10. Sergio Aguero – Manchester City
Not blessed with height but he is blessed with skill, agility and a ridiculous technical ability. Aguero ended last season as Premier League top goal scorer with 25 goals. He had an excellent Copa America competition netting three goals in five games for Argentina despite them losing on penalties against the home side Chile. The new season has been frustrating for Aguero as it has been interrupted by injuries but despite that he has still managed to score nine goals in sixteen appearances. The big question that now stands is, can he catch up with Vardy, Giroud and Mahrez for the golden boot?
9. Olivier Giroud – Arsenal
Giroud won Ligue 1 with Montpellier winning the golden boot, when he arrived at Arsenal he was doing everything right accept scoring a goal. His movement was extremely good but composure was missing. In 2015 Giroud’s movement is still excellent but what has improved more is his scoring ability and he looks composed upfront. Giroud is the French man with the most goals in 2015 he currently has 33 goals. In 2015 we have seen just how crucial Giroud has been for Arsenal he managed to score against Bayern and net a hattrick against Olympiakos which literally helped Arsenal progress to the Round of 16. He’s currently on 11 goals in the Premier League and is definitely in the race for the golden boot as he only finds himself three goals behind Vardy.
8. Alexander Lacazette – Lyon
Only 24 years old Lacazette had a staggering season in 2014/15 scoring 27 goals in the French Ligue 1 which helped him win the Golden Boot. France have a list of very good strikers upfront and Deschamps could be having trouble in having to select who will start at Euro 2016, from Griezmann, Gamiero, Benzema, Giroud and now Lacazette. Whether he will stay at Lyon is a tough question because team’s will be out for him in the summer window.
7. Zlatan Ibrahimovic – PSG
Is age just a number? According to Luca Toni, Aduriz and Zlatan it is! Ibrahimovic still looks like a kid on that pitch, he’s still fast, strong and has maintained his technique. If he’s not scoring goals he’s creating goals, eight assists and 17 goals is not a bad record if you have only featured in 20 games this season. Is this the season Zlatan finally wins the UCL with PSG because with the ammunition of assists Di Maria provides they are definitely contenders.
6. Antoine Griezmann – Atletico Madrid
When Mandzukic’s form dropped Griezmann found his. He had excellent second half of the season with Atleti with plenty of goals. Atletico Madrid are joint leaders with Barcelona this season with Atleti, Griezmann has scored eight and five of those goals where winning goals. No player in La Liga has scored more winning goals then him. The question that pretty much runs through his head is can he leave his mark by winning trophies with Atleti like David Villa, Diego Forlan, Diego Costa and the great Falcao have all done.
5. Artiz Aduriz – Athletic Bilbao
In 2015 we have witnessed Aduriz become the top goal scorer in the Copa Del Ray helping his team reach the final but was powerless to lead his team to glory Lionel Messi co. However revenge would come soon as Barcelona and Bilbao faced each other in the Spanish Super Cup final. Aduriz went on to score a hattrick in the first leg becoming the first since Diego Forlan to score a hattrick against Barcelona, and scoring another goal on the return leg at the Nou Camp to help Bilbao win their first Super Cup since 1975. Aduriz has also scored his 100th goal for Bilbao in 2015, last season he ended the season with 27 goals this season however he only needs seven goals to equal that record. He’s been involved in 26 of Athletic De Bilbao’s goals this season. Spain is lacking a quality a forward upfront and this affected them in the qualifying games for Euro 2016. If they can give Aduriz a chance next summer, not only can help them defend their trophy, he can also walk away with the golden boot.
4. Pierre Aubameyang – Dortmund
The European golden boot seems to be going to a African this season. Aubameyang seems to be running away with the goals this season he’s currently on 18 goals while in all competitions he has 26 goals. Arguably the fastest soccer player in the world at the moment, Aubameyang can become the first African player to win the Ballon Dor if he keeps performing.
3. Gonzalo Higuain – Napoli
When the name Higuain pops up, all people can think about is the World Cup chance he missed in the final and the penalty he missed against Lazio in the final day. However this season Higuain looks like a man who is out to redeem himself and Napoli fans have appreciated that, because most believe that he is the man who can finally help Napoli win the Scudetto. The Serie A golden boot is already within reach as he currently has 16 goals in 17 appearances in the Serie A. Real Madrid fans have also realized that maybe letting Higuain go was a huge mistake because they are currently lacking a good forward upfront this season. Napoli are also favorites to win the Europa League.
2. Robert Lewandowski – FC Bayern
One of the most clinical forwards Europe has to offer, their is an outcry in Germany whereby most people believe that Lewandowski should have been in the top 3 of the Ballon De Or shortlist. Regardless Lewandowski gives Bayern the cutting edge upfront. He defines the term number 9.
1. Luis Suarez – FC Barcelona
Whether it’s with the feet or teeth Luis is lethal with both. After successfully winning the treble in his first season with Barcelona, Messi got injured, a lot of people thought Barcelona’s season was over, however Luis Suarez and Neymar had other ideas in mind. Luis Suarez is one of Barcelona’s most important players this season, he scored the winning goal against Leverkuson and when the El Classico arrived he single handedly destroyed Real Madrid. Club World Cup Luis Suarez managed to end the competition scoring a staggering 5 goals as Barca took the title. Currently the best striker in the world it’s incredible how he is not in the final three nominations of the Ballon Dor.
By Tutaleni Ilonga – TFN Columnist and La Liga Expert on 23/12/2015 at 12:33 @_LeKido_