As the Premier League gets underway for the 2023-24 season, the buzz around who will clinch the top scorer title is already resonating across the football community.
The Golden Boot is a coveted honour, one that immortalises the player in the annals of the Premier League history.
As teams strengthen their squads and fans dust off their jerseys, a group of elite strikers are prepping to lead the charge in the goal-scoring saga that lies ahead.
The previous seasons have seen a crop of incredible goal scorers who have showcased a level of consistency and finesse that sets them apart.
These players have a proven track record, with the ability to find the back of the net under almost any circumstance.
So just who is in the running for the title in the Premier League 2023-24 season and who will be the top scorer when it all ends next May?
Undoubtedly the darling of Manchester City, Erling Haaland, is a top contender, but are there any surprises among the usual contenders?
Erling Haaland – 1/4 (Manchester City)
Erling Haaland joined Manchester City FC from Borussia Dortmund in July 2022. He signed a five-year deal that keeps him at the club until the summer of 2027.
It should be noted that his contract with City includes a special €200 million buyout clause that could allow him to transfer to FC Barcelona or Real Madrid in 2024.
However, rumours are that Man City is keen to give Haaland a new contract which will remove the release clause. Watch this space!
Since joining, he has been instrumental in Manchester City’s quest for success. His performances in both the Premier League and the Champions League have been crucial for the team’s ambitions.
As of October 8, 2023, Haaland has made 43 appearances for Manchester City in the Premier League, scoring 44 goals.
Additionally, as of last season, he holds the record for the most goals scored by a player in a single Premier League season with 36 goals.
He’s already top of the goalscorer table this season, and the way he’s playing, it’ll take a miracle to knock him off the top spot.
Mohamed Salah – 10/1 (Liverpool)
Mo Salah, has had a remarkable career with Liverpool FC since joining the club in the summer of 2017.
He’s recognised as one of the world’s best forwards and has significantly contributed to Liverpool’s success over the years.
In his debut season (2017-2018), Salah set a new Premier League record by scoring 32 goals in a 38-game season. He also helped Liverpool reach the 2018 UEFA Champions League Final.
He formed a formidable attacking trio with Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané, and played a key role in Liverpool’s Champions League and Premier League title successes in the following seasons.
As of October 2023, Salah has made 226 appearances for Liverpool in the Premier League, scoring 142 goals.
He won his first Golden Boot in 2017–18, was joint top scorer the following season and earned his hat-trick of titles in the 2021-22 season along with Son Heung-min. Both scored 23 goals in 35 appearances.
Currently sitting in joint 4th place on the top scorer table, there’s a long way to go but Salah is a master of his craft and anything is possible.
Son-heung Min – 12/1 (Spurs)
Son Heung-min, a South Korean international superstar, has been playing for Tottenham Hotspur since transferring from Bayer Leverkusen in August 2015.
He was made captain in August 2023, showcasing his leadership skills and significance to the team.
Up until October 2023, Son has made 275 appearances and scored 109 goals.
And it is that remarkable goalscoring ability that has endeared him to the Spurs faithful over the years. It also earned him the Golden Boot in the 2021-22 season alongside Mo Salah.
Now with Harry Kane gone further afield to German pastures, Son can out from the shadows and really show Spurs what he’s made of.
He has already gotten his season off to a bang, finding the back of the net six times in the first eight games.
And there’s nothing to suggest he won’t continue this goal scoring run for the rest of the season.
The Dark Horses
Amidst the usual suspects, there are those who lurk in the shadows, ready to surprise.
They might not have the same level of scrutiny or expectations but possess the talent and the circumstance to rise above the rest.
Their journey towards the Golden Boot is laden with challenges, namely beating goal scoring machines like Haaland, but the potential reward is monumental.
This season there are two potential contenders…
Alexander Isak – 20/1 (Newcastle)
Alexander Isak joined Newcastle United from Real Sociedad on 26th August 2022.
Despite his young age, he brought significant experience from top football divisions in Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain.
By the time of his transfer, he had earned 37 caps and scored nine goals for the Swedish national team.
Isak’s transfer to Newcastle United was a significant acquisition for the club, costing a club record fee, although the exact amount varies slightly between sources.
And it was definitely worth as Isak got off to a flying start this season, bagging six goals in the first few games.
However, as of 10th October 2023, Isak suffered a groin injury that put him on Newcastle United’s injury list.
He is expected to return for the match against Crystal Palace so hopefully this won’t hinder his chances for the Golden Boot.
Ollie Watkins – 20/1 (Aston Villa)
Ollie Watkins currently plays as a forward for Aston Villa and the England national team.
Watkins began his football career at Exeter City’s academy and made significant strides, earning the EFL Young Player of the Year award.
He then moved to Brentford in 2017, where he had a successful three-year stint, becoming the joint top-scorer in the 2019-2020 Championship season and earning the title of Championship Player of the Year in 2020.
In the ongoing 2023-24 season, Watkins has made a substantial impact for Aston Villa, scoring four goals in eight games, showcasing excellent form.
Through his performances, Watkins has made a mark as a key player for Aston Villa, aiding in their domestic and potentially European ambitions, while also securing his place in the national team.
His recent contract extension reflects the club’s faith in his capabilities and his central role in the team’s forward line.
He may not become the top scorer this season but his time will come.
How To Become A Top Scorer
The tactics employed by teams play a crucial role in determining the top goalscorer.
Teams that adopt an attacking philosophy, provide a fertile ground for their strikers to flourish.
The setup, the formation, and the support from midfield are essential components that foster goal scoring opportunities.
The more conducive the environment, the higher the likelihood of a player topping the goal charts.
A striker placed in a well-oiled attacking machinery stands a better chance. It’s a symbiotic relationship; the team benefits from the goals, and the player inches closer to the Golden Boot.
Players that have won the golden boot in the past have often been central to a team’s strategy.
And if everyone, including the manager, has created plays that revolve around you, then your chances of becoming a top scorer are even greater.