If Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the top scorer in the Premier League this season he would be the oldest player to win the Golden Boot. If Manchester United qualify for the Champions League or even win the league Ibrahimovic will have to score enough goals to top the scoring charts at the end of the season. However, Harry Kane is scoring goals for fun at Spurs and he is the man to back in this market.
Diego Costa must make friends again at Chelsea to be in the running but he could still be tempted to China where he would be paid millions for doing exactly the same job. Alexis Sanchez is the most effective player in the league based on goals and assists but Arsenal usually fall off the pace in the second half of the season and his goals could dry up. On balance Kane is best placed to be the top scorer this season.
Kane won the Golden Boot in 2015-16 and thus became the only English player to lead the scoring table over the 13 seasons. He started slowly but then found the net 25 times which was once more than Sergio Aguero and Jamie Vardy. The former has been scoring regularly but at a slower rate but Vardy is well off the pace with Leicester and all that is looking like a one season wonder.
Jermaine Defoe and Romelu Lukaku are scoring goals despite and not because of their side’s form and Sunderland and Everton are not good enough to accommodate the leading scorer. Dele Alli, Eden Hazard and Oliver Giroud are too far off the pace. Sadio Mane is away at the African Cup of Nations and Christian Benteke could be relegated with Crystal Palace so these players can be dismissed.
In the 2013-14 season Luis Suarez scored 31 goals and more than anyone else but that is the only time over the last eight campaigns that the top marksman scored more than 30 goals. Generally a tally in the mid twenties will get the job done so over a 38 match season the top scorer scores three goals in every four games. The player that notches the most times is often not part of the title winning team. However, all the last 13 winners have played for a top four outfit.
Goals have been easy to come by in the Premier League this season and the high-quality forwards have been at the forefront of the high overall average. It looks like being a five-way battle for the Golden Boot but we can eliminate Costa, Sanchez and Aguero for various reasons so it becomes a straight battle between Zlatan and Harry and the latter is preferred as he has scored over a full season before.
Ibrahimovic is now 35 but is showing no signs of getting weary but United are still involved in three Cup competitions and fighting for a top four place in the league. It can be assumed that given United continue to improve Ibra will be banging in the goals but with so many commitments he might be rested by Jose Mourinho towards the end of the season if some finals and key matches are imminent.
At the end of October Ibrahimovic had 12 shots against Burnley but did not score. That was the Swedish player’s sixth match in succession when he drew a blank. However, he then scored 10 goals in as many games and he is now the favourite with some bookmakers to top the goal’s chart. He may well almost achieve that feat but outscoring Kane may be beyond him and that player is now in the team that are playing the best football.
Tottenham are playing with great confidence and Kane is pivotal to the form that has taken them right into the mix to win the Premier League for the first time. The side have scored 21 goals in their last seven fixtures in all competitions. When you are averaging three goals per match your leading striker will be contributing and Kane has scored six times in that run of fixtures. That kind of average would make him a shoe-in to win the Golden Boot.
Kane is the reigning champion and has improved his scoring rate since returning to full fitness. He had scored just two goals when returning to the Tottenham side at the start of November but he has returned as good as ever to get Tottenham’s season back on track. He has a better goals-per-minute ratio than any of his rivals and his credentials to go back-to-back for scoring are strong. If Ibrahimovic stays fit and healthy he will be right on the premises but Kane can score more goals and win the Golden Boot again.