Craig Farrell takes a look at who could be the top scorer in this years Premiership. From Diego Costa to Wayne Rooney, the list is a start studded one to say the least.
But before we look at this years here is a video of the ton ten from last season:
Diego Costa – Chelsea
Diego Costa was brought into Stamford Bridge for one reason: to score goals. Chelsea have been crying out for a striker who can hit the back of the net consistently. Last season Eden Hazard was Chelsea’s leading scorer with 14 goals (which was the same total that Samuel Eto’o and Fernando Torres combined to score). Costa is an extremely talented striker and he is as close to the complete package as possible. He is quick and strong; he can work with his back to goal and he has a thunderous strike. When you look at the quality that Chelsea have across their entire midfield, Costa will get numerous chances in every game and he has the quality to take at least one of those. The Brazilian-born Spanish international should get into the mid to high twenties.
Robin Van Persie – Manchester United
Robin Van Persie is set to have another glorious season for United, as his former international manager picks up the reins at Old Trafford. The Dutch forward hit 26 goals in his first season but was hampered with injuries last year. Under Van Gaal’s govern Van Persie will be the focal point up front with Rooney playing off him. Van Gaal has also adopted a system that allows for Juan Mata to play in his favoured position, in the hole between midfield and the front line, which will help Van Persie get more quality chances in front of goal. If Van Persie can regain his fitness and form that he had in his initial season in Manchester, he will dominate opposition defenses. The Dutchman should get in or around the twenty mark this season.
Wayne Rooney – Manchester United
Rooney has only gone over twenty league goals twice in his United career, in the 2009/10 season and the 2011/2012 season. As good as Rooney is at finding the back of the net, when he plays along a striker of sublime quality Rooney tends to take a subservient role and acts more as a creator. He scored 17 goals last season as Van Persie missed some games, however, Rooney should see more chances this season as Juan Mata will be in the starting XI with Rooney and Van Persie which was something that didn’t occur with great success last season. Van Gaal has also implemented a system where Luke Shaw and Rafael should bomb up and down the wings, while Ander Herrera should also create chances from deep. Rooney should just surpass his tally of last season and get twenty.
Sergio Aguero – Manchester City
Aguero had a phenomenal goal scoring record last season. The little Argentine scored 17 goals in just 23 games – the only issue of concern for City is that he managed only 23 games. His health is an issue as he insisted on travelling to the World Cup with Argentina despite struggling for fitness – and played all the way up to the final. He was short on fitness and form so that may hinder his season for City. Aguero plays at his best when he is playing just off a leading striker, but who is to say which striker will lead the line for City? Aguero needs the stability of knowing who he is going to playing with each week. City have so much talent in their ranks that goals can come from everywhere – which is not favourable to City’s forward’s chance of claiming the top goalscorer award. Aguero should reach a similar figure to that of last season.
Olivier Giroud – Arsenal
The signing of Alexis Sanchez will surely make Giroud the happiest of Arsenal players as the burden of goals is taken off him. In saying that, Giroud should still lead Arsenal in the goals department this season. Giroud has been an underrated striker since joining the Gunners. He is not the flashiest of players but he does his duties well. Sanchez will create a lot of chances and Giroud will be there to feed off the scraps. The Frenchman has scored 27 goals in his first two seasons in England. He gets in and around the box and makes half-chances into goals, but his most recent goal in the Community Shield against Manchester City shows that he can score all manner of goals; and that his confidence is budding. He should progress on his 16 goals from last season to get up closer to the 20 mark.
Yaya Toure – Manchester City
Yaya Toure is without doubt the best midfielder in the Premier League – probably in world football. Barcelona had him playing a far deeper, almost defensive role while he was at the Nou Camp, but since joining City he has developed his game much further afield and has established himself as the best box-to-box midfielder in the league. After three consecutive six-goal seasons Toure spiced it up by hitting 20 last year. He lead City in goal scoring, as well as physically on the pitch. He has a great ability to carry the ball from deep and producing long, powerful runs, many of which he finished off himself. Toure had a bad summer to get over with the loss of his brother, a poor World Cup campaign (for reasons previously mentioned), as well as having a small spat with the club over an apparent birthday snub. The Ivorian won’t hit the heights of last season again, but he manage to get into the high-to-mid teens.
