Juventus may be strong favourites to win the Scudetto for a fourth consecutive year, but predicting which player from Italy’s top flight will win the Golden Boot is a far greater challenge.
Last year’s winner Ciro Immobile has now departed Torino to fill the void left by Robert Lewandoski at Borussia Dortmund, whilst runner up Luca Toni may fail to replicate the same form at Verona with retirement now surely in sight.
Juventus have added Alvaro Morata to their ranks, and may also capture Javier Hernandez before the end of the transfer window, but whether the Spaniard can challenge for the prestigious award is difficult to see.
Amongst the frontrunners are Argentina duo Carlos Tevez and Gonzalo Higuain, who both enjoyed stellar seasons last term.
Tevez was crucial in the Old Lady’s surge to the Serie A title, finding the net 21 times in a feat that ultimately saw him crowned as the club’s player of the season.
Having been exiled by the national team, ensuring he missed the World Cup in Brazil, he may now use such motivation to hit new heights for the Turin club this year.
Higuain was one player that did grace football’s grandest stage, but will be keen to lead Napoli to glory having fluffed his lines as Argentina lost the final to Germany last month.
The former Real Madrid forward, who had been linked with a move back to Spain with Barcelona prior to the transfer of Luis Suarez from Liverpool, will once again be one of the league’s key marksmen and could propel Rafael Benitez’s men to the promise land.
AC Milan forward Mario Balotelli remains at the San Siro in spite of persistent rumours linking him back to the Premier League with Arsenal and Liverpool, and stands as another with a point to prove after a disappointing time in Brazil.
The 24-year-old, who scored just once as Italy were eliminated from the tournament in the group stages, could revive his career under the stewardship of Fillipo Inzaghi after toiling under both Massimiliano Allegri and Clarence Seedorf last term.
Stephen El Shaarawy missed out on the summer showpiece due to injury, but now fit and firing could excite under Inzaghi as the Italian manager sets about returning the Rossoneri to top of the division.
Over at Inter Milan, there is growing optimism that both Mauro Icardi and new signing Dani Osvaldo can replace the goals and guile of the departed Diego Milito.
Icardi, like Balotelli, has been linked with a move to England but is set to remain at the San Siro having pledged his future to the club in a recent interview.
Osvaldo struggled at Southampton and Juventus last season, but having previously starred at Roma has the ability to bounce back and deliver this time around.
Serie A may have recently forged itself a reputation as a graveyard for Premier League flops, but will host one the most anticipated struggles for the Golden Boot in recent memory.
Higuain and Tevez remain the frontrunners, whilst Toni may still continue to defy his age and help Verona consolidate themselves in the division for yet another year.
Italy’s top flight is boring? Not a chance.
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