We all knew this weird gap was coming, didn’t we?
Those bizarre three weeks between the end of the World Cup and the start of the Premier League season.
Football purgatory, if you will.
So while we wait for the first game of the new season – which is Man United versus Leicester on August 10, just so you know – let’s have a little look at the best goal-scorers the league has to offer for the upcoming campaign.
We genuinely think this could be a vintage season for strikers, with the Golden Boot more open than ever.
Mohamed Salah was the fella who won the Golden Boot last season, netting an impressive 32 goals to take home the much-coveted gong.
He was simply awesome for Liverpool, spear-heading the tantalising attacking play that helped them reach the Champions League final last season and has made them one of the favourites for the Premier League title this season.
But will he continue his brilliant first-season form into next season?
Yes, we think so.
That’s to say, we’re not worried about him being just another ‘one-season wonder’.
Scoring 43 goals in all competitions in one season is no accident.
Couple that with Salah’s low-maintenance personality (we can’t exactly see him going on strike to get that Real Madrid move), his ability to score different types of goals and the fact Jurgen Klopp has brought in folks like Naby Keita to play behind him, makes us think he could certainly score a barrel-load again next season.
After all, didn’t a great man once say ‘class is permanent’?
So who’ll be Salah’s main challengers?
Well, the obvious choice is a certain Harry Kane.
The Spurs forward won the Golden Boot the season before last and the season before that, and narrowly missed out on the accolade last season by just two goals (that number differs depending on how much you believe Kane loves his daughter).
What’s more, he’s just come back from Russia having claimed the World Cup Golden Boot, of all things.
Those goals might’ve come against the likes of Tunisia and Panama, but they all bloody count.
Then there’s the guy in the red corner.
We got a taster of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s eye for goal in the second-half of last season, with him notching 10 goals following his big-money move from Dortmund to Arsenal.
With the Gunners boasting a brand new manager in the form of Dracula impersonator Unai Emery, we can seriously see Aubameyang being the focal-point of their new era.
The Gabonese forward was the Bundesliga’s top goalscorer in the 2016/17 season, fending off a certain Robert Lewandowski in the process, so he certainly knows what it’s like to score a bunch of goals in a top league.
We can’t leave out Romelu Lukaku now, can we?
The Belgian returns to Man United having notched four goals at the World Cup – once again in the goal-scoring shadow of Kane – and he’ll be hungry to push on in his second season at Old Trafford.
He netted 16 times in the Premier League last term – way off the leaders and considerably less than his return for Everton the season before – so we expect him to be more settled and hungrier than ever to overcome his Golden Boot rivals.
Another brilliant striker who’ll be desperate to finally get his hands on the Golden Boot is Sergio Aguero.
Let’s be honest, Gabriel Jesus was absolutely rubbish at the World Cup, so we imagine Pep Guardiola will prefer the Argentinian up front, right?
And even though his campaign was a bit dislodged last season, Aguero still managed 21 goals in 25 Premier League appearances and is still one of the most feared marksman around.
Who else is there?
The big one for us is Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino.
By now, we all know that this guy is a seriously good striker, and we won’t entertain any talk of the Reds needing a ‘proper forward’, whatever that is.
Our favourite Brazilian with the pearly whites scored 27 goals in all competitions last season – including 15 in the Premier League – and seemingly fits like a glove in Klopp’s attacking trio, alongside Salah and Sadio Mane.
Certainly don’t rule him out.
Then there’s Arsenal’s ‘other forward’ Alexandre Lacazette, who was the man of the hour this time last year but didn’t quite live up to the hype, hence the January signing of Aubameyang.
Still, it looked like the two could certainly work together – judging on the way they played together – and even though the Frenchman wasn’t particularly prolific, he still notched 14 goals in the league.
He was once the highest goalscorer in Ligue 1 not too long, so he certainly knows how to stick the ball into the back of the net.
Last but not least, there’s Alexis Sanchez.
No, don’t scoff, we mean it.
The Chilean didn’t exactly get off to the best of starts for United last season – after switching Arsenal for the bright lights of Old Trafford in January – but we all know he’s more than capable of getting a goal or two, don’t we?
In his final full season for Arsenal – the 2016/17 season – he hit 24 goals, coming in just behind Kane and Lukaku.
For a side that was fairly average, if you don’t mind us saying, Arsenal fans, that is very impressive, especially when you couple in his 10 assists that season.
If he hits the ground running next season, he could be an immense goal-threat for Jose Mourinho’s side and might even snatch the Golden Boot too.