nine games remaining he could be far a drift at the top of this statistic come May.
His nimble feet and perception around the box make him a nightmare to play against and although he squanders many opportunities in front of goal, his 24 goals to date have been enough to situate him amongst the impeccable in the goal-scoring leagues. After being deeply frustrated at Chelsea, his time under Klopp has certainly made up for his time spent in London and he has immediately become a fan favourite at Anfield. He has now scored in seven consecutive matches for Liverpool and the golden boot would be a dazzling end to his first season in Merseyside.
Fixtures remaining: Man United (A), Watford (H), Crystal Palace (A), Everton (A), Bournemouth (H), West Brom (A), Stoke (H), Chelsea (A), Brighton (H)
Sergio Aguero – Manchester City – 21 Goals
There is no doubt about it that the Manchester City man has an unbelievable talent and I would go as far to say that he is the most talented striker currently playing in the Premier League. He is a natural and extremely clinical, a nightmare for any Premier League defender. His strikes look effortless and perfect every single time. Before the fixture against Leicester, the City striker was falling behind his companions in the race for one of the greatest prizes of the season. Yet, after a splendid performance against the foxes he caused calamity amongst Claude Puel’s team and with a four-goal performance he is right back amongst it.
After a dominant season from Manchester City so far, the side Aguero has around him gives him a considerable advantage against the competition. This is no disrespect to Tottenham and Liverpool, yet with the likes of Sane, De Bruyne, Silva and co around you every week, it must be a delight stepping onto the field. They have scored 16 more goals than any other team so far in the season and this just shows their genius in front of goal with Aguero having an extensive part to play in this.
The only worry for Aguero is that with City absolutely cruising to the title, and with the possibility of winning the championship with five games remaining, he may be rested while Guardiola gives some experience to the younger members of the City ranks. Another concern for the Argentine is that with the World Cup in Russia fast approaching, he may decide to let Salah and Kane fight it out and have a few weeks of well-earned rest before the greatest competition begins. Although I’m sure this decision would not be taken lightly and will be a decision where all options are weighted out fairly.
Fixtures remaining: Stoke (A), Brighton (H), Everton (A), Man United (H), Spurs (A), Swansea (H), West Ham (A), Huddersfield (H), Southampton (A)
In terms of importance to their sides, Kane tops the polls in this one too. With stats courtesy of BBC, Kane has won Tottenham 14 points so far this season with Salah close behind on 13. In terms of the Argentinian, Aguero has gained the champions elect 7 vital points in their quest for the Premier League title.
With odds courtesy of Sky Bet, Kane is odds on favourite to be crowned golden boot winner for the third successive season. Understandably, Salah is not far behind at 9/4 and although on the same amount of goals as the Englishman, it is Kane’s experience within the Premier League and his vast amount of Premier League goals which explains why he is the favourite. Aguero, at 13/2 is not particularly fancied by the bookmakers and with the potential of him being rested, it looks like it could be a fight for Kane and Salah to finish.
Kane – 8/15
Salah – 9/4
Written by Eamon Kitching.