We’re only a few games into the new Premier League season and already Erling Haaland has stamped his authority on English football. Perhaps the most anticipated arrival of the summer, Manchester City’s major acquisition has hit the ground running at the Etihad Stadium, finding the back of the net 10 times in his first six games, and making the £65 million City spent to bring him in from Borussia Dortmund look like a steal.
The Norwegian is tall and powerful — in the mould of a more traditional forward of yesteryear — yet his intelligent movement and nimble footwork are redolent of a more diminutive football. A hybrid that is as devastating as it is intriguing, Haaland hitting double digits inside the first month of the season has made the Premier League Golden Boot race look like a foregone conclusion, and his goals look sure to fire Pep Guardiola to a third successive title.
Despite Haaland’s dominance in the season’s early weeks, there have still been some big performances from the league’s other forwards, with hat-tricks and big goals suggesting there is still some sign of life in the Golden Boot challenge for those that bet on Premier League. With that in mind, read on as we look at some of the other candidates that could finish as top scorer.
Not much was thought of Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrović when he obliterated the Championship scoring record with 43 goals last season, but the Serbian is already showing his worth at Craven Cottage this campaign. A player that has matured significantly since his days at Newcastle United, Mitrović is a nightmare for defenders with his physical presence and tireless running, yet this sometimes overshadows his technical ability, with the 27-year-old capable of bending the ball round the keeper, cutting it across goal, and dropping the shoulder with a variety of goals so far this season. With six strikes to his name at the time of writing, Mitrović needs to be consistent to remain in the conversation come the business end of the season.
Certainly an outsider in this discussion, Ivan Toney’s lofty personal ambitions of scoring 30 Premier League goals this season was backed up with a fantastic hat-trick for Brentford as they beat Leeds United. Toney was a proven goal scorer in the Championship and despite most of his goals last season coming from the penalty spot, he did enough to ensure Thomas Frank’s side maintained their Premier League status. Now in his sophomore year, Toney will be hoping to add to his personal tally in west London whilst staking a claim for a place on the plane to Qatar ahead of the World Cup.
One player that is all but guaranteed to lead the line at the World Cup is Three Lions’ skipper Harry Kane. The Tottenham Hotspur man, who has five goals already this season, is hoping to secure another top four spot under Antonio Conte, whilst reinventing himself as more of a deep-lying forward, capable of linking the play and using his creativity to pass between the lines as well as take his chances when they come.
We’ve already seen the devastating partnership between Kane and Heung-Min Son, and whilst the South Korean’s form has dipped slightly this season, the likes of Richarlison and Dejan Kulusevski have stepped up to the mantle. Kane just needs that elusive trophy to cement himself as a true Premier League icon, as he approaches 200 league goals before his 30th birthday.