The intriguing race for the Premier League golden boot - including Man City, Liverpool, and Spurs stars

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A number of players are still in the running to be crowned top scorer 2023/24

There is an ancient Chinese proverb that states ‘gold is not afraid of the melting pot’. In other words, genuine quality will always see things out. There is also an ancient Mr. T proverb about gold that says ‘If it's good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for me!’

Chances are, unless he can score 20 goals in the next month, Gabriel Jesus will not be in the melting pot for this year’s Premier League golden boot, but as we hurtle towards the final throes of the season, there are plenty of prospective contenders who will fancy etching their name onto the shiniest shoe in English football.

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Last year, the accolade went to Erling Haaland, whose tally of 36 strikes in 35 top flight outings may not be bettered for quite some time. Indeed, at the time of writing, the Norwegian leads the charts once more, although his running total of 18 in 24 feels decidedly more human, and infinitely more surmountable.

With that in mind, we’ve taken a closer look at the realistic runners and riders in the race to be crowned this year’s Premier League top scorer...

Erling Haaland - 18 goals

As mentioned above, the Manchester City leads the way after 30 matches, but has been in notably slack form of late. Haaland has scored just (just!) twice in his last six Premier League appearances, and was benched for the 4-1 win over Aston Villa on Wednesday evening. Still, for many, he will be the obvious favourite to retain the golden boot, and with none of the traditional top six left to play - and Luton Town, a side he scored five against in late February, approaching rapidly - there is every chance that Haaland could rediscover his irresistible touch and smoke the opposition in a heartbeat.

Mo Salah, Dominic Solanke, Ollie Watkins, Cole Palmer - 16 goals

Of the trio nearest to Haaland in the goal rankings, it is undoubtedly Salah, if anybody, who most people would expect to catch and usurp him. The Liverpool talisman is one of the finest attacking players in world football, and has already won the golden boot on three separate occasions. Like his City counterpart, he will almost certainly be instrumental in his side’s title run-in, although clashes with the likes of Manchester United, Tottenham, and Aston Villa are likely to represent sterner tests for the Egyptian.

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Level with Salah are the relatively dark horses of Dominic Solanke and Ollie Watkins. The Bournemouth striker in particular has been a bolt from the blue this season, and if he were to continue his fine form and pip some of the bigger names to the golden boot, it would surely force Gareth Southgate into taking a more considered look at him ahead of England’s upcoming Euro 2024 campaign.

As for Watkins, he might be on the plane to Germany regardless, but if he were to see off the likes of Haaland, Salah, et al. it would be a huge accomplishment for a player who has been remarkably influential in Aston Villa’s tilt at Champions League qualification. The likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, and Liverpool all stand in his way between now and the end of the season.

Then, of course, there is Palmer. The Chelsea talisman surged up to second in the goalscoring charts with a decisive hat trick in the Blues midweek win over Manchester United, and has been consistently the most reliable attacking presence in Mauricio Pochettino’s squad all season long. Perhaps a slightly unfancied shout, but his propensity from the penalty spot could stand him in good stead between now and the conclusion of the campaign.

Jarrod Bowen, Alexander Isak, Son Heung-min - 15 goals

For Bowen to be in the running at all is very impressive. The West Ham winger has been a revelation this season, and 15 goals from out wide in a side who are bobbing about on the fringes of European qualification is quite the feat. Tough games against Liverpool and Man City could hamper his cause, but if anybody is going to score for the Hammers, it is likely to be Bowen.

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To that end, Tottenham are in a similar position with Son. Spurs have relied hugely on the South Korean this season, who has very much assumed the mantle of the departed Harry Kane. Like many on this list, Son’s personal ambitions are dwarfed by the extent to which his team need him to keep firing during the last knockings of the campaign. A good run of form from the skipper could be the difference between Tottenham sneaking into the top four or not.

And then there is Isak. The Swede has been electric recently, hitting five in his last four top flight outings. Again, something of an outsider in the charts, but when a player is in this kind of form, it is hard to write them off entirely. The likes of Sheffield United, Burnley, and Brentford all look exploitable.

Phil Foden - 14 goals

Finally, we have Foden. Prior to Man City’s midweek win over Aston Villa, the England international was a fair way back in the golden boot chase, but a hat-trick at the Etihad has catapulted him into the conversation. Another showing or two like that, and he might just come from behind to win the thing...

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