Outsiders for the Premier League Golden Boot

Goals win games, it’s as simple as that. While it’s too early in the Premier League season to look at who will win the title come May, the opening weekend certainly brought about many talking points. From Fulham upsetting Liverpool in the early kick off at Craven Cottage, to the arrival of Erling Haaland, who bagged a brace on his league debut to become just the second Manchester City player after Sergio Agüero. The champions were rampant in their 2-0 win against West Ham United and already their new talisman is being touted for the Golden Boot.

It was always likely that Haaland, along with Mohamed Salah and even Darwin Núñez would find the back of the net on the opening weekend. And while they are clear favourites to finish as top scorer in the Premier League bets it shouldn’t mean others are overlooked. The new campaign already feels unique, with the five subs rule meaning forwards are less likely to complete the full 90, particularly in the top six, where teams will be playing twice a week right up until the World Cup.

This provides every striker the chance to seize on the Golden Boot and there are a plethora of goal scorers all capable of snatching the award from the big boys. With this in mind, read on as we look at the strikers with an outside chance of winning this season’s Golden Boot. 

Ivan Toney – Brentford 

As Brentford prepare for their second season in the Premier League, Thomas Frank will want to avoid the fate of Sheffield United and to an extent Leeds United by starting disastrously in their sophomore year after overachieving somewhat last time out. Ivan Toney was a big part of the Bees success, with 12 goals in 33 games a fine return. The 26-year-old was quick to pick up where he left off and found the back of the net on the opening day as Brentford fought back from two goals down to draw with Leicester City at the King Power.

It’s unclear how long Toney will remain a Brentford player with plenty of clubs interested in his signature, but picking up a Golden Boot would go some way to putting himself in the shop window, with two years left on his deal at the Brentford Community Stadium after the World Cup. 

Aleksandar Mitrović

There were plenty of people who had doubts over Aleksandar Mitrović’s ability in the top flight when Fulham were first promoted, and to an extent you can see why. His subpar record in the Premier League at Newcastle United and Fulham meant Marco Silva’s side were favourites for the drop, brandished a yo-yo team before a ball was kicked. 

However, Mitrović, who bagged 43 goals in the Championship last season, started his season with a brace against Liverpool, dropping a vintage number nines performance and making Virgil Van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold look foolish at times. The aggressive and petulant forward we saw at St James Park as a young man has matured into a real goal threat and if he can continue firing on all cylinders then Fulham have a good chance of finally avoiding relegation. 

Gabriel Jesus – Arsenal 

The only player on this list not to have opened their competitive account on the opening day, Gabriel Jesus still gave plenty of indication he is the real deal in terms of leading Arsenal’s line this season. The Gunners chose not to replace former captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang when he departed for Barcelona in January, and while many argue that lack of cutting-edge cost Mikel Arteta a place in the Champions League, their patience was rewarded with a goal scorer this summer, with the Brazilian arriving from City for £45 million.

He looks right at home in an Arsenal shirt and after a preseason where everything he touched turned to gold, many waited his first Premier League start. While he was unable to find the back of the net, his tireless running and hold up play, especially after being deployed on the wing for so long at the Etihad, was refreshing to see and gave many Gunners fans reasons to be optimistic if he can find his shooting boots.