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Race for the 2023-24 Premier League Golden Boot hotting up

Published: Updated: 10:16, 23 Feb 2024
It appears that Erling Haaland will not be the runaway top scorer he was last season

One of the toughest things to do when making a soccer bet is usually to pick the top scorer in a Premier League campaign. Last season, Manchester City star striker Erling Haaland blew that idea out of the window. The Norwegian netted a record-breaking 36 goals in what will surely go down as the most impressive debut season in the history of the English top flight.

This time around, he is still firing on all cylinders by regular human beings' standards but not quite reaching the Norse God levels he attained a year ago. This is allowing some of the league's other big-name strikers to at least compete with him.

Like the title race itself, the race to win the Premier League Golden Boot is wide open as we enter the final third of the 2023-24 season. Here are the top contenders for the crown.

All goal totals are correct at the time of writing.

Erling Haaland (17 goals)

Haaland remains the favourite among many to make it back-to-back golden boots. He has netted 17 goals in 20 appearances in a season slightly hampered by injury. His goal-per-99-minute ratio is head and shoulders above the rest, and it's not a big stretch to imagine him scoring goal after goal in the run-in and finishing well above the competition.

Manchester City remain on course to complete the ridiculous double-treble, and Haaland is still easily one of the best players on the planet, but this season it's not quite as easy as before. He will have to work hard to secure the Golden Boot for 2023-24.

Mohamed Salah (15 goals)

Such has been the consistent brilliance of Egyptian superstar Mohamed Salah that the Liverpool striker's 19 goals last season was his joint-worst offering in the Premier League. He has 15 goals to his name so far in this campaign, so will likely finish far ahead of that tally. He is also more than keeping pace with Haaland.

If it weren't for the AFCON and some injury issues, Salah would likely have scored more and be ahead of his competitor right now. Nonetheless, Salah has plenty of time to notch a few more goals to his record and put himself in pole position to win the Golden Boot.

Ollie Watkins (13 goals)

Ollie Watkins' place on this list is arguably as surprising as his team's league position. Unai Emery continues to work miracles at Aston Villa, having taken over a side languishing in the bottom half of the Premier League table and led them to Europa Conference League qualification and now on the cusp of Champions League qualification.

One of the many cogs in this well-oiled machine is Watkins. He's scoring goals for fun and remarkably sits just 3 goals behind Erling Haaland in the standings as we come towards the end of February. Aston Villa are punching above their weight in the Premier League and Watkins is jostling for position with the world's greats.

Son Heung-Min (12 goals)

Son Heung-Min has always scored more goals than he's been given credit for, but with Harry Kane leaving for Bayern Munich he has taken on even more responsibility. Son has become Spurs captain under Ange Postecoglou and is leading from the front. 12 goals in 22 appearances is not bad at all.

Considering his absence at the Asian Cup, where his beloved South Korea, who he also captains, were eliminated in the semi-finals, Son is going above and beyond for the club he loves.

Bukayo Saka (12 goals)

Bukayo Saka continues to get on the scoresheet for Arsenal, a team which likes to spread the goals around. His contribution is admirable and crucial to The Gunners' title hopes. He could potentially be a dark horse contender for the Golden Boot if Arsenal continue to smash goals past every team they face.

Honourable mentions

Bournemouth striker Dominic Solanke (14) is the third-highest goalscorer in the league as things stand. His achievement, along with that of boss Andoni Iraola at Bournemouth, has been extraordinary. He is finally fulfilling the potential many have seen in him for years. Despite that fact, it is very unlikely that both he and the club will maintain their good form for the rest of the campaign. It's difficult to see him pushing the likes of Haaland and Salah all the way. This is why he sits below the likes of Watkins and Son on this list.

Jarrod Bowen (11) is having another good season at West Ham, but unfortunately for him, the team's form has dropped off a cliff of late and there is a lot of negativity surrounding the London Stadium right now. Bowen isn't in the right atmosphere to push Haaland to the brink.

All in all, the Premier League Golden Boot race for 2023-24 will probably come down to Haaland and Salah battling it out, with Saka as a dark horse entry. The talismans of their respective clubs, the three big-hitters who are tussling for the Premier League crown this season, these are the three players likely to be in the frame when all is said and done.

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