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The Premier League goalscoring charts were very congested at the end of last season, with four players separated by just three goals at the top.
Jamie Vardy finished at the summit, with 23 for the season, ensuring just four players in the last 10 years have hit the 30-goal mark, but plenty will be going into the 2020/21 campaign aiming higher.
Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah, Tottenham striker Harry Kane and Arsenal skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will all be looking to reclaim the crown, with Manchester United trio Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood and Anthony Martial also in contention.
We’ve looked at the contenders for this season’s Golden Boot, from the favourites to the outsiders.
Last season’s league-leader Vardy has been rewarded with a new Leicester contract, but his 23 goals would only have been the best in the division twice in the 2010s.
Vardy may need to find another gear to go back-to-back, but he has been defying the odds for years so why would he stop now?
Aubameyang’s Arsenal record has been unbelievable, considering how the club has fared since his move from Borussia Dortmund in January 2018.
The Gabon striker has scored 34.4% of Arsenal’s goals since making his debut in a 5-1 victory over Everton, and last season that went up to 39.3%. With the Gunners adding reinforcements this summer, the sky’s the limit.
Few would have predicted Ings’ 22-goal season last time out, but his role in Southampton’s set-up means you can’t be sure it will end up being a one-hit wonder.
It’s also enough to make you wonder whether another English striker who finished in the bottom half last season, such as Michail Antonio or Dominic Calvert-Lewin, might have the goods to shoot up the charts this time out.
Aguero managed 16 goals last season despite playing in less than half of the available minutes in the league, and only Gabriel Jesus had more non-penalty expected goals (xG) per 90 minutes among players with more than 10 appearances.
If he can stay fit, the Argentine will be among the favourites, though it’s obviously a big if.
The Brazil striker has been an expert at getting on the end of chances, and we’re still just waiting for his finishing to catch up with that.
He’s still only 23, though, and if he gets more minutes for City this season, this could be the year where he really establishes himself.
Manchester United clicked into gear following the arrival of Bruno Fernandes, and the addition of Donny van de Beek should help them continue to create chances.
As the central striker in the Red Devils’ system, Martial is a leading candidate to improve on his career-best return of 17 league goals last season.
Mane’s goal return eased off a little after Liverpool clinched the title, with just three in his last seven games, but he still finished on 19 for the season.
He had more shots per 90 minutes than Vardy last season, suggesting he has the goods to threaten the top.
Salah didn’t just have more shots on target than anyone else in the league last season – he had a lot more, with no other player coming within 10 of the Liverpool man’s total.
It brought just 20 goals by July, but he’s been averaging more than 24 per season since joining the Reds so he’s very much in the conversation.
Werner’s Chelsea colleagues Tammy Abraham and Olivier Giroud both had plenty of chances last season, and the German has recent pedigree to go with that.
The German scored 28 in 34 Bundesliga games last season, and that coupled with a great supply line ought to see him near the top of the rankings.
Sterling was the last player to score a hat-trick in the 2019/20 season, putting three past Brighton goalkeeper Maty Ryan in July, and was the only player to score two hat-tricks during the campaign.
Gone are the days where his finishing came in for ridicule – even if there are occasions, such as the Champions League exit to Lyon, where it can still desert him – and the England man is a sound bet to finish towards the top of the charts again.
The Wolves striker scored a career-best 17 league goals last season, while he added a further 10 in Europe.
Without Europa League distractions this season, the Mexican has an opportunity to focus all his efforts on passing that elusive 20-goal mark and potentially going even higher.
Rashford finished last season with 17 goals, despite suffering a back fracture midway through the campaign.
He has equaled or bettered his tally every season since breaking through in 2015/16, and there’s nothing to suggest that trend won’t continue.
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While the 2019/20 campaign saw Kane fail to reach 20 league goals for a second straight year, injury issues played their part.
The England striker ought to receive plenty of opportunities to right that wrong under Jose Mourinho, especially considering Spurs’ dearth of other attacking options.
An outside shot, for sure, but it’s impossible to ignore Greenwood’s breakthrough at the end of last season.
Five goals in his last seven games brought the teenager’s season-long record to 18 in all competitions, and his goals-per-shot return was the best in the league.
If he can keep that going over what’s likely to be more on-pitch minutes – and it will be a test, for sure, the youngster could be a surprise fixture at the top of the charts.
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