Winning the top scorer award in the star-studded Premier League is a tough enough proposition, but it’s about to get even tougher in 2022/23. The top clubs are not standing pat when it comes to adding elite forward talent during the summer transfer window.
Last season, Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah and Tottenham’s Son Heung-min were engaged in a fascinating race for the golden boot that went down to the final day of the season. They ultimately shared the award, with Son bagging a brace on the final day of the season to momentarily take the lead, only for Salah to net late and catch the Spurs star.
Those two will be firmly in the mix for this year’s award as well, alongside a host of other contenders up and down the Premier League table. New Man City striker Erling Haaland joins the defending league champions as one of the world’s most promising young strikers, while Son’s teammate Harry Kane is a recent winner of the award and will look for yet another prolific season. Salah’s new teammate Darwin Nunez is also thought to be a serious contender after topping the charts in Portugal, while five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo is always lurking.
Near the other end of the table, Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic scored an incredible 43 league goals in the Championship last season, and if the Whites can get him going in the top flight, they’ll have a great chance at securing Premier League safety. Gabriel Jesus is high on the list as well, but what club he’s with to start the season is still unclear as he looks to depart Man City after Haaland’s arrival.
Premier League golden boot odds 2022/23
|Erling Haaland*||Man City||21||+450||+450||+298||+400|
|Cristiano Ronaldo||Man United||37||+1000||+800||+851||+1050|
|Gabriel Jesus||Man City||25||+1800||+2000||+2043||+2300|
|Julian Alvarez*||Man City||22||+2000||+2500||+2043|
|Jamie Vardy||Leicester City||35||+2500||+3300||+2043||+3300|
|Riyad Mahrez||Man City||31||+2500||+4172|
|Kevin De Bruyne||Man City||30||+2800||+3300||+2895||+3300|
|Raheem Sterling||Man City||27||+3500||+4172||+3600|
|Patrick Bamford||Leeds United||28||+4000||+3320|
|Ollie Watkins||Aston Villa||26||+4000||+2500||+5450|
|Bruno Fernandes||Man United||27||+4000||+3300||+4172||+3300|
* Did not play in the Premier League in 2021/22
Predictions for Premier League 2022-23 Golden Boot
There are three factors that play into what players have the best chance at landing the league’s top scorer award: number of chances, finishing ability, and penalty taking. Players who get a lot of chances, finish those chances, and get opportunities from the penalty spot are the most likely to finish atop the scoring charts.
Over the last few years, Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy are the best examples of this trifecta coming together to crown a Golden Boot winner. In 2016/17, Kane only played in 30 of his team’s 38 matches, but he racked up 29 goals by collecting 19.82 xG (expected goals), outperforming that total by a whopping +9.18 (a sign of his finishing skills), and bagging five penalties to win that year’s award.
Across the 2019/20 campaign, Vardy collected 18.9 xG, outperformed that by +4.10, and scored four times from the spot.
Sometimes, a player may not need all three factors to come together if they excel at one or two of them. Son Heung-min last season didn’t score a single time from the penalty spot, as his teammate Harry Kane is on penalty duties. However, Son outperformed his xG by over six goals, and his chances were of high quality, at a fantastic 0.198 xG per shot taken.
Premier League Golden Boot favorite
With the above factors in mind, we can eliminate some choices from the above list.
Manchester City has so many attacking options, and sorting through them can be messy. Erling Haaland is the only viable option on the squad, as the others will share too many goalscoring chances to have a shot at the award. Haaland has out-performed his xG totals in Bundesliga play by a combined +12.48 across his three top-flight seasons, and he was a perfect six-for-six from the penalty spot last year. The Norwegian has to be considered a contender, but his use in Pep Guardiola’s tactical shape is to this point an unknown.
As a three-time winner of the award, Mohamed Salah is of course in play, although his finishing has never been of the highest quality, instead relying on a wealth of chances and a few penalties to keep him atop the list. His Liverpool teammate Darwin Nunez has to also be considered a solid choice, outperforming his xG last year by a staggering +10.27 and, like Haaland, was perfect in six penalty chances. Nunez’s presence will cut into Diogo Jota‘s minutes, who can be discarded as a realistic option.
Cristiano Ronaldo has relied his entire career on a wealth of good chances and penalties, and the chances dried up last season with Manchester United. His 17.21 xG was the lowest of his career by far since expected goals started tracking in 2014. Manchester United under Erik ten Hag should improve, but by how much is the question.
