… revealed in the fascinating trends and statistics below
The bookmakers seem to agree on the 15 leading contenders to be next season’s Premier League top-scorer. they are:
Fernando Torres, Didier Drogba, Nicolas Anelka, Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard, Michael Owen, Robinho, Robin van Persie, Emmanuel Adebayor, Dimitar Berbatov, Jermain Defoe, Carlos Tevez, Andrei Arshavin, Frank Lampard and Roque Santa Cruz.
Through a process of elimination, our stat-lovin’ friends at chickendinner have discovered that Nicolas Anelka will not successfully defend his top scorer award, and the eventual winner is quite surprising.
Here it comes…
Over the last decade Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (2000-01) is the only player to have won it in his first season with a new club.
That rules out: Michael Owen, Carlos Tevez, Roque Santa Cruz
The last nine winners were all playing for a Big Four side.
That rules out: Robinho, Jermain Defoe
Cristiano Ronaldo is the only player to have been Premier League top-scorer without always playing as an out-and-out striker.
That rules out: Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Andrei Arshavin
The last British top-scorer was Kevin Phillips in 1999-00.
That rules out: Wayne Rooney
Still standing: Fernando Torres, Didier Drogba, Nicolas Anelka, Robin van Persie, Emmanuel Adebayor and Dimitar Berbatov
Every Premier League top-scorer ever bar Michael Owen – who came joint-top in 1997-98 having played just twice the previous year – hit double figures in the league the season before.
That rules out: Didier Drogba, Dimitar Berbatov
Alan Shearer remains the only player to have followed his first ever outright Golden Boot win with victory again a year later.
That rules out: Nicolas Anelka
Not since John Aldridge in 1987-88 has a Liverpool player ended a top-flight campaign as outright top-scorer. He and Ian Rush are the only Reds to have done so in the last 99 years.
That rules out: Fernando Torres
So that leaves Arsenal strikers Robin van Persie and Emmanuel Adebayor. Thierry Henry was top-scorer in the last two World Cup years, while Ian Wright hit 23 in 1993-94 (when he didn’t even have one to look forward to!) and Dennis Bergkamp was just two goals off in 1997-98.
Every winner since Kevin Phillips in 1999-00 had scored at least 16 goals in a season in one of Europe’s five main leagues (Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga, Ligue 1) in the past. Van Persie’s best is 11, whereas Adebayor scored 24 goals in 2007-08.
That rules out: Robin van Persie, leaving Emmanuel Adebayor – who is available at 28/1 on Betfair – as the unlikely last man standing.