There have been 24 different winners of the Premier League Golden Boot since the reformation of England’s top-flight in 1992.
Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy won the award for the first time last season with 23 goals in 35 games. He fits my criteria of a player who has a side largely built around him, and one who takes penalties to boost his tally.
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Moreover, only one player has managed to win the award with less than 20 goals since the turn of the century (Nicolas Anelka with 19 in 2008/09), so when assessing the Top Goalscorer market, I always ask myself, “Can I envisage this player scoring 20+ goals?”
Another thing to bare in mind is that all bookmakers offer a quarter of the odds for a top-four finish in the Golden Boot race, so it’s worth utilising this for bigger-priced punts, such as Danny Ings last season.
Mohamed Salah is the favourite with most bookmakers to win the award for a third time, at a best-price of 11/2 (William Hill). The Egyptian was considered to have had a slightly disappointing season on a personal level, yet still scored 19 league goals in a title-winning side. It’s no surprise to see him leading the market, then, especially given the amount of shots he has at goal.
Harry Kane is close behind him at 6/1 (Sky Bet). The Englishman will always be in the conversation, but given his injury issues and increasing propensity to drop deeper, I’m not sure he represents value at that price.
Pierre-Emile Aubameyang is my personal pick at 6/1 (bet365). The Gabon forward shared the prize with Salah and Sadio Mane in the 2018/19 campaign, and has now scored 22 league goals two seasons running.
He is Arsenal’s chief goalscorer, and in his free role cutting inside from the left he will be able to get plenty of shots on goal. He also takes penalties. Criteria: tick.
Sergio Aguero is 8/1 (William Hill) but, like Kane, suffers from injuries.
He is also regularly rotated with Gabriel Jesus, with Raheem Sterling increasingly taking up central goalscoring positions, too. Aguero’s team-mates are 20/1 and 12/1 respectively (Bet Victor).
My second selection is Timo Werner at 12/1 (Betway). The German scored 88 goals in four Bundesliga seasons with RB Leipzig, and will likely be on penalty duties for Chelsea.
Many observers will claim most players require a bedding in season, but several players have challenged for the Golden Boot in their debut Premier League season.
Kevin Phillips famously won the European Golden Shoe with Sunderland in his first season in the top-flight in 1999/2000.
Salah and Aubameyang’s recent wins were both players’ first full campaigns in England, while Fernando Torres, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Diego Costa are all examples of excellent strikers scoring 20+ goals in their debut campaigns in England.
If you’re looking for more Premier League proven players, though, there’s a host of interesting options in the next pack.
Mane is 16/1 (Betfair) to win it for a second time, and certainly makes an interesting each-way option. Vardy is 18/1 (Betway) to retain it, with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial both 20/1 (bet365).
Two further interesting each-way options for me would be Danny Ings at 22/1 (William Hill) and Raul Jimenez at 33/1 (Boyle Sports).
Both players lead the lines for their sides – who should take up top-half positions – and take penalties.
Looking further afield, Leeds United’s record signing Rodrigo Moreno is 80/1 (bet365).
However, the 29-year-old only once hit double figures for Valencia and would probably consider that target a solid return with a promoted side.
Everton duo Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin are also both 80/1 (bet365) and may benefit from Carlo Ancelotti’s impressive trio of midfield signings, particularly James Rodriguez, who has been an assist machine in the past. However, I don’t see them ever being 20-goal plus players.
In terms of triple figure each-way punts, I like Michail Antonio at 150/1 (bet365).
Having moved into West Ham’s central striker role under David Moyes, he scored eight goals in nine games after the lockdown. He converted a penalty against Manchester United, though it remains to be seen if he will permanently prise the role from captain Mark Noble.
Che Adams also looks overpriced at 250/1 (Bet Victor).
The Southampton forward had a disappointing start to life on the south coast, but after the lockdown he looked much more like the player who scored 22 goals for Birmingham City in the Championship in 2018/19.