Premier League: Can Erling Haaland back up huge expectations in the hunt for Golden Boot?


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Is the Premier League witnessing the tactical reemergence of the normal No 9? 

After quite a lot of years during which groups have opted for extra fluid ahead strains, influenced significantly by the early to mid-2010s obsession with the false 9, there have been indicators this summer season that groups are able to revert to kind. 

Football shouldn’t be a stagnant sport and it was all the time probably that the normal centre ahead would return to elite soccer in some kind, and indicators – at the very least from the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City – counsel that that would be the case within the Premier League this season.

Harry Kane is likely to challenge at the top of the scoring charts once again this campaign

Harry Kane is prone to problem on the prime of the scoring charts as soon as once more this marketing campaign

GOLDEN BOOT ODDS 

Erling Haaland: 13/5

Mohamed Salah: 9/2

Harry Kane: 5/1

Gabriel Jesus: 11/1

Heung-min Son: 13/1

Darwin Nunez: 13/1

Cristiano Ronaldo: 17/1

Raheem Sterling: 22/1

Odds provided by Betfair 

The league’s two foremost golf equipment, Liverpool and City, have each misplaced distinguished forwards this summer season and have determined to interchange them with out-and-out centre forwards in Darwin Nunez and Erling Haaland, respectively. 

Meanwhile, Arsenal have signed Gabriel Jesus from City and he appears set to be their figurehead this season centrally, if proof from pre-season is something to go by. 

One of the primary main tactical alterations Antonio Conte made at Tottenham final season was making certain that Harry Kane performed greater up the pitch, it seemingly aided Son Heung-min, additionally, who went on to share the golden boot with Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah.

All of this factors to the race for the Golden Boot being one of the crucial fiercely aggressive in years, with Cristiano Ronaldo additionally prone to need to have a say ought to he determine to stay at Manchester United this season. 

Outside probabilities, resembling Jamie Vardy, Raheem Sterling and Diogo Jota must also not be discounted. 

Having assessed all the probably candidates, Sportsmail right here runs you thru the runners and riders for one of many many nice subplots to the quick approaching prime flight season. 

Gabriel Jesus joined Arsenal from Man City to be their figurehead at the apex of the team

Gabriel Jesus joined Arsenal from Man City to be their figurehead on the apex of the group 

DARWIN NUNEZ (Liverpool)

The Uruguayan arrives on Merseyside off the again of his breakthrough season during which he scored 26 league objectives in 28 appearances for Benfica final time period, placing him nicely away from the subsequent most prolific participant within the Liga Portugal.  

Having been signed for a price near £85million, Liverpool will probably be anticipating Nunez to hit the bottom operating and never solely change the objectives misplaced via Sadio Mane’s departure, but in addition add to them. 

The ahead is prone to symbolize one thing of a change stylistically, with Jurgen Klopp’s group now having an apparent figurehead centrally to whom they’ll play the ball quick or certainly lengthy. 

Nunez is succesful within the air and standing at a lofty 6ft 1in, is prone to capitalise on the inviting balls swung in by Andy Robertson from the left and Trent Alexander-Arnold from the correct. 

Liverpool will be encouraged by what they saw in Darwin Nunez's Community Shield cameo

Liverpool will probably be inspired by what they noticed in Darwin Nunez’s Community Shield cameo

There have been occasions final season when Liverpool’s lack of a centre ahead appeared to make sure they fell quick in some video games. Having reached three main cup finals final season, they failed to attain in any of them. Nunez’s impression within the Community Shield, when he got here on for the ultimate half-hour and scored, is prone to encourage Liverpool supporters that they now have one other fairly distinct possibility this 12 months. 

His 4 objectives in somewhat over half-hour in opposition to RB Leipzig final month additionally supplied encouraging indicators that he’ll gel along with his team-mates. Each of these objectives required a definite kind of end.  

His contact map from the sport in opposition to City reveals that each one however two of his 11 touches within the sport got here down the center third of the pitch. Encouraging indicators for individuals who assume Nunez will do what no participant has accomplished since Salah in successful the prize of their debut season at a membership.

Could probably be undone by team-mates Salah and Jota additionally contributing significantly to the group’s tally. 

Golden Boot probabilities: 3/5 

ERLING HAALAND (Manchester City)

The bookies’ favorite. 

Haaland arrives within the Premier League amid an air of expectation that’s unlikely to have been bestowed on every other arrival, previous or current. 

The Norwegian’s document within the Bundesliga speaks for itself: 61 objectives in 66 video games is a document solely bettered by Robert Lewandowski in that point. He greater than lived as much as the promise he confirmed at RB Salzburg earlier than leaving for Germany. 

