THE Top Goalscorer market is always a fascinating puzzle for punters. We asked Football League fanatic Ben Levene (@benlevene96) to pinpoint the value from the 2018/19 Championship season.
WLB Season Preview 2018/19 | Championship: Top Goalscorer
Looking at the Championship Top Goalscorer market, my immediate thought was, ‘why aren’t some of these players in the Premier League’.
Come mid-August, a fair few of them will be. Well, favourite Benik Afobe won’t, he’s already moved twice this window.
I’d make a case for Jay Rodriguez being the best striker currently in the division, but I could use that case to explain why he won’t be playing in this division for the whole season. As much as 14/1 draws me in, it’s sensible to steer clear.
It’s a tough one as Matej Vydra is guaranteed goals, but he’s set to make a backwards move to Leeds. And it’s difficult to see Bojan nailing down a place in a Garry Rowett side all season-long.
There are a few at mid-range prices that I like. For instance, Britt Assombalonga was Tony Pulis’ first-choice striker last season. Patrick Bamford and Rudy Gestede were waiting in the wings, but Assombalonga was the preference.
The former Forest striker has a wretched injury record, but he scores goals. A tally of 13 last season was preceded by 14 the year before. Two years prior to that, he notched 15. However, he’s recently been linked away…
Jordan Rhodes (25/1 Bet365)
So it’s Norwich-loanee Jordan Rhodes that gets the nod. The on-loan Sheffield Wednesday striker has broken the 20-goal barrier three times in the Championship.
Like with Assombalonga, injuries have been cruel. Rhodes has been limited to just 42 appearances in three years.
Nelson Oliviera and Daniel Farke have an unusual relationship. So Rhodes is likely to be the focal point for Norwich.
The likes of Ben Marshall, Moritz Leitner, and Teemu Pukki are likely to be the Canaries’ supply-line. They all offer a range of skills, and as a striker who can proverbially score all types of goals, Rhodes can enjoy a fruitful campaign at the age of 28.
He’s 25/1 (Bet365) and is worth an each-way poke.
Oli McBurnie (33/1 BetVictor)
Swansea starlet Olie McBurnie had a phenomenal record at youth-level, and had no issue applying that to the Championship. In the second-half of last season he scored nine times in 17 games for relegated Barnsley.
Twelve months earlier, Tammy Abraham took the Championship by storm. He’d go on to earn a Premier League loan-move, and an England cap.
I’m not saying McBurnie is as good as Abraham (yet), but I do think he can have a similar impact if allowed a full-season. And that looks like it is going to be the case.
McBurnie signed a new three-year deal at Swansea early in July. In addition, the Scotland international has stated that he and Graham Potter are on the same ‘wavelength’. Potter has also made clear that Swansea aren’t made of money, so it looks likely he’ll trust in youth.
McBurnie won the PL2 Player of the Season for the 2016/17 season, scoring 23 goals when spearheading Swansea’s youth-side to the title. He beat the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Axel Tuanzabe to the award – he has some pedigree.
We’ve seen glimpses of McBurnie, but he’s yet to fully flourish. The striker could get some high-class service if the likes of Tom Carroll, Sam Clucas, Jordan Ayew, Nathan Dyer, Wayne Routldge, and Luciano Narsingh stay.
Swansea have a wealth of ball-players with top-level experience and McBurnie can benefit from that. I’m backing him at 33/1 each-way with BetVictor.