The Five Horse Race To Premier League Accolades

The 2023/24 Premier League season is nearly complete. When it comes to who will win the Golden Boot, it may not be as obvious as last season when Erling Haaland scored an astonishing 36 goals. As for Young Player of the Season, Player of the Season, Game Changer and Playmaker awards, there are also a couple of names to be considered.

Cole Palmer

Chelsea’s star player Cole Palmer has caught everyone’s attention this season. Having been released from Manchester City early in the season, Chelsea bought him for £40m. Since joining the London club, Palmer’s performances have definitely upped his worth. Making an instant impact at the club, Cole Palmer is now Chelsea’s top scorer.

Palmer has proven to be a true game-changer for Chelsea, posing a threat to any defence. A game that perfectly showcased the forward’s skill-set was Chelsea’s 6-0 win over Everton at Stamford Bridge on April 15. Cole Palmer scored four goals in that game. He had a hat-trick within 29 minutes – the quickest for the Blues in the Premier League. He scored the earliest ‘perfect hat-trick’ – header, left foot and right foot – in the Premier League, getting his third of the night in 29 minutes. His fourth goal was a penalty.

With 45 appearances in all competitions, the England international has racked up 39 goal contributions so far, with 26 goals and 13 assists. With 20 Premier League goals thus far, not only is he Chelsea’s top scorer, but he is also the league’s second top scorer – four behind Erling Haaland. Palmer has been thriving under a struggling Chelsea and is a high contender for the Golden Boot as well as the Player of the Season, Young Player of the Season and Game Changer Premier League awards.

Erling Haaland

Manchester City’s Erling Haaland may not be having a season as loud and powerful as his debut season, but he is still topping the ranks in the league. It is even more commendable when his time off due to injury is taken into account.

In what is his second season in the Premier League and at Manchester City, the Norwegian has kept up the momentum of scoring goals. In his debut season, Haaland scored 36 goals in 35 Premier League appearances, earning the 2022/23 Golden Boot as well as the Player of the Season and Young Player of the Season awards. He set a new record for most goals in a single campaign. He surpassed the 34 goals scored by Andrew Cole and Alan Shearer in 1993/94 and 1994/95 respectively, back when there were 42 matches per season. In all competitions last term, he had 53 goals in 52 appearances.

This season, although his numbers are not quite as high, he is still the top scorer in the league with 25 goals. The striker has struggled with injuries this season, missing a total of 14 games so far. His most recent absence was in April when he missed  two games. He was brought back into action on April 26th, coming on as a substitute in the 62nd minute. 9 minutes later, Haaland scored for City. In City’s next game, Haaland was back in the starting lineup and scored four goals. Quite the statement.

For a player who has been battling injuries and has been considered to be out of form, topping the scoring sheets is a great achievement. Once again, Haaland is undeniably a contender for the Golden Boot and the Player of the Season award. This season will also be his last chance at trying to win the Young Player of the Season award.

Premier League 2023-24 top scorers and top assists. Source: Premier League
Premier League 2023-24 top scorers and top assists. Source: Premier League

Ollie Watkins

Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins has had an incredible season. No one has had more assists than him this season (12). The England international is also third on the top scorers list, with 19 goals.

Early in the season, Aston Villa had looked to be strong contenders for the Premier League title, with Ollie Watkins being a big part of that. Under Unai Emery, Watkins has flourished and has been one of the most improved players in the league. Watkins has been a consistent goal scorer, no matter how tough the opponent is.

Watkins has 19 Premier League goals so far, fourth in the top scorers standings. Watkins has also been providing assists, with 12 to his name so far – the highest in the league. That makes it 31 goal contributions for the forward. When he got to 30 goal contributions, it made Watkins the first English player not named Harry Kane to have more than 30 goal contributions in the league since Leicester’s Jamie Vardy in 2015/16. Chelsea’s Cole Palmer has now joined that group as well. Watkins is also one goal away from being the first Aston Villa player to score at least 20 goals in the Premier League.

Watkins has been a vibrant part of Villa’s fluid attack. All of his goals are non-penalty goals, making his achievement even more commendable. Ollie Watkins is well in the conversations for the Golden Boot, as well as the Player of the Season and Playmaker awards.

Alexander Isak

Newcastle’s Alexander Isak is yet again making quite the impression in the Premier League. Last season, Newcastle were quite in form. The Magpies managed a top four finish, securing a Champions League spot, as Isak scored 10 league goals. Isak has been on an upward trajectory since joining Newcastle, despite Newcastle not being as strong of a side as they were last season.

This season, Isak is Newcastle’s top goal scorer, with 20 goals to his name so far. That puts him third in the Premier League rankings. Isak has the best shot conversion in the league, scoring an average of a goal every 103 minutes. Just like Haaland, Isak’s season has been plagued by a couple of injuries. The Swede has missed 10 games for Newcastle since the start of the season. Despite the setbacks, he is still the club’s top scorer, a true show of his goal-scoring prowess.

Newcastle, who has had a shaky season, especially in comparison to the last, has picked up form in their last few games. Isak’s form has picked up two, with the forward registering three goals in his last two games. Should the Swede continue this way, he will keep himself in the fight for the Golden Boot and the Young Player of the Season awards.

Dominic Solanke

Bournemouth’s Dominic Solanke has had a superb season. Bournemouth finished 15th in the Premier League last season and now find themselves in the top 10, Dominic Solanke being a big part of that.

With 18 goals so far this season, not only is Solanke the club’s top scorer this season, but he is also Bournemouth’s all-time leading goalscorer in the top flight. Of his 18 goals, 16 are non-penalty goals. He has been inevitable in front of goal all season, consistently putting his name on the score sheet.

Solanke’s performances this season have the football world questioning whether Gareth Southgate will give him his first England call-up ahead of the Euros in a couple of weeks. As for Solanke’s next games for Bournemouth, there are tough fixtures ahead with Brentford and Chelsea. Should Solanke rack up more goals for The Cherries, he should keep himself in the fight for the Golden Boot.

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