Sergio Aguero won the Golden Boot last season awarded to the top scorer in the English Premier League but Alexis Sanchez could outscore his fellow South American over the course of 38 matches this time. Wayne Rooney has twice finished second in this market but many things are in his favour this season and he could finally top the scoring charts and become the first English player in 16 seasons to win the honour.
Aguero scored 26 goals last season and several reigning champions have obliged in the Premier League era. The Manchester City striker scored six goals in as many matches for Argentina but the key to his chances his staying fit. He didn’t look sharp in the 2014 World Cup and did not score despite Argentina reaching the final. In two of the last four seasons he has missed more than eight matches and the top scorer generally appears in the full compliment of fixtures.
Diego Costa looked on course to be the first overseas player to win the Golden Boot in his debut season. Injuries and suspensions compromised his chances and the same thing could happen this season. He has to be nursed through the season and doesn’t take the penalties for Chelsea so will struggle to score the 25 goals or more usually required to be the leading marksman in the Premier League. In the last 23 years the average tally of the leading scorer has been 26 goals.
Sanchez scored 16 goals for Arsenal in his first season in England but that included some dips in form and scoring droughts. In his last season at Barcelona he scored 19 goals for the club which was a good return in a side dominated by the goals of Lionel Messi. The Chilean had the fourth-most shots in the Premier League last season and scored a brilliant goal in the Cup Final. He won the Copa America for his country and can take some confidence and momentum into the new season.
Rooney has scored more than ten league goals in each of the last 11 seasons and that when sometimes in a struggling Manchester United side but usually in the Alex Ferguson era they were challenging for the title. He is destined to become the record scorer for United and England, overhauling Bobby Charlton in the record books for his club and country. Rooney will feature up front for more game minutes this season and will take responsibility for free kicks and penalties which will boost his total.
Harry Kane came from the Tottenham reserves and spells on loan to finish second in the scoring charts last season with 21 goals. He could leave the club in the current transfer window and become a small fish in a big pond. The surprise element has gone and defenders will be more aware of his scoring potential. He could train on and score plenty of goals but he is more likely to regress in terms of the number of goals he scores.
Christian Benteke could go well at Liverpool but a tough set of early season fixtures means he could be playing in a struggling side. Memphis Depay can be dismissed as this is his first year in England and no foreign player has come to the Premier League and won the Golden Boot immediately. Troy Deenay is an interesting outsider after scoring 64 goals in his last three Championship seasons. He will be compromised by playing for Watford as the leading scorer usually plays for one of the teams that could win the title.
It must be worrying for the English national team coach that only three of the top 10 in the betting to win the Golden Boot can play for England. Rooney is one of those players and he can go head-to-head with Sanchez in his quest to be the leading striker in England at last but he will need about 25 goals to achieve that ambition.
Click here to see last season’s standings.
European odds can be found at British bookmakers William Hill
For a full range of soccer odds please visit 888Sport