ADAM GOODWIN (@AGJournalism) shares his thoughts on the Top Goalscorer market ahead of the 2017/18 Premier League season.
WLB Season Preview 2017/18 | Premier League: Top Goalscorer
The 2016/17 season saw Harry Kane win his second Golden Boot in two seasons, pipping Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez and Sergio Aguero to the award.
I’m now looking ahead to the new campaign and the guys at WLB have set me the goal of picking out some of my best bets from the Top Goalscorer market.
Tottenham striker Kane (10/3 BetVictor) is currently the favourite in the market, closely followed by Romelu Lukaku (9/2 Betfair), Sergio Aguero (7/1 William Hill), Gabriel Jesus (9/1 Ladbrokes) and Alvaro Morata (11/1 10BET).
Narrowing the field
In 17 of the last 25 (68%) Premier League seasons, the Golden Boot has been won by someone playing for a club that’s finished in the top three that same season. That means you can probably rule out anyone outside the Premier League’s ‘big six’, because I’m not expecting another Leicester story this season.
So, whilst that leaves the majority of the favourites still in the frame, I would opt against backing Manolo Gabbiadini, Kelechi Iheanacho and Christian Benteke to top the goalscoring charts.
No-one has ever won the Golden Boot when playing their first season in England. So that implies that the likes of Lacazette, Morata and Bernardo Silva won’t be picking up the award come May.
Cristiano Ronaldo is the only player to have ever been crowned Top Goalscorer when not playing down the middle, so I’m not backing wingers Sanchez, Eden Hazard or Saido Mane either.
At the moment, I’m not sure who Pep Guardiola will choose to lead the line at Man City, and I think we’ll see lots of rotation between Aguero and Jesus. With neither of them likely to have a regular spot in the starting XI, I don’t fancy either of City’s South Americans.
Romelu Lukaku (9/2 Betfair)
So that leaves Kane and Manchester United new boy Lukaku. I’m perhaps going against the grain and plumping for the Belgian to finish as the Top Goalscorer this year.
Only Alan Shearer and Thierry Henry have ever won the Golden Boot more than twice and I don’t think Kane is capable of joining them on that list…yet.
Lukaku has scored 68 goals in four seasons at Everton – this is whilst playing alongside the likes of Leon Osman, Tom Cleverley and Ross Barkley. At United he’s surrounded by some of the best midfielders in the world and I imagine he’ll have double the amount of chances created for him this season.
So I’m backing Lukaku to finish Premier League Top Goalscorer at 9/2 each-way with Betfair.
Javier Hernandez (40/1 Bet365)
I was having a look down the market and most of the proven Premier League goalscorers such as Kane, Aguero and Lukaku were all no more than 10/1. So I was surprised to see West Ham’s Javier Hernandez at 40/1 with Bet365.
When he was at Man Utd the Mexican scored 33 goals in three seasons, the majority of these were when coming off the bench. At West Ham he’s guaranteed to play almost every game because of the Hammers’ lack of attacking options, and with the likes of Marco Arnautovic and Manuel Lanzini in the side, he’ll be getting plenty of service.
I’ll be backing Hernandez to finish Top Goalscorer each-way at 40/1.
Best of the rest
With most bookies you can back the Top Goalscorer for each Premier League club and, whilst there were some very short odds for certain teams, I think I’ve found some value at one club in particular.
At the end of the 2013/14 season, Jay Rodriguez had finished the season on 15 goals for Southampton and had received an England call-up. Tottenham were just one club interested in signing the striker but he decided to stay at Southampton.
Unfortunately, Rodriguez ruptured an ACL in March 2014 and was out for just under a year; he’s now recovered from that injury and has recently signing for Tony Pulis’ West Brom.
Rodriguez has been looking sharper than ever in pre-season and I’d be very surprised if he isn’t Pulis’ choice as West Brom’s no.9 for the majority of next season. He’s up against Salomon Rondon who has only scored 17 goals in 71 appearances for the Baggies since signing a couple of years ago.
The 7/4 (Betway) available is great value for Rodriguez to be West Brom’s Top Goalscorer and I’ll be backing it.
If, like me, you fancy Hernandez and Rodriguez to net a fair few goals next season, you can back them and Bournemouth striker Jermain Defoe to all score 10+ goals next season at 6/1. It’s Request-A-Bet with SkyBet and I think it’s a cracking price.
Premier League – Romelu Lukaku to be top Premier League goalscorer (9/2 each-way Betfair)
Premier League – Javier Hernandez to be top Premier League goalscorer (40/1 each-way Bet365)
Premier League – Jay Rodriguez to be top West Brom goalscorer (7/4 Betway)
Premier League – Javier Hernandez, Jay Rodriguez and Jermain Defoe all to score 10+ Premier League goals (6/1 SkyBet)