Lots has been mentioned about his efficiency within the Community Shield and for good cause, the ahead was not superb and he, and certainly City, will probably be anticipating much more, beginning this weekend away at West Ham. 

Haaland regarded nervous each passing to team-mates and in entrance of aim, failing to search out his fellow attackers when the alternatives arose and lacking two very presentable probabilities on a troublesome afternoon for the centre ahead on the King Power. 

Like his counterpart Nunez, Haaland’s arrival at City will symbolize a change in fashion for the champions. 

Erling Haaland is the bookies favourite to win the award - despite his so-so performance at the King Power Stadium on Saturday

Erling Haaland is the bookies favorite to win the award – regardless of his so-so efficiency on the King Power Stadium on Saturday

Pep Guardiola has chosen to play for a lot of the previous two seasons with no recognised No 9, with quite a lot of gamers filling within the false 9 position throughout that point, together with Jack Grealish, Phil Foden, Kevin De Bruyne and Sterling.

The pursuit of Kane did present final summer season that the Catalan did need a centre ahead however that they have been ready for the correct one. Haaland is a really completely different mould of striker to Kane and that’s mirrored in one thing fascinating Rodri mentioned throughout pre-season.   

‘We’ve been enjoying three years with type of a false 9, which it appears introduced success,’ he mentioned.

‘I feel we’re going to change somewhat bit, however let’s examine how.’ 

All of Haaland’s touches throughout the Community Shield got here down the centre of the pitch, with the ahead hardly ever drifting into huge areas. His lack of risk in that sport is unlikely to grow to be a theme this season with City repeatedly going to be seeking to their new figurehead to attain them their objectives. 

Golden Boot probabilities: 4/5

SON HEUNG-MIN (Tottenham)

‘It’s unimaginable to have this award. I am unable to imagine it. I received actually emotional. I dreamed of it as a baby. Literally it is my in arms. I am unable to imagine it,’ the South Korean mentioned of successful the golden boot – alongside Salah – final season. 

The South Korean Son Heung-min spoke of his pride at winning the award last season - he will hope to replicate his stunning form again

The South Korean Son Heung-min spoke of his satisfaction at successful the award final season – he’ll hope to copy his gorgeous kind once more

Those aren’t the phrases of a person who is not going to attempt his utmost to win it once more this season. 

The exclusion of Son from final season’s PFA Team of the Year, least the PFA Player of the Year nominee checklist, was stunning and the participant will probably be seeking to avenge that oversight this season. 

The huge participant thrived beneath Conte final time period, displaying himself as soon as once more to one among Tottenham’s foremost gamers and key to their late run to get into the Champions League. 

A bit extra is anticipated of Tottenham this season and any probability they may have of difficult Liverpool or City rests on Son – and Kane – discovering the again of the online repeatedly. 

A fear for Son is perhaps that final season was by far and away his most prolific league marketing campaign of his profession thus far, having by no means scored greater than 17 over the course of a league season earlier than. 

His partnership with Kane and Conte’s insistence that the Englishman performs greater up the pitch may make sure that the England captain overcomes his South Korean teammate within the scoring stakes this 12 months. 

Golden Boot probabilities: 2/5

Son shared last season's award with Mohamed Salah, with both finishing on 23 goals

Son shared final season’s award with Mohamed Salah, with each ending on 23 objectives

HARRY KANE (Tottenham)

What let Kane down final season in his pursuit of his fourth Golden Boot was his begin to the season. His 4 league objectives earlier than the flip of the 12 months is unlikely to win anybody a golden boot. By that stage, Salah had 15 and Son seven. 

Kane returned to pre-season at Tottenham's training ground appearing as though he had piled on muscle this summer

Kane returned to pre-season at Tottenham’s coaching floor showing as if he had piled on muscle this summer season

Kane’s turnaround in fortunes after Conte took over, although, has him proper again on the prime of the bookies predictions for the golden boot race. Having gained three of them already in his profession, most just lately solely the season earlier than final, it’s unattainable to low cost Kane. 

The Englishman has returned from Tottenham’s pre-season tour to South Korea wanting extra muscular an element that would assist him offset his historically sluggish begin in August. 

Having been inspired sufficient by what he noticed final season beneath Conte, and having regarded a way more targeted participant in pursuit of the fourth Champions League spot final time period, Kane comes into the season a way more pushed model of himself than  the one which began 2021-22. 

There has been no switch saga following him round this summer season, regardless of having not penned a brand new cope with Tottenham and as such Spurs followers can count on their talisman to hit the bottom operating. 

