With the Sky Bet English Championship getting underway on Friday night, we take a look at the race for the Golden Boot award. There has been a huge amount of money spent so far this summer in the English Championship and almost half of that money has been spent on strikers, with £70m being spent on them so far in this window. In this preview I’ll be taking a look at some of the men expected to challenge for the Golden Boot and giving you my tip for the award.
Britt Assombalonga – 8/1 Sky Bet
One of the biggest transfers this summer has seen Britt Assombalonga move from Nottingham Forest to Middlesbrough for £15m. One of Middlesbrough’s biggest issues last season in the Premier League was a lack of goals as Alvaro Negredo, Rudy Gestede and Jordan Rhodes all struggled to find the net. With Rhodes leaving and Negredo expected to follow in the coming weeks the club have moved to bring in Assombalonga and big things will be expected of the main who scored 14 goals last season and found the net 30 times in 65 Championship appearances for Nottingham Forest. Middlesbrough know that they are getting a man who has had injury problems in recent seasons, but there can be no doubt about his quality. Assombalonga had the third best minutes to goals ratio last season, finding the back of the net at an average of a goal every 130 minutes. Only Dwight Gayle and Nelson Oliveira found the net with more regularity and Middlesbrough know that if they can keep Assombalonga fit then he will have a great chance at winning the Golden Boot award.
Jonathan Kodjia – 10/1 Sky Bet
It has been an interesting summer for fans of Aston Villa having seen Steve Bruce bring England and Chelsea legend John Terry to the club on a free transfer. At the other end of the pitch the star man is Jonathan Kodjia; the striker found the net 19 times last season in a successful campaign for him. Often accused of being overly selfish, the striker had more shots than any other player in the league last season, but Kodjia certainly knows where the goal is and if he can continue to improve his game this season then he could be in with a great shout of finishing the season as the top scorer.
Jordan Rhodes 10/1 Sky Bet
Jordan Rhodes has scored heavily in the Championship but was never really given a fair crack of the whip by Aitor Karanka in the Premier League last season for Middlesbrough. This summer has seen Rhodes seal a £10m transfer to Sheffield Wednesday and for that money the club have signed a striker who has scored 94 goals in the Championship, 19 more than any other player over the same period of time. Rhodes has shown his ability at this level and he could be a solid bet for the Golden Boot award as you would expect him to be the main man for The Owls this season.
Chris Wood – 9/1 Sky Bet
Chris Wood was the top scorer in the Championship last season with 27 goals for Leeds. The New Zealand international striker also had the best shot conversion rate in the league and the club relied heavily upon Wood for goals last season. It will be tough for the Kiwi to keep up that form this season though and I would be wary about backing him for the Golden Boot award this time around.
Steven Fletcher – 50/1 (Bet 365)
The experienced Scot is available at odds of 50/1 (Ladbrokes) and could be a decent outside bet for the Golden Boot award. Fletcher is an extremely experienced striker and found the net 9 times for Sheffield Wednesday last season following his move from Sunderland. If the club can play to his strengths and he can dovetail with Jordan Rhodes there’s no reason that the big striker couldn’t have a successful season this time around.
I think this could be the perfect season for Jordan Rhodes to showcase his class at this level. Following a frustrating campaign last time around, Rhodes will be a man with a point to prove and I expect him to find the net with regularity this coming season.
All odds correct at time of writing.