Can Premier League new boys Depay or Firmino be top scorer?
No new signing during a maiden Premier League campaign has been able to take England by storm and win the Golden Boot straight away.
That’s a stat that can only change with some exciting faces from overseas set to make much-anticipated Premier League bows come August.
Coral’s top scorer market sticks with the tried and tested, with 2014/15 Golden Boot winner and Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero the 2/1 favourite ahead of champions Chelsea’s leading marksman Diego Costa at 9/2.
The best homegrown talent in Harry Kane (14/1) and Daniel Sturridge (16/1) come next, so it’s fair to say new boys remain outside shouts. Here, our football experts profile a couple of candidates that could buck the trend.
Several Eredivisie top scorers have gone on to ply their trade in England, but when it’s come to repeating such a feat in the Premier League they’ve been a mixed bag. Mateja Kezman and Dirk Kuyt never reached the heights they managed in the Netherlands, but Ruud van Nistelrooy and Luis Suarez managed to step up their game.
Depay to date is the first of four exciting signings designed to catapult Manchester United back into Premier League title contention and to re-establish them in Europe. He struck 28 times across all competitions last term in what was his fourth season in PSV’s first-team setup. Check out his goals and skills below:
Capable of playing anywhere across the attack, Depay may be deployed by Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal as a striker if Robin van Persie is not replaced. Should Angel Di Maria stay, he looks tailor-made to play in a 4-3-3 formation alongside the Argentina attacker and Wayne Rooney.
Matteo Darmian, another of United’s signings, will be an extra attacking outlet from full back, and Depay getting on the same wavelength as the Italy international is essential. Bringing in Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin to beef up the Old Trafford midfield also alleviates defensive responsibilities somewhat.
With all that in his favour, plus creative Spanish duo Ander Herrera and Juan Mata to consider as well, odds of 16/1 make for splendid value and give Depay a realistic chance of being high up the scoring charts.
Man Utd aren’t the only northwest club to make marquee signings; Manchester City have swooped for Raheem Sterling and Liverpool seemed to telegraph his departure by lining up Brazil attacker Firmino from Hoffenheim prior to that.
At his best in the number 10 position, the Samba star was named Bundesliga breakthrough talent of 2013/14. Firmno had to wait for international recognition to follow this accolade, however, as he missed out on selection for the World Cup on home soil. Check out Firmino below:
Not being scarred by those failures and tarred with the same brush that every Brazil international other than Neymar was turned into a massive opportunity, which Firmino has seized with both hands. He has established himself as a fantastic foil for the Samba Boys skipper, and will now showcase his talents at Anfield.
The Reds are rumoured to have been chasing his signature for over a year, so big things are expected from Firmino. With little natural width open to Brendan Rodgers, many pundits predict he will stick with the 3-4-2-1 system he used on Merseyside throughout last season.
Firmino and compatriot Philippe Coutinho are the most likely to occupy spots in behind a main striker, which should be Christian Benteke (a 20/1 chance to be Premier League top scorer after 11 goals in as many matches for Aston Villa at the end of last season).
Sturridge is sidelined through injury until the autumn, so provided he himself is fit we’ll see Firmino get plenty of first-team action during the early weeks of the campaign. This should set the tone for the term and what we’ll see from him.
Other Anfield attacking arrivals like Danny Ings and Divock Origi are much less lauded than Firmino, while the pursuit of Benteke leaves writing on the wall with regard to the futures of misfit Italian duo Mario Balotelli and Fabio Borini.
At a 28/1 price, Firmino is a longer shot than Depay (with the two compared above) and has admittedly been nothing like as prolific as the Dutchman was last term. In 2013/14, though, he matched Borussia Dortmund counterpart Marco Reus’ Bundesliga tally of 16 and wasn’t far behind that division’s leading marksman Robert Lewandowski.
Coral’s best bet: If we had to choose between the two, then deadly Depay just shades it at 16/1.