|Sergio Aguero||7/1||Paddy Power|
It’s six years since the Premier League champions last provided the Golden Boot winner so it’s advisable to keep your options open when considering which contender to back as leading scorer in 2018-19.
Does that mean Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is in the frame?
You bet it does.
The Gunners’ star has the superior minutes per goal ratio of all the current top five scorers, and has achieved that for a side that is still very much in transition.
While there is no guarantee Unai Emery’s men will find greater fluency and kick on in the second half of the campaign, logic suggests that progress is more likely than not to occur.
This would be good news for his goal tally.
📅 West Ham vs Arsenal this Saturday— freebets.net (@freebetsnet) January 10, 2019
⚽️ Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored in his last four #PremierLeague London derbies
🔥 That's 6⃣ goals, plus 2⃣ assists!
😉 He's 7/2 favourite to open the scoring
Fans at the Emirates are pleading for Alexandre Lacazette to start more matches, and I’d wholeheartedly agree with that assessment.
But would that harm Aubameyang’s Golden Boot hopes?
Personally I’m not buying into that theory because they bring the best out of one another.
Aubameyang has already drifted across from the left to plunder plenty of goals inside the box, but if they’re allowed the chance to strike up a genuine partnership by Emery (most Arsenal fans are dying for this to happen) I predict both will be better off for the change.
When you factor in that Aubameyang may not be needed in all of Arsenal’s Europa League contests - unlike his Champions League counterparts - the Gabon hit man is starting to look like an attractive proposition.
Rated 10/3 joint second favourite with Bet 365, the Gunners star is definitely worth consideration.
Without getting too many plaudits he’s scoring at a faster rate than anyone.
The safest gamble in this domain would have to be on Bet365’s 9/4 market leader Harry Kane.
He’s got two Golden Boots on the mantelpiece already, and we all know for sure that fitness permitting he’ll feature in almost every remaining minute of Tottenham Hotspur’s campaign.
The key point to note with Harry is not just him, but the fixture list.
Wherever their home may be, 10 of Tottenham’s final 17 matches will be played in front of their own fans - and no other side has that luxury.
With a glut of home goals expected, added to course and distance experience, Kane is very much the sensible pick.
The long shot in the Golden Boot market is Eden Hazard (20/1 with Coral) and even though the Belgian is an awesome player, I think that’s a fair price.
He may be right in the mix at the moment with 10 goals, but Chelsea simply don’t score enough compared to the rest of the Big Six, and that has to be considered.
Sarri’s men very rarely run up cricket scores.
Hazard will be used as a lone striker more often - and he can revel in that new role - but I am not seduced enough by that strategic change to back him against all the other natural predators.
Eden Hazard's game by numbers vs. Spurs:— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 8, 2019
92% passing accuracy
8 take-ons completed
7 fouls won
5 chances created
2 shots on target
Any help, guys? 😬 pic.twitter.com/MxAlF8AIJn
Elsewhere, Mo Salah is not appealing enough to me at 11/4 with Ladbrokes either.
The Egyptian is a phenomenal forward, we know that, but his finishing has been nowhere near as consistently crisp as it was en route to last season’s crown with 32 goals.
He’s only one behind Kane and Aubameyang on 13 at the moment, but with so many other potential scorers’ sharing the load at Anfield I can see him just coming up short.
Salah should not be written off as he won’t need 32 to land the prize this time, but the price isn’t attractive enough for me at the moment.
At 15/2 (Paddy Power) I believe Sergio Aguero offers the greatest value by some distance.
He trails the leading fancies by four at the moment, but the way Manchester City run amok at times, he can make that up in little over 90 minutes.
Eight of their remaining fixtures are away to bottom half teams, with Old Trafford the only Big Six destination to visit, and in those contests you’d imagine Aguero having a whale of a time.
Matches at Etihad Stadium look far tougher (seven of the games are versus top half outfits) but no matter who City are facing on home turf, Aguero is usually destructive.
Just ask Liverpool.
Gabriel Jesus hasn’t convinced this term, and Aguero looks in terrific nick, so don’t be at all surprised if it’s the Argentine who makes a late run for the prestigious Golden Boot.
Right now it’s a five horse race, but I am predicting it will soon be three.
The percentage play is Kane, the shrewd choice might just be Aubameyang, but if you’re looking for a spot of value, don’t look past a late run from Aguero.