The 2021-22 season of the Premier League has got off to an exciting start as the transfer window comes to a close and clubs across the country finalise their starting XIs. The return of fans to the grounds to cheer their favourite stars has livened up the atmosphere inside the stadium, giving a morale boost to the players. The race for the Golden Boot is keenly followed by fans, and the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo has added a new dimension to the race this season. A total of 103 goals have been scored so far in just 39 fixtures – with an average of 2.64 goals per match.
As the Premier League battle heats up, we take a look at the top five goal-scorers in this Premier League season so far:
#1: Michail Antonio – 4 Goals, 3 Assists
West Ham United’s Michail Antonio shares the top spot along with Bruno Fernandes – the Jamaican has scored four goals so far from four appearances for the team. Antonio has been key to West Ham’s spectacular rise in the Premier League – he finished as the club’s top-scorer last season along with Tomas Soucek. By scoring in their opening fixture against Newcastle United this season, Antonio levelled Paolo Di Canio’s record for the club’s all-time leading Premier League goalscorer.
By scoring three more goals in the next two fixtures, Antonio has now scored 50 goals for West Ham from 162 appearances – an admirable record considering the team’s strength. He has been crowned Premier League’s player of the month in August and has been involved in seven of West Ham’s 10 goals so far this season. But the Jamaican picked up a red card in the fixture against Southampton and will miss their next crucial fixture against Manchester United.
#2: Bruno Fernandes – 4 Goals
As much of the spotlight at Old Trafford has shifted to Cristiano Ronaldo, the other Portuguese star in the team has not stayed quiet – Bruno Fernandes is currently the top scorer for Manchester United and remains crucial to Solskjaer’s plans. The 27-year-old ended last season as the top scorer for the Red Devils with 18 goals from 37 appearances and played a key role in their second-place finish behind Manchester City last season.
Bruno Fernandes is also the only player to score a hat-trick this season – and doing so in the opening fixture of the season against Leeds United is no mean feat. As Cristiano Ronaldo made a stunning debut in the game against Newcastle United with two opening goals, Fernandes reminded the fans that he is still the key man for the team in the midfield with a stunning goal in the 80th minute. With the experienced Ronaldo and the young Mason Greenwood competing at the front for the opportunity to score goals, Fernandes’ skills are only going to shine even more this season.
#3: Romelu Lukaku – 3 Goals
Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea mesmerised fans with a stunning turnaround last season, which culminated in them winning the UEFA Champions League title. Tuchel has now set his sights firmly on winning the Premier League, and his intent is nowhere more evident than the record fee the Blues had to splurge for Romelu Lukaku. A decade after the Belgian superstar left the club, Lukaku returned to Stamford Bridge for a record fee of €115 million, becoming the club’s most expensive player of all time.
Lukaku’s second debut in the Premier League started on the right note as he scored just 15 minutes into the game against their city rivals Arsenal. While Liverpool were able to contain the striker, he piled misery on Aston Villa in the next fixture at home, scoring twice in Chelsea’s 3-0 victory. In Serie A last season, Lukaku was only second to Cristiano Ronaldo with 24 goals and 11 assists, and the return of the two superstars to the Premier League will see the contest for the Golden Boot heat up once again.
#4: Mohamed Salah – 3 Goals
Liverpool’s chances of reclaiming the Premier League trophy are highly dependent on their talisman performing well at the front. Mohamed Salah has been the star of Anfield for the past five years, and the Egyptian is showing no signs of slowing down. Salah has scored three goals from four appearances for the Reds so far, contributing to their victories over Norwich City and Leeds United. He has two assists to his name, thus being involved in five of Liverpool’s nine goals so far.
Salah was the top contender for Golden Boot last season with 22 goals to his name, narrowly missing out to Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur. The Egyptian has delivered an average of 20 goals per season for the Reds and remains one of the top contenders to take home the Golden Boot award this season. With his goal against Leeds United, Salah has also crossed the 100 goals mark in the Premier League.
#5: Mason Greenwood – 3 Goals
Mason Greenwood’s future looks bright at Old Trafford, as the teenager had a spectacular start to the season alongside Bruno Fernandes. Greenwood has scored in all three opening games of the season for the Red Devils – scoring their only goal against both Wolves and Southampton, apart from contributing a goal in their thumping victory over Leeds. He won the player of the month award at the club and was the talk of the town until the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo.
With the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo, Mason Greenwood could see his role in the team develop further. There is no doubting Greenwood’s intent and ferocity on the field, but the youngster needs to get involved in the game more if he wants to stay in the good books of Ole-Gunnar Solskjaer. Greenwood played 84 minutes against Newcastle and managed just 48 touches, and his absence was evident as Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo joined to pile misery on Newcastle. Playing alongside one of the greatest footballers will be a great opportunity for the teenager to further level up his game.
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