After a pulsating final day of action in one of the most memorable Premier League seasons of all time, the race for the competition’s Golden Boot ended in a tie between Liverpool’s Mo Salah and Tottenham’s Son Heung-min.
Salah entered the final round of fixtures with a one goal advantage over his nearest pursuer Son in the league’s top scorers chart.
However, while the Egyptian superstar found the back of the net in his side’s 3-1 victory over Wolves at Anfield, Son drew level with Salah after a second-half brace against Norwich, meaning both finished on 23 goals for the campaign.
There has never been a tie-breaker in place in the Premier League for its top goalscorer award. As such, for the sixth time in the competition’s history, the award has been shared.
That said, Son did create his own individual landmark, becoming the first ever Asian player to claim the prize. The South Korean captain is also one of a select group of individuals to have achieved the accolade without having a single penalty-kick among his tally.
Now that Son has become the 25th player to lift the award, we’ve decided to have a stab at ranking among every Golden Boot winner in Premier League history.
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As always with these kinds of countdowns, somebody has to fill the early slots. Every player on this list was a top-quality striker at their peak (they wouldn’t have a Golden Boot award on their mantlepiece otherwise), but some inevitably left a bigger mark on the English top-flight than others.
Let’s get into our rankings…
Every Premier League Golden Boot winner in history ranked
*indicates a 42-game season
25. Dion Dublin – (18 goals, Coventry City, 1996/97)
24. Chris Sutton (18 goals, Blackburn Rovers, 1996/97)
23. Nicolas Anelka (19 goals, Chelsea, 2008/09)
22. Dimitar Berbatov (20 goals, Manchester United, 2010/11
21. Teddy Sheringham (22 goals*, Nottingham Forest/Tottenham, 1992/93)
All in this section had fine individual seasons – without producing mind-blowing numbers. None managed to claim the Golden Boot again, either.
20. Dwight Yorke (18 goals, Manchester United, 1998/99)
19. Carlos Tevez (20 goals, Manchester City, 2010/11)
18. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (22 goals, Arsenal, 2018/19)
17. Kevin Phillips (30 goals, Sunderland, 1999/00)
16. Jamie Vardy (23 goals, Leicester City, 2019/20)
Yorke, Tevez and Aubameyang each richly deserved their shared awards when they received Golden Boot recognition after highly-prolific seasons.
Phillips had a sensational campaign at Sunderland in 1999/00, but turned out to be something of a one-season wonder, never again threatening to repeat his success at quite the same level.
Vardy matched Son’s 23 goals from this season in 2019/20. However, as four were via the penalty spot, the Leicester hitman finds himself in 16th place.
15. Son Heung-min (23 goals, Tottenham, 2021/22)
14. Sadio Mane (22 goals, Liverpool, 2018/19)
13. Ruud van Nistelrooy (25 goals, Manchester United, 2002/03)
12. Andy Cole (34 goals*, Newcastle, 1993/94)
11. Michael Owen (18 goals, Liverpool, both 1997/98 & 1998/99)
Son’s outstanding penalty-less numbers this season see him bag 15th spot.
Just ahead of him in the countdown sit fantastic individual seasons from Mane, Van Nistelrooy and Cole.
Just missing out of the top 10 is the often injury-cursed Owen. The former Liverpool man would undoubtedly have made a bigger impact across his career had his body not betrayed him.
10. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (18 goals, Leeds, 1998/99 & 23 goals, Chelsea, 2000/01)
9. Didier Drogba, 20 goals, 2006/07 & 29 goals, 2009/10 – both Chelsea)
8. Sergio Aguero (26 goals, Manchester City, 2014/15)
7. Robin van Persie (30 goals, Arsenal, 2011/12 & 26 goals, Manchester United, 2012/13)
6. Luis Suarez (31 goals, Liverpool, 2013/14)
A trio of two-time Golden Boot kings here in Hasselbaink, Drogba and Van Persie. Joining those iconic names from Premier League folklore are 14/15 winner Aguero and 2013/14 kingpin Suarez.
The most prolific foreign player in Premier League history, Aguero simply had to make the top 10.
In Suarez’s case, his form during his final season at Anfield was just too majestic to be overlooked. The controversial Uruguayan’s contribution for the Reds may not have netted him a league winners medal, but did snag him a dream switch to Barcelona.
5. Mo Salah (32 goals, 2017/18, 22 goals, 2018/19 & 23 goals, 2021/22 – all Liverpool)
4. Harry Kane (25 goals, 2015/16, 29 goals, 2016/17 & 23 goals, 2020/21 – all Tottenham)
3. Cristiano Ronaldo (31 goals, Manchester United, 2007/2008)
2. Alan Shearer (34 goals*, 1994/95 & 31 goals, 1995/96 – both Blackburn)
(25 goals, 1996/97, Newcastle)
1. Thierry Henry (24 goals, 2001/02, 30 goals, 2003/04, 25 goals, 2004/05 & 27 goals, 2005/06 – all Arsenal)
The only way to crack the top five if your name isn’t Ronaldo is to have at least three Golden Boot awards on your resume.
The Portuguese legend’s 2007/08 season with United makes the cut as his 31 goals during that campaign ultimately paved the way for him to lift the first of his five Ballon d’Or trophies.
Salah’s most recent triumph sees him take fifth spot, behind Kane largely on the basis of the Londoner’s impressive overall Premier League scoring record.
When it comes to goal tallies in the English top-flight, though, nobody can better second-placed Shearer’s haul of 260 strikes.
Arsenal legend Henry, however, has everybody beat when it comes to total Golden Boot