Our footy scribe previews the EPL's most likely candidates for the Top Goal Scorer award.
With the 2016/17 English Premier League campaign underway, it would be best to search for those value bets early in the season. The race for the top goalscorer will certainly be a tightly contested affair, but let’s take a closer look at the goalscoring ability of some of the contenders for this season’s prestigious accolade.
Sergio Aguero (31/10)
The Argentine maestro has been a contender for top goalscorer since he joined Manchester City in 2011 for an undisclosed fee thought to be in the region of £35 million. Aguero has scored 137 goals in 209 appearances for the Citizens and will certainly be one of the prime candidates to top the goalscoring chart this season. He has managed to score 40 plus goals every season for Man City except the 2012/13 campaign, and there isn't any reason why he won't do it again! Aguero has already started the season with a bang, as he found the back of the net in the 2-1 victory over Sunderland in their opening match.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (13/2)
Although this may be the Swede’s first season in the English Premier League, Zlatan is always among the contenders for the top goalscorer. Ibrahimovic signed for Manchester United from Paris Saint-German as a free agent. The Swedish superstar showed his best form in French Ligue 1, scoring 156 goals in 180 appearances. Zlatan has shown Man United supporters his quality, after slotting home the winner in the Community Shield against defending league champions Leicester City, before scoring on his Premier League debut. It’s fair to say Manchester United have one of the most lethal strikers in world football.
Harry Kane (8/1)
Harry Kane has been on the scene for the past two seasons; firing on all cylinders. The English forward blazed through Tottenham's academy and became a regular starter and goalscorer for Spurs in the 2014–15 season, bagging 31 goals across the campaign, 21 of which were in the league, and he was also named the PFA Young Player of the Year. Kane finished top scorer in the league last season with 25 goals, as he helped Tottenham qualify for the UEFA Champions League. He had a dismal run of form at the Europena Championships and will be eager to bounce back and prove his worth.
Diego Costa (11/1)
Love him or hate him, Diego Costa is one of the most consistent strikers in the league. The EPL’s villain is sure to cause havoc with his bullish yet effective style of play. The tough Spanish forward has bagged 38 goals in 79 appearances for Chelsea, and it could be a case of three times a charm as Costa enters his third season with the Blues. In dramatic fashion, Costa opened his account for the campaign, scoring the winner in a 2-1 victory against London rivals West Ham at Stamford Bridge in the opening game of the season.
Romelu Lukaku (15/1)
Belgian forward Romelu Lukaku may be in a team that lacks that extra bit of quality, but he certainly does not. The 23-year old has scored 61 goals in 127 appearances for Everton, which is a decent turnover for the Toffees. Lukaku is big, strong and has the ability to punish any team on his day. He may be young, but his goal scoring prowess are there for the world to see.
Jamie Vardy (22/1)
Being one of the key players for Leicester City, Jamie Vardy was a driving force behind the Foxes surprise title winning season last term. The English forward scored in eleven consecutive Premier League matches, breaking former Manchester United legend Ruud van Nistelrooy's record, and was voted the Premier League Player of the Season and FWA Footballer of the Year. Now he will be eager to prove it was no fluke as Leicester City look to defend their title.
Olivier Giroud (22/1)
Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud is yet to hit the 20 goal mark in the league and with the quality the Gunners possess in their midfield, that should be more than likely. Don’t get me wrong, the French forward has the ability to do so, but season after season he fails to maintain consistent goalscoring form throughout. Arsenal fans have called for his head, but manager Arsene Wenger has kept his faith in the Frenchman. Will this be the season Giroud repays that faith with a flood of goals?
Dimitri Payet (70/1)
West Ham’s Dimitri Payet set the EPL on fire last season with his master class in trickery, magical free-kicks, silky passes and eye for goal. Following an outstanding first season in the English top flight, Payet was shortlisted by the Premier League for the 2016 PFA Players' Player of the Year Award. West Ham’s Player of the Season also made a tremendous impression in the 2016 Euro as he claimed a place in the UEFA European Championship Team of the Tournament. It may be a long shot, but a small punt on Payet to top the goal scoring charts could prove profitable.
While I think the league's top scorer will come down to Aguero and Ibrahimovic, the former is a tad more injury prone. Zlatan has an abundance of quality backing him up from midfield, making the Swede my best bet to top the goal scoring chart this season.
Written by Aaron Crowie @Hollywoodbets