Conte’s insistence that the ahead ought to play greater up the pitch has not completely extinguished his want to get into the ‘quarter-back position’ as he sees it, but it surely did guarantee Kane discovered the again of the online extra repeatedly within the second half of final season. 

Under Nuno Espirito Santo, Kane averaged 4.3 touches per 90 minutes within the opposing group’s defensive sixth. Under Conte, that rose by over a contact a sport to five.4. 

The England captain has committed to Tottenham having been linked with a move away

The England captain has dedicated to Tottenham having been linked with a transfer away

The Italian has an important document of successful league titles with strikers who rating nearly all of the group’s objectives. Diego Costa scored 20 league objectives in 2016-17 whereas Romelu Lukaku bagged 24 in Inter Milan’s 2020-21 Serie A triumph. 

In an enormous season for Kane during which he’ll captain England on the World Cup for a second time, a feat not achieved by an Englishman since David Beckham in 2006, he ought to ship on his second half of the season promise beneath Conte. 

Penalties can even play an enormous half. 

Golden Boot probabilities: 5/5 

MOHAMED SALAH (Liverpool)

The Egyptian’s document since he arrived within the Premier League made Liverpool tying him down to some extra years at Anfield crucial.

At the again finish of final season, with the contract saga showing as if it had the potential gravitas to derail each membership and participant this coming marketing campaign, Salah appeared to go off the boil a bit. But, as it’s in soccer, the margins are tremendous. He was an outstanding Thibaut Courtois save away from scoring his second aim in a Champions League last. 

Mo Salah cut a slightly disappointed figure after Liverpool were pipped to the league by Manchester City... but still claimed the Golden Boot

Mo Salah minimize a barely upset determine after Liverpool have been pipped to the league by Manchester City… however nonetheless claimed the Golden Boot 

Having signed his new deal, very like Kane, Salah heads into the brand new season refreshed and ready to hit the bottom operating. In every of Liverpool’s pre-season encounters he regarded sharp and on the ball, most notably in opposition to Leipzig in Leipzig. 

His efficiency within the Community Shield additional backed that up, inflicting Joao Cancelo a torrid time down City’s left hand aspect. The penalty late on capped an outstanding show.

Salah tends to begin season’s shortly: he had 15 objectives by the flip of the 12 months final season. It could be anticipated {that a} related destiny will befall these unfortunate sufficient to play Liverpool early on within the marketing campaign as has been the case up to now 5 or so seasons. 

No player has scored more Premier League goals since Salah's arrival at the start of 2017-18

No participant has scored extra Premier League objectives since Salah’s arrival at the beginning of 2017-18

One concern for Salah may nicely be the arrival of Nunez who’s prone to dominate the central areas the Egyptian likes to float into in a manner that Roberto Firmino, and latterly, Mane merely didn’t. 

How Klopp appeases his talisman ought to Nunez be the one to seize the headlines by placing the ball within the web will probably be an fascinating subplot this season. You count on Salah to not go quietly ought to play not undergo him. 

Like Kane, Salah takes penalties which is able to in fact play to his benefit. Nunez, regardless of having been given the ball on one event throughout pre-season, maybe to make sure he received off the mark for the membership, is not going to be afforded spot kick duties. 

No participant has scored extra objectives within the Premier League than Salah since his arrival at the beginning of 2017-18. He is unlikely to be usurped in that specific statistic this season at the very least. 

Golden Boot probabilities: 4/5 

GABRIEL JESUS (Arsenal)

The Brazilian has received his want. He has stepped out of the shadow of City during which sport time on the apex of the group was a premium that he felt he all too irregularly was afforded. 

Jesus, on the again of a hefty price ticket for a participant with just one 12 months left on his deal, arrives at Arsenal with an inexpensive quantity of strain on his shoulders. Simply put, the rationale they did not attain the Champions League final season was as a result of they did not possess a centre ahead able to getting them there. 

Eddie Nketiah gave it go on the finish of the season, however his performances away at Tottenham and Newcastle certainly have been the nails within the coffin of the concept he was able to main the road for a complete marketing campaign. 

Gabriel Jesus will look to hit the ground running for Arsenal at Crystal Palace on Friday night

Gabriel Jesus will look to hit the bottom operating for Arsenal at Crystal Palace on Friday night time

Having promised so much at City, Jesus’s performances have been very often patchy. However, a famously selfless participant, it’s probably he typically sacrificed himself and his personal private document in favour of the group beneath Guardiola. 

Important objectives late within the marketing campaign in opposition to Liverpool, Watford and Leeds displayed his value on the essential moments. He additionally scored early on in City’s semi-final exit to Real Madrid within the Champions League. 

