An exclusive GMF poll has found that most fans think Chelsea striker Fernando Torres will win next season’s Premier League Golden Boot.
The Spaniard has endured a tough time in front of goal over the past 18 months, but a whopping 38% of football supporters backed Torres to come good next season. More than 85,000 fans responded to the Facebook poll, and just over 32,000 picked Torres.
A Spaniard has never won the Premier League's top goalscorer award, and the last Chelsea player to scoop the Golden Boot was Didier Drogba in the 2009-10 season. The year before, Blues forward Nicolas Anelka picked up the award, but with both strikers now departed for China, the goalscoring onus falls on Torres.
Since arriving in England in 2007, the former-Athletico Madrid man has been one of the Premier League's most feared strikers, but a barren spell in front of goal last season knocked his confidence.
The season still ended as a success for Torres, with Chelsea winning the FA Cup and the Champions League. Similarly, the Chelsea forward helped Spain win Euro 2012 this summer, top scoring with three goals and picking up the Euro 2012 Golden Boot award despite not starting every game for the World champions.
And football fans think the Chelsea striker will take this goalscoring form into the new Premier League season. The former-Liverpool frontman scored just six goals in the league last year, so he will need a much higher tally - probably around the 25-goal mark - if he wants to challenge for the top goalscrorer award next year.
In second place was Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney with 18%. The England man, who finished second to Robin van Persie in last year’s goal stakes with 27 goals, will be looking to go one better next season, both in terms of goals and league position.
In third place, with 16%, was last year’s winner Robin van Persie. Despite uncertainty surrounding his future, a significant number of football fans are backing the Dutchman to score regardless of the club he plays for.
The former-Feyernood striker equalled Thierry Henry’s record goal haul for a single season last year, when he smashed in 30 league goals. But the Dutchman has revealed he will not be signing a new Gunners contract, opening the door to a move away from the Emirates Stadium.
Both Manchester United and Manchester City are interested in taking last year’s Golden Boot winner, although Serie ‘A’ giants Juventus remain an option for van Persie if he wants to quit the Premier League.
Liverpool striker Luis Suarez received 12% of the vote, but the Uruguayan will do well to improve on an impressive debut season last campaign. The former-Ajax forward may not have scored as often as he would have liked, but a combination of injuries, suspension and misfortune in front of goal let him down.
Next season, alongside new signing Fabio Borini, expect Suarez to fire in the goals, and the Liverpool man looks a good outside bet to be challenging for the Golden Boot come the end of the season.
The rest of the contenders include Manchester City pair Sergio Aguero and Mario Balotelli, who each received 8% and 4% of the vote respectively. Like Suarez, Aguero enjoyed a fantastic debut Premier League season scoring 23 league goals, and the Premier League champions will be hopeful that the diminutive Argentinean can replicate last season’s form in the coming campaign.
Mario Balotelli divided opinion last year, as his contribution varied from the spectacular to the stupid. But the Italy striker looked in great shape during Euro 2012, scoring three goals, and no one can doubt the 21-year-old possesses bundles of talent.
His temperament may sometimes be called into question, but, on his day, the Manchester City man is one of the best strikers in the league.
That leaves Tottenham Hotspur striker Jermain Defoe, with less than one percent of the vote. Defoe found himself relegated to the bench more often than he would have liked last season, but the England man made the most of his time on the pitch.
With a new manager in charge at White Hart Lane it remains to be seen whether Defoe’s playing time increases, but Andre Villas-Boas has revealed he’s keen to bring in Manchester City loanee Emmanuel Adebayor on a permanent basis.
Who do you think will win next season's Premier League Golden Boot? Leave your suggestion in the comment box below...