Who will win the battle for the 22/23 Premier League Golden Boot?

For much of last season, it looked like Mohamed Salah would win the Golden Boot at a canter. But

the Liverpool forward’s drop-off in form after the Africa Cup of Nations opened the door to Son

Heung-min, who grasped the opportunity with both hands. The Tottenham Hotspur star’s goal on

the final day of the campaign saw him draw level with Salah and earn a share of the Premier

League’s top scorer prize.

 

Salah and Son each scored 23 times last term. For only the second time in the last 11 campaigns,

there were just two players who broke the 20-goal mark. The way things are shaping up for next

season, we could see several forwards reach that milestone.

Salah confirmed his intention to stay at Anfield before the Champions League final in May. His future

beyond next season is unknown, with the Egypt international out of contract in 2023. But for as long

as he is at Liverpool, Salah will score goals. An average of 23.6 per Premier League season with

Jurgen Klopp’s side speaks for itself.

 

It will be interesting, though, to see how the arrival of Darwin Nunez changes the dynamic of the

Liverpool attack. For much of Klopp’s tenure Roberto Firmino was deployed through the middle. The

Brazilian is more of a facilitator than a finisher. The structure of the front three was designed to

fashion opportunities for the two wide players cutting in, Sadio Mane and Salah.

 

The exit of Mane and the signing of Nunez means the Liverpool forward line will not operate in

exactly the same way next term. The former Benfica striker scored 34 goals in all competitions in

2021/22, and he could rival Salah for the title of Liverpool – and Premier League – top scorer.

Although Manchester City scored more goals than Liverpool last season, none of their individuals

was able to rival Salah and Son for the Golden Boot. Kevin De Bruyne was their chief goal-getter with

15, while only Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez also got into double figures.

 

Barring a lengthy injury lay-off, it would be a huge surprise if Erling Haaland did not end next season

as City’s top scorer. The Norway international has a phenomenal track record in the Bundesliga,

where he notched 62 goals in 67 games for Borussia Dortmund. Haaland was wanted by virtually

every big club in Europe, so it speaks volumes that City were able to win the race for his signature.

The 21-year-old will gobble up many of the chances his new team-mates create for him in 2022/23.

The battle for the Golden Boot is unlikely to be a three-horse race between players from Manchester

City and Liverpool, though. As things stand Tottenham seem to be the likeliest challengers to that

duopoly at the top of the division, and in Son and Harry Kane they possess two players who are more

than capable of scoring more goals than anyone else in the division.

 

Do not write off Cristiano Ronaldo either. The Portugal international is in the autumn of his career,

but he still knows where the goal is. Even in a catastrophic campaign for Manchester United last

time out, Ronaldo made the net bulge 18 times in the Premier League.

 

As for Chelsea, Romelu Lukaku might be on his way back to Inter but Raheem Sterling could contend

for the prize if he completes his switch from the Etihad Stadium. With a bit of luck perhaps Gabriel

Jesus could do the same at Arsenal.

 

One thing is for sure: the Premier League does not lack for top-class forwards, and the race for the

Golden Boot could be quite the spectacle in the upcoming campaign.

Author: Tamara Kim