5 dark horses to win the Premier League Golden Boot next season (2021-22)

Having scored 23 goals each, Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah and Tottenham Hotspur’s Heung-min Son jointly won the Premier League Golden Boot in the 2021-22 season.

Salah exhibited extraordinary playmaking skills as well, emerging as the league’s leading assist-provider (13). Son, on the other hand, completed the Premier League campaign without scoring a single penalty, making his 23-goal tally truly unique.

The usual suspects, Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) and Sadio Mane (Liverpool), occupied the third, fourth and fifth spots, respectively.

The chances of seeing Ronaldo, Salah, Kane, Son, or newcomers Erling Haaland (Manchester City) and Darwin Nunez (Liverpool) in the thick of things next term remain high. But that does not mean we should overlook other, very capable strikers in the top flight of English football.

Today, we will solely focus on the overlooked names who could spring a surprise in the Golden Boot race next term.

Now without further ado, let’s take a look at five dark horses to win the Premier League Golden Boot in the 2022-23 season:

#5 Riyadh Mahrez

Manchester City v Aston Villa - Premier League
Manchester City v Aston Villa – Premier League

Manchester City right-winger Riyad Mahrez is one of the most efficient goalscorers in the division. He is light-footed, packs plenty of pace, and knows how to be in the right place at the right time.

Thanks to competition for places at City, Mahrez does not get to play every match in the Premier League calendar. But whenever he does, he tries to make things happen.

In the 2021-22 campaign, Mahrez scored 11 goals in the premier division of English football, despite starting only 15 of his 28 matches. He also bagged seven goals in the Champions League (12 appearances), four more in four FA Cup matches, and two goals in as many League Cup games.

Mahrez’s best-ever season in front of goal came in the 2015-16 campaign when he scored 17 goals for Leicester City, leading them to their maiden Premier League title.

#4 Jamie Vardy

Watford v Leicester City - Premier League
Watford v Leicester City – Premier League

Riyad Mahrez’s former teammate Jamie Vardy has gone down in Premier League folklore as one of the best modern-day classic No. 9. The Englishman is quick, direct, and is one of the most dogged players in the division, chasing down every ball without a second thought.

With Vardy functioning as the target man, the Foxes only need to hoof the ball forward, leaving the striker to take care of the rest.

Last term, Vardy scored 15 goals in 25 appearances in the top flight of English football, finishing the campaign as the division’s sixth-highest goalscorer, level with Liverpool’s Diogo Jota. He also scored a couple of goals in one League Cup appearance.

🦊 Jamie Vardy required fewer touches per goal (29) than any other player in Europe’s top 5 leagues last season. Fox in the box https://t.co/XwD0zXf1II

The 35-year-old’s best-ever campaign came in the 2015-16 season, with him scoring 24 goals to lead Leicester City to Premier League glory.

Surprisingly, he did not win the Golden Boot that year, with Harry Kane netting one more goal. His first and only Golden Boot came in the 2019-20 season when he bagged 23 goals in the top flight.

#3 Michael Antonio

Brighton &  Hove Albion v West Ham United
Brighton & Hove Albion v West Ham United

West Ham United ace Michail Antonio looked destined for an earth-shattering 2021-22 campaign. He scored five goals in his first five matches in the Premier League, pulling ahead in the Golden Boot race.

Unfortunately, he failed to sustain his blistering start and was nowhere near the top in the Golden Boot race as the season progressed.

Antonio ended the 2021-22 Premier League campaign with only 10 goals in 36 appearances. He also bagged one goal in two FA Cup matches and two more in nine Europa League outings.

The 2021-22 campaign marked Antonio’s third consecutive 10-goal season in the top division of English football.

It will be interesting to see whether he manages to improve upon it next term, thus making it his best-ever campaign.

#2 Timo Werner

Real Madrid v Chelsea FC Quarter Final Leg Two - UEFA Champions League
Real Madrid v Chelsea FC Quarter Final Leg Two – UEFA Champions League

With Romelu Lukaku on his way back to Inter Milan (via Fabrizio Romano), Timo Werner is set to be Chelsea’s main man upfront for the 2022-23 season.

The Germany international did not enjoy the best of campaigns last time around, but could do wonders in a favorable system. All he needs is some confidence from Thomas Tuchel, and he could help a great deal in solving Chelsea’s goalscoring woes.

Last season, the 26-year-old scored only four Premier League goals in 15 starts (21 total appearances). He surprisingly scored as many goals in only five Champions League appearances.

In his debut campaign at Stamford Bridge in the 2020-22 season, Werner scored only six goals in 35 Premier League appearances, receiving heavy criticism for his lackluster finishing.

#1 Gabriel Jesus

Manchester City v Watford
Manchester City v Watford

Thanks to Pep Guardiola’s false 9 system, Gabriel Jesus could not play as many games for Manchester City as he might have expected. The English champions seemingly want to be more direct this season, but they do not expect Jesus to be their main man.

Erling Haaland has been brought in from Borussia Dortmund and is expected to start most games for City, making Jesus’ life all the most difficult.

The Brazil international is supposedly close to joining Arsenal (via Fabrizio Romano), a club where he can be the undisputed main man upfront. Under former Manchester City assistant coach Mikel Arteta, Jesus could finally fulfill his goalscoring potential next season.

Gabriel Jesus deal update. Arsenal are working on it and negotiations are very advanced – Arsenal will now need to be fast on final, key details involving player/agents to get the deal done and avoid twists. ⚪️🔴 #AFCTottenham & PSG, still waiting to see the end of this story.

Jesus managed to bag eight Premier League goals in 21 starts (28 total appearances) for the Citizens last term, ending the campaign as the team’s fifth-highest scorer.

He scored four Champions League goals in eight matches and added another in four FA Cup appearances.

Also Read: 5 players who gained the most market value in the 2021-22 season


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