The emergence of Son Heung-min at Tottenham as a goalscoring threat has cut into Harry Kane‘s chances some, and the England star also had the first xG underperformance of his career last season. A return to his best finishing should be on the cards, giving him a shot at a return to the top of the charts.
Romelu Lukaku is looking for a new home, but even should he stay at Chelsea, he was unable to find a place in Thomas Tuchel’s setup and can’t be trusted to challenge for the golden boot. His Blues teammate Kai Havertz has not reached the 2,000 league minutes mark in his two years at Stamford Bridge and has underperformed his xG in both as well.
PICK: It’s a risk selecting a new player to the league, but Darwin Nunez (+1000) is too good to pass up. He’s a spectacular finisher on a team that creates chances en masse and can take penalties, although whether it’s him or Salah taking them at Liverpool remains to be seen.
Best longshot for Premier League Golden Boot
Breaking down the longshots is a difficult task given they’re longshots for a reason and none truly have a chance at topping the charts unless all the stars align.
Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic will be a popular choice after his incredible Championship season, but his Premier League history is poor and his target-man skills haven’t translated to the English top flight. Man United playmaker Bruno Fernandes is a streaky goalscorer and has other playmaking duties to focus on. Chelsea attacker Timo Werner racked up a higher xG in his final year at RB Leipzig (23.45) than he has accumulated in his first two years at Chelsea combined (19.60), with a 6.17 mark last year producing a meager four-goal return.
There are a few players, however, who stand out as remote possibilities.
Callum Wilson has never been a great finisher, but his .246 xG per shot mark since joining Newcastle is outlandish, meaning he’s getting great opportunities. If he can stay healthy, he should produce a great return given the improvement in the Magpies squad.
While Darwin Nunez could take Liverpool to new heights, it also could be a season for Luis Diaz to explode in place of the departing Sadio Mane. While Diaz didn’t display great finishing in his half-season with Liverpool, or even a player who gets great opportunities, he’s instead a volume shooter, taking an insane 3.55 shots per 90 mins in Premier League play. If Diaz can pair that with the finishing he showed with former club Porto, scoring 13 goals on 8.7 xG last season before the transfer, he could be a surprise atop the table.
Another enticing option is Raphinha, but his club future is very much in question: a stay at Leeds, a move to a bigger Premier League club, or a move abroad are all in play. Given that risk, his profile is enticing. Since joining Leeds two summers ago, the Brazilian has benefitted from a team that plays with a risky attacking mentality. Jesse Marsch gave Raphinha much more freedom than he had under Marcelo Bielsa where he stuck strictly to the wing, and with the addition of Brenden Aaronson in the side, Raphinha should be deployed even more centrally, if he stays.
PICK: The presence of Nunez hurts his chances at topping the goalscoring list, but the volume of Luis Diaz (+4000) is just too much to ignore. If the Colombian can return to his Porto goalscoring form, he will be a major presence in that Liverpool attack.
Premier League Top Scorers (since 1992-93)
Below are the top scorers in each season of the Premier League era (since 1992-93). Andy Cole and Alan Shearer share the record for most goals scored in a single campaign with 34.
Thierry Henry finished atop the Premier League scoring chart in four different seasons, more than any player all-time. Shearer and Harry Kane follow with three scoring titles each, with Kane figuring as the most recent top scorer after scoring 23 goals in 2020-21.
|2020-21||Harry Kane||Tottenham Hotspur||23|
|2019-20||Jamie Vardy||Leicester City||23|
|2016-17||Harry Kane||Tottenham Hotspur||29|
|2015-16||Harry Kane||Tottenham Hotspur||25|
|2014-15||Sergio Aguero||Manchester City||26|
|2012-13||Robin Van Persie||Arsenal||26|
|2011-12||Robin Van Persie||Arsenal||30|
|2010-11||Dimitar Berbatov||Manchester United||20|
|Carlos Tevez||Manchester City||20|
|2007-08||Cristiano Ronaldo||Manchester United||31|
|2002-03||Ruud van Nistelrooy||Manchester United||25|
|2000-01||Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink||Chelsea||23|
|1998-99||Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink||Leeds United||18|
|Dwight Yorke||Manchester United||18|
|1997-98||Dion Dublin||Coventry City||18|
|Chris Sutton||Blackburn Rovers||18|
|1996-97||Alan Shearer||Newcastle United||25|
|1995-96||Alan Shearer||Blackburn Rovers||31|
|1994-95||Alan Shearer||Blackburn Rovers||34|
|1993-94||Andy Cole||Newcastle United||34|
|1992-93||Teddy Sheringham||N. Forest / Tottenham||22|