The English Premier League is one of the most competitive in the world. With so many talented players and ruthless goal scorers, who will win the golden boot for the 2012-13 season?
Robin Van Persie
The top scorer in the league from the 2011-12 season switched clubs in the summer transfer window, moving from Arsenal to Manchester United. He ended his Arsenal career with 96 league goals from 194 appearances having scored 30 in his last season with the Gunners. With the service he will receive from a midfield boasting Nani, Ashley Young and the ever present Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes, combined with the support of the supremely talented Javier Hernandez and Wayne Rooney, it would be difficult to imagine that there isn't every chance he could end up on top again this season.
Rooney finished second in the goal scoring table for the 2011-12 season with 27 goals. He is a consistent goal threat but has only scored 20+ league goals in two seasons, the other being 2009-10. With the addition of Van Persie to the Manchester United squad, and the continuing competition from Javier Hernandez, Rooney could well end up provider rather than poacher, but the threat he continues to pose in front of goal is too big to ignore him as a serious challenger.
In his first full season in the Premier League, Aguero scored 23 league goals for Manchester City, most notably the 94th minute winner against QPR that secured the title for United's noisy neighbours for the first time in 44 years. City have a glut of attacking talent and Aguero leads that line with pace and a deadly precision. Rest assured he will be on the list when May 2013 comes around.
Who will be the Premier League's top scorer this season?
Now I know what you're thinking. "Torres? Really? The Fernando Torres who has missed an open goal on more than one occasion?" Yes, that Fernando Torres. When he signed for Chelsea in January 2011 for a fee reported to be in the region of £50million, Torres had scored 65 league goals in 102 appearances for Liverpool.
It appeared that the pressure of the enormous price tag was a bit much for the nimble Spaniard and combined with the fact he was always going to play second fiddle to Didier Drogba, his confidence took a beating. With Drogba's departure this past summer and the acquisition of two creative attacking midfielders in Eden Hazard and Oscar to add to Juan Mata, the support and service Torres will receive as the "1" in DiMatteo's preferred 4-2-3-1 formation should boost his tally for the 2012-13 season.
Having moved to Newcastle United from West Ham after the latter's relegation from the Premier League at the end of the 2010-11 season, Demba Ba became the surprise package of the 2011-12 season, scoring 16 goals in 34 appearances and helping Newcastle to secure their best league finish for eight years. He has six goals from six appearances so far this season and with Newcastle having signed fellow Senegalese Papiss Cissé back in January 2012, it looks likely that they will again be a force to be reckoned with.
After signing for Newcastle in the January 2012 transfer window, Cissé linked up with his Senegal team mate Demba Ba to score 13 goals in 14 appearances, one of which was voted goal of the season by the BBC's Match of the Day. This epic strike rate has not been repeated so far in the 2012-13 season but if Newcastle can keep both players at the club for a full season it looks highly likely that one, or both of them, could snatch the prize away from the bigger, more established names.
Scoring 14 goals in 30 league appearances in his first full season in the Premier League, Edin Džeko quickly justified his £27million transfer fee. He scored a perfect hat-trick against Tottenham Hotspur in 2011, showing that he is a potent threat with both his left and right feet, and can pose an aerial threat to boot. If he gets enough minutes on the pitch there is no reason for him to not improve on last season's total.
Banned for eight games of the 2011-12 season, Suarez is Liverpool's best, if not only, attacking option. When the run of play is entirely against Liverpool, the two players you can count on to step up and change the game are Suarez and Steven Gerrard. It feels at the moment as if the two of them are expected to carry the other nine players all season, an almighty task, but one which Suarez will relish as the lone striker since the departure of Andy Carroll. If he can avoid controversy he should certainly be amongst the top ten goal scorers.
A newcomer to the league having signed for Arsenal in April 2012, the 27 year old has been a fixture in the German national team since 2006. His scoring ratio has consistently improved over the last few years in the Bundesliga and with Theo Walcott supporting him I think he could easily reach 20+ goals in his first season.
Having signed for Everton on the deadline day of the January 2012 transfer window, Jelavic has 12 goals from 18 league appearances. His scoring form has helped Everton to second place in the league so far this season and if he continues at this rate he could cause quite an upset.
If they keep up their recent form and stay fit, these are the players that I believe will make up the Premier League's top 10 goal scorers this season. What do you think?