Why the battle for the Golden Boot might be more than a 6-horse race
At first glance, the race to be crowned top scorer in the 2016/17 English Premier League would appear to rest between 6 players. Leading the way is Alexis Sánchez who shot to the top of the charts, thanks to a somewhat fortuitous brace against Hull City on Saturday. The Chilean attacker was clearly seen to handle the ball into the back of the net for his opener but that didn’t prevent him from converting a stoppage time spot-kick to seal his day’s work and perhaps, even more significantly, cementing his place as Arsenal’s number one penalty taker in the process. Sánchez had scored his first ever Premier League penalty in the Gunners’ dramatic 2-1 victory over Burnley in January, ironically, in added time too.
Sánchez now has 17 Premier League goals to his name but the Oulala infographic below highlights the 5 high profile strikers that are hot on his heels, while the remainder of the chasing pack are at least 6 goals adrift or more.
Last season’s Golden Boot winner Harry Kane is trailing Sánchez by 3 goals but he does boast the best minutes per goal ratio of the leading six, while Romelu Lukaku, who blanked at the weekend after scoring 4 times in his previous match, is expected to see a doctor in Belgium later this week, to try and sort out his troublesome calf problem.
Diego Costa looks a real threat, while 35 year old Zlatan Ibrahimović, who is clearly not afraid of shooting, is breathing down the neck of the leaders and should not be ruled out but if there is one striker that can come out of the chasing pack then it is surely Sergio “Kun” Agüero.
The spanner in the works
Agüero only has 11 Premier League goals so far this season and he will need a big favour from the ‘dubious goals panel’ if he is to be credited with Manchester City’s second goal in their 2-0 win at Bournemouth, which has initially been awarded to Tyrone Mings as an own goal.
However, only a fool would write off Agüero’s chances just yet. The Argentinian striker was banned for 4 games, following his second dismissal of the season for violent conduct in City’s crushing defeat to Chelsea in December and more recently, has had to play second fiddle to new signing, Gabriel Jesus.
City’s Brazilian striker is expected to miss the rest of the season, though, after sustaining a metatarsal injury in the game against the Cherries, which may well open the door for Agüero to get some much-needed playing time under his belt.
Pep Guardiola may have struggled to acclimatize to English football but his City side now sit just 8 points off leaders Chelsea in second place and if they are to mount a serious challenge, Agüero is likely to be at the forefront of it.
The former Atlético Madrid striker is still averaging a respectable goal every 130 minutes this season but he is capable of much more, having an overall Premier League goals per minute record of 1 for every 110 minutes played.
If he can reproduce that type of form between now and the end of the season, he might just chase Sánchez and co down.
Fantasy Premier League managers know how special Kun can be – write him off at your peril!