After Jesus scored 4 in opposition to Watford, his first Premier League hat-trick, Guardiola extolled the virtues of his centre-forward, talking about how selfless he was and the way he may do a job at right-back if referred to as upon. 

Jesus scored a number of important goals for City both last term and the season before

Jesus scored quite a lot of vital objectives for City each final time period and the season earlier than

‘In this world of soccer, if there’s one individual, one participant who deserves the most effective in life, it is Gabriel,’ he mentioned. ‘He fights for each single ball and helps the group on a regular basis. One day I’ll must ask him to play at right-back, and he will give completely all the things. 

‘It’s not vital for him to attain 4 objectives to know precisely how vital [he is], and what he means to all of us.’

The final season Arsenal have signed Jesus for is to deputise for Takehiro Tomiyasu at right-back. Jesus will play each sport via the center when match and such alternatives ought to present him an opportunity to have a crack at successful the golden boot. Stiff competitors may make it a tall order, this marketing campaign at the very least. 

Golden Boot probabilities: 2/5 

CRISTIANO RONALDO (Manchester United)

Should the Portuguese stay on the membership this summer season, he’ll discover himself on the higher echelons of the highest scorer standings by the tip of the season. For all of the speak about how he impacts Manchester United’s fashion of play, the 37-year-old is aware of the place the aim is. 

His 18 objectives within the Premier League final season ensured he completed eight away from the subsequent finest performing United participant (Bruno Fernandes). 

The tumultuous nature of United’s marketing campaign final season beneath each Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick ensured it was a torrid marketing campaign for all concerned however Ronaldo emerged from it with some credit score in entrance of aim. 

Whether or not Erik ten Hag sees Ronaldo as infallible as these two coaches stays to be seen, nonetheless. 

Should Cristiano Ronaldo remain at the club this summer he could have a decisive say in the destination of the golden boot

Should Cristiano Ronaldo stay on the membership this summer season he may have a decisive say within the vacation spot of the golden boot

It can be an affront to additionally not take into account what impression the circus of him making an attempt to go away the membership this summer season may need on his early season performances. How motivated is he to play for United? 

When Europe kicks again up once more in September, will he as soon as once more have these moments of introspection asking himself what on earth he is doing enjoying for a Europa League membership? 

Kane’s angling for a transfer away final time period impacted him enormously within the first half of the season and it’s laborious to not see that very same destiny falling over Ronaldo. 

Rio Ferdinand, one of many Portuguese’s former team-mates throughout his first spell on the membership, on Tuesday mentioned that they need to kind out his future in order to keep away from a ‘hangover’ heading into the marketing campaign. 

United, an bold, long-term rebuild beneath supervisor Ten Hag, can in poor health afford passengers. As it stands, Ronaldo very a lot is one among them. But he was for big components of final season, too, and nonetheless managed to complete within the prime three. 

Golden Boot probabilities: 1/5 

OUTSIDE CHANCES 

Jamie Vardy: Could the Leicester centre ahead produce one thing of a revival of his late profession this season and spring a shock? With Leicester having made no signings thus far this summer season, it seems as if it will relaxation on the shoulders of their present stars to haul themselves out of final season’s rut and produce for Brendan Rodgers this time period. 

Raheem Sterling: Like Jesus, a participant who has stepped out of the City mega-squad and right into a aspect the place he’s assured to begin each week. Sterling’s document for City was extraordinary, scoring 78 objectives within the league since 2017-18. Thomas Tuchel has had points getting the most effective out of his forwards since arriving at Chelsea halfway via the 2020-21 season. The Englishman will probably be key to any Chelsea success this season. 

Diogo Jota: The Portuguese loved an outstanding marketing campaign for Liverpool final season and up till the emergence of Luis Diaz, appeared as if he may end the season Liverpool’s most vital participant. His 15 objectives virtually helped Liverpool to the title whereas his six assists significantly aided these round him. Fresh off the again of a brand new deal, he’ll need to present Liverpool what they’re paying for. 

Jurgen Klopp (left) has said that Diogo Jota's new contract is brilliant news for Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp (left) has mentioned that Diogo Jota’s new contract is sensible information for Liverpool

Raheem Sterling chose to join Chelsea after growing disillusioned with his lack of first team chances at City over the past two seasons

Raheem Sterling selected to hitch Chelsea after rising disillusioned along with his lack of first group probabilities at City over the previous two seasons

Jamie Vardy endured a difficult campaign last season but it is always difficult to write him off

Jamie Vardy endured a troublesome marketing campaign final season however it’s all the time troublesome to put in writing him off