Amid all the seriousness of the Premier League title race, the battle for the top 4, the relegation dogfight, and everything in between, there’s always that underlying current of personal glory running parallel to the campaign. Every player wants to be recognised for a job well done, and awards like the Golden Boot and the Player of the Year are highly sought after.
Liverpool duo Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane were 2 of the 3 players to share the Premier League Golden Boot last season, with Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang completing the trio as the 3 of them netted 22 league goals apiece. Another prolific season for Salah could see him become just the third player to win the award in 3 consecutive seasons, joining top flight legends Alan Shearer and Thierry Henry.
But can the Egyptian forward repeat his success and outscore his illustrious competitors?
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Premier League Top Goalscorer Key Stats
- The Premier League Golden Boot winners, on average, have scored 24.7 league goals per season at a rate of 0.7 goals per game.
- Mohamed Salah’s 32 goal haul in 2017/18 is the highest number of goals scored in a 38-game Premier League season, while Harry Kane achieved the best goals-per-game rate with 0.97 in 2016/17.
- Thierry Henry has won the award a record 4 times, and is the only other player apart from Alan Shearer to win it in 3 consecutive seasons.
- The smallest goals tally to clinch the award was 18, which occurred in both 1997/98 and 1998/99 and was shared 3 ways in both seasons. The dubious winners were Chris Sutton, Dion Dublin, and Michael Owen in 1997/98 and Michael Owen, Dwight Yorke, and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink in 1998/99.
- The winner of the Golden Boot is given £1,000 for every goal they score during the season, to be donated to a charity of their choice.
Premier League Top Goalscorer Prediction: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
He was our pick of the bunch in last season’s Premier League Outrights, and he didn’t disappoint. Arsenal’s Gabonese marksman may have had to share the plaudits, but we’re backing him to claim sole ownership of the Golden Boot this season.
Aubameyang has been a revelation for Arsenal since his mid-season transfer from Borussia Dortmund in 2017/18. Despite being thrown into an unfamiliar team in an unfamiliar league, he netted 10 goals in 13 league appearances that season, and last term continued this trend as his partnership with Alexandre Lacazette blossomed.
This takes his tally to 32 goals in 49 Premier League appearances, a rate of 0.65 goals per game. It also means that he’s now scored at least 20 league goals in each of his last 4 campaigns, including the season of his mid-season transfer. Looking back even further, the 30 year old has netted 15 or more league goals in 7 of his last 8 seasons, so he looks an absolute steal for the top goalscorer award at 8/1.
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Premier League Top Goalscorer Outside Chance: Jamie Vardy
It took Jamie Vardy a season or so to adapt to life in the top flight, but ever since that tumultuous first campaign in 2014/15 he has been Leicester’s talisman and hero. The Foxes haven’t looked back since narrowly escaping relegation that year, and famously won the title just a year later.
The 32 year old netted 24 goals in that campaign and has been terrorising top flight defences ever since. Vardy has scored 75 goals in his last 141 top flight appearances, netting at least 18 times in 3 of the last 4 campaigns. He has broken the 20 mark in 2 of these seasons, but there’s also another consideration to think of.
The Premier League will have the dubious benefit of VAR next season, and Jamie Vardy is Leicester’s prime penalty taker. Penalties scored have increased by up to 12% in leagues utilising VAR, so that could be a key factor in this season’s Golden Boot race. Not only that, but bet365 are paying out 1/4 odds on 4 places in the eachway market, so backing Vardy to be up there with the rest of the big boys looks a very shrewd move.
PFA Young Player of the Year Prediction: Trent Alexander-Arnold
Trent Alexander-Arnold burst onto the scene as an 18 year old back in the 2017/18 campaign, making 33 competitive appearances for his boyhood club and even earning himself a spot on the plane to the World Cup in Russia.
He was impressive back then, but last season he took his skills to a whole new level. The young right back was a mainstay in Liverpool’s starting lineup as they challenged for the Premier League title, and he made a big impact in Europe too. His ingenious assist from a corner against Barcelona was a standout moment, with the resulting Divock Origi goal sealing their passage in the Champions League and eventually leading to yet another European triumph for the club.
This was far from Alexander-Arnold’s only attacking contribution though. His assist on the final day of the Premier League season saw him break the Premier League record for the most assists by a defender in a domestic campaign with 12.
He was beaten to the PFA Young Player of the Year award last year by Raheem Sterling, but he did earn a spot in the PFA Team of the Year. Interestingly, he’s the only player in that Team of the Year eligible for the Young Player of the Year in the coming season, and considering his continued improvement we fancy him to get his hands on it this term.
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