Although the Premier League trophy is one that is coveted by each of the 20 teams that annually take part in the competition, it can only realistically be won by two or perhaps three outfits per season. However, when it comes to personal accolades, the division of awards is somewhat more democratic and with the Premier League Golden Boot being handed out to the league’s deadliest marksman, it is a prize that many players have a chance of winning for themselves.
An award that has been handed out since the inception of the Premier League in 1992 and with nearly three full decades to fall back upon, we are now going to take a look at the history of this coveted prize.
THE SHARPEST SHOOTERS
When it comes to the player who has won the most Premier League Golden Boots, you must look no further than Thierry Henry, as the former Arsenal star has won this prize on no fewer than four separate occasions.
A haul that already sounds impressive enough and it is even more, when you consider that the quartet of boots were collected in just five seasons between the 2001/02 and 2005/06 Premier League campaigns.
While the only player to break Henry’s dominant streak, was Ruud Van Nistelrooy and with the then Manchester United forward scooping personal honours in 2002/03, it would also go alongside his league winning medal for that season.
With Henry being the undisputed king of collecting all things gold, his fourth success put him clear of Alan Shearer and with the former England forward, being one of two strikers to land a trio of prizes themselves, only the very best can be worthy of such an award.
Which means if Shearer is one of the two men to have won the Premier League Golden Boot on three separate occasions, the question is who was is the other and the answer to that, is none other than Tottenham’s Harry Kane.
Kane has long been someone who has kept an eye on the all-time Premier League scoring record – one that is held by Alan Shearer himself and with the former Blackburn and Newcastle forward netting a total of 260 times, the current England captain still has some way to go to beat that.
Not only that, but Tottenham’s talisman will also look to eventually land the most Golden Boots in Premier League history and although a slow start this campaign will be his undoing in 2022, he still has plenty more years left in the tank to get to the magic number of five.
A SHARED PRIZE
While although the Premier League Golden Boot is usually handed out to one individual star, that is not always the case and in both the 1997/98 and 1998/99 seasons, no fewer than three players were awarded the prize.
In the build up to the 1998 World Cup, the Premier League had an eventual trio of top marksmen and that season saw Chris Sutton of Blackburn, Dion Dublin of Coventry and Michael Owen of Liverpool come out on top.
Fast forward 12 months and Owen would earn the second of two joint awards in as many seasons and at the end of the 1998/99 campaign, it would also Dwight Yorke of Manchester United, and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink of Leeds who were given a boot of their own.
Of course, one should not forget that the 2018/19 season was a year of shared possession and it also saw two players from the same club earn the prize. With both Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah helping Liverpool to second in the league, their goalscoring efforts would not go unnoticed.
Not only that, but it was the first time in which three African stars have all laid claim to the Premier League Golden Boot at the end of the same season and with Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang also scoring 22 goals, he would join the Liverpool pair in celebrating his own personal efforts.
While the final season of shared ownership would be back in 2010/11, as Manchester had custody of the award. In the red corner, it was Dimitar Berbatov of United and in the blue corner, it was Carlos Tevez of City who both scored 20 goals and earned a Golden Boot for their troubles.
A PERFECT RATIO
One other point of note is that during its first three seasons of operation, the Premier League used to comprise of 22 teams, and this means, a goal per game ratio is the fairest measure in terms who had the most productive season of all.
Which means when all things are equal from a goal ratio perspective, it is Harry Kane’s 2016/17 season which triumphs the rest and after scoring 29 goals in 30 league outings, it means an 0.97 goals per game ratio was recorded.
In terms of the highest number of goals per season, that accolade goes to the pair of Andy Cole and Alan Shearer, who scored 34 times during the 1993/94 and 1994/95 season respectively – although it must be noted that these campaigns consisted of 42 matches per club (22 teams in the league)
The highest number of goals scored by a Golden Boot winner in a 38-game season, is 32 and this was recorded by Mohammed Salah in 2017/18. A tally that led the Egyptian to the first of his two current scoring accolades.
While it also looks as if the Egyptian wizard will join the pair of Alan Shearer and Harry Kane on three wins each by the end of this season and with a current eight-goal advantage over a trio of big names, it will take some work by any of those to reel him in.
Interestingly enough, two of the chasing pack also come from Liverpool and with Sadio Mane and Diogo Jota doing their very best to chase their teammate, they must also make sure not to lose focus on the title race that is developing in front of us.
Which means if the Senegalese and Portuguese forward respectively do miss out on earning the mantle of top scorer at the end of the season, they would quite happily swap it for a Premier League winner’s medal instead.
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