Daniel Sturridge – Liverpool
Daniel Sturridge would be much higher up on the list if not for two things: Luis Suarez’s departure and Sturridge’s non partaking in set pieces. Steven Gerrard will take all of Liverpool’s penalties and free-kicks, so Sturridge won’t have the opportunity to increase his goal scoring from the spot, like many of the other strikers. The burden of scoring now falls to Sturridge in the absence of his former Uruguayan strike partner. This will make the England international the main focus of his opponents which will further diminish his ability to convert. Sturridge has scored 31 goals in 43 Liverpool appearances thus far, so he certainly deserves respect, but whether he can be the main man at Liverpool is still up for debate. Sturridge will fall short of his 21 goal total of last year and come in just shy of 20.
Romelu Lukaku – Everton
Lukaku has made a nasty habit of scoring goals regardless of who he is playing for. He hit the back of the net 17 times two seasons ago for West Bromwich Albion, while getting on the scoresheet 15 times for Everton last year. Lukaku will be in the strange position of being guaranteed first-team football this season for the club he is contracted to. Jose Mourinho said that the Belgian was lazy in terms of his efforts to win a starting position at Stamford Bridge, so this season will show if Lukaku takes his foot off the gas after positioning himself firmly in the Goodison setup. Roberto Martinez has been unable to strengthen Everton as much as he may have liked this summer, so Lukaku, and Everton, may stagnant somewhat. Lukaku will score goals, but he will most likely replicate the tally he achieved while on loan last season – which will come as something of a disappointment to The Toffees considering the fee they coughed up for him.
Alexis Sanchez – Arsenal
Sanchez enters the Emirates with the entire expectations of the Arsenal fans resting on his shoulder. The Chilean will most certainly be a delight to watch, and he will offer Arsenal something that they have lacked since Thierry Henry’s departure. Many Gooners are hopeful that Sanchez will duplicate the 19 league goals he scored for Barcelona, and translate them into Premier League goals this season. That won’t happen so smoothly for a number of reasons; the lack of Lionel Messi and Neymar, the intensity of the Premier League opponents he will face, and the fact that he will be the main threat from an Arsenal perspective, compared to him being considered the tertiary threat during his time at the Nou Camp. Sanchez will certainly get in on the act and he will offer up goalscoring chances, be it directly or indirectly, but he won’t replicate the total he mustered up last season. A total closer to 15 will be his total for the season.
Edin Dzeko – Manchester City
Edin Dzeko has a right to feel slighted at Manchester City. The Bosnian striker has scored 44 goals for City in three Premier League seasons. Dzeko actually netted his highest number of league goals for City last season (16) despite being considered the tertiary option upfront for City. Dzeko just understands how to find the back of the net. If he is offered more game time – which could occur due to Alvaro Negredo set to miss the first couple of months due to injury – he could be a very strong candidate for the top goalscorer accolade. Dzeko works well up front with Sergio Aguero when he is offered the chance. Dzeko has a great command in the air due to his height, but he also has very quick feet and can score various different ways. He would be a guaranteed starter in the vast majority of other Premier League teams. He will end the season just shy of his total for last year’s campaign.
Loic Remy – QPR
QPR were gifted with a great goalscorer when Liverpool withdrew their bid due to a failed medical. If Remy completed his move to Merseyside he would certainly be higher up the list. Last year he netted 14 goals while on loan at Newcastle, while the previous year he scored six goals in just 14 games for QPR. Remy will enjoy the support of Joey Barton – who is underrated as a player as his aggression on the pitch tends to take the spotlight away from him. He will also have Shaun Wright-Phillips and Adel Taarabt workings the flanks. Remy is quick and strong and works on the shoulder of the last defender. He will undoubtedly get into double figures, the question is just how high he will get up into the double figures? Just under halfway.
Wilfried Bony – Swansea
Bony was the big surprise of the Premier League last season – to the delight of Swansea. Bony hit sixteen goals in his first season in England’s top flight – he then furthered his goalscoring in June hitting the back of the net four times for his country (two of which were at the World Cup). Bony had to do all the heavy lifting by himself last year – as the closest teammate to him in terms of goals was Nathan Dyer and Jonjo Shelvey, both of whom scored six goals, a total Bony surpassed by himself. Swansea have done some market work this summer and they have brought in Bafetimbi Gomis – who should partner Bony up front and take some of the weight of his shoulders. Jefferson Montero and Gylfi Sigurdsson in midfield should offer some support in front of goal, and more importantly they should generate more chances for Bony to put away. The Ivorian striker will do Swansea a world of good this season but he won’t outdo his efforts last season. He should finish up with close to 15 goals.
Craig Farrell, Pundit Arena.
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