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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Lewy, Abraham & Aguero... 10 contenders who could end Messi reign in Golden Shoe

While the 2019-20 season remains in its infancy across Europe's top five leagues, some strikers are in no mood to ease their way in.

Goal charts are seeing numbers soar, particularly thanks to Robert Lewandowski's incredible early haul of 15 for Bayern Munich, and many of his compatriots on the continent are fixated on catching up.
So, from Lewandowski to Benzema, we look at 10 contenders who could end Messi's reign in Golden Shoe.

Robert Lewandowski - 15 goals
Club: Bayern Munich
The Polish striker is playing like his season is much shorter than everyone else's. It isn't. At this rate, he will hit record numbers by the time the curtain is drawn on 2019-20.
Lewandowski's ability to maintain his lofty standards season after season is a testament to his mentality, having seen recent years bring mounting speculation of an exit.
Fifteen goals so far, that is just in club football and it shows that everything he touches turns to goals. 
Two braces and a hat-trick already in the league have seen the 31-year-old race into an early lead for the European Golden Boot.

Tammy Abraham - 9 goals
Club: Chelsea
When Chelsea finally accepted their two-window transfer ban from FIFA, there was natural trepidation that they were unable to bolster the squad after Eden Hazard's departure to Real Madrid.
The Belgian was unquestionably the Blues' main attacking threat and had become central to everything good about the team. Simply put, the offense ran through him.
But in came Lampard and the ban allowed him to put his trust in youth, namely Mount and Abraham.
And it has been the latter that is far and away one of the stories of the season so far, with nine goals across all competitions. Life after Hazard really doesn't seem so bad after all!

Sergio Aguero - 8 goals
Club: Manchester City
While Guardiola's side face a mountain to climb to make it three successive Premier League titles, Sergio Aguero is not suffering any kind of slump as he boasts eight goals in eight games this season.
The Argentine has been underrated each year as he continues to demolish records and defenses, showing no sign of a let-up as he adds years and miles to his body clock.
With the creative force around him at City, chances are never an issue and if City can rid themselves of the frailties defensively and go back to putting teams to the sword. 
Aguero will again find himself with a wealth of goals to his name.

Raheem Sterling - 8 goals
Club: Manchester City
No player has improved under Guardiola at Manchester City more than Raheem Sterling.
Rid of the inconsistencies he showed when he joined the club from Liverpool, Sterling is now rightly considered one of the finest stars in world football and his attacking output is proof of that.
He managed 11 goals in 2014-15 and 10 in 2015-16 and 2016-17 before he began to take his game on to a new level. 
In Guardiola's first season in charge at the Etihad he netted 23 goals and improved that to 25 goals in 2018-19 as the club clinched the Premier League title by a single point.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - 8 goals
Club: Arsenal
If attack is the best form of defence for Arsenal then there are few players the club would rather have leading the line than Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The Gabon striker has seven goals in eight games this season and has thrived down the middle since Alexandre Lacazette was struck down with injury.
It was 2014-15 the last time Aubameyang finished a season with less than 30 goals and so Arsenal fans have reason to be excited that Aubameyang is already fit and firing.
He has been urged to work harder for his chances but his sixth sense to be in the right place at the right time, making chances look easy, goes undervalued. 

Ciro Immobile - 8 goals
Club: Lazio
He may not be best friends with his manager but by taking his anger out by scoring goals, no one of a Lazio persuasion will be complaining right now.
Immobile has strangely been the fall-guy in a number of games this season with boss Simone Inzaghi looking to freshen the side up in the second half of games.
But with eight goals already this season, seven placing him top of the Serie A scoring charts, the 29-year-old is a man on a mission to win Europe's Golden Boot this season.
He is making good progress to matching his goal return of 19 last season - but will have to continue his purple patch for some time if he is to emulate - or even beat - his 40-goal haul from 2017-18.

Victor Osimhen - 8 goals
Club: LOSC Lille
The 20-year-old Nigerian is leading the scoring charts in France in a league where most of the notable forwards are hoovered up in Paris by PSG.
Osimhen has seven goals and two assists already and has been shortlisted for Ligue 1's Player of the Month. 
If he keeps this up he will be the undisputed choice for Young Player of the Year come May.

Duvan Zapata - 7 goals
Club: Atalanta
The scary thing with Duvan Zapata is that he still feels he has 'a lot of room for improvement' despite seven goals already this season.
Atalanta have flopped in the Champions League, losing their opening two group games, but that is not down to the in-form Zapata.
Behind only Immobile in Serie A, Zapata is another attracting plenty of admiring glances from Premier League sides with Manchester United the latest to get credited with an interest in the Italian press.
At 28, Zapata is in his prime moment, bullying defences in Serie A and may be tempted by a fresh challenge. If he keeps scoring goals at the rate he has so far, La Dea face an exhausting fight to keep him.

Timo Werner - 7 goals
Club:  RB Leipzig
Links to Liverpool refuse to disappear and if he keeps finding the back of the net, calls will only get louder and louder for a shot at the Premier League.
The 23-year-old is fast becoming one of Europe's most exciting strikers and the arrival of Julian Nagelsmann has not derailed his ascent up the goals chart.
He is second behind Lewandowski domestically but already has two goals in the opening two group games of the Champions League.
Even at this early stage, Werner is a third of the way towards matching his best ever goal return of 21 - his first season at Leipzig back in 2016-17.

Karim Benzema - 6 goals
Club: Real Madrid
Zidane continues his reliance for goals with Benzema and he is the division's joint-top scorer after the opening eight rounds of matches.
Real Madrid are top, five wins and three draws, and have Benzema to thank for some big results, none bigger than the narrow 1-0 away win against Sevilla last month. 
He is yet to strike in the Champions League but the confidence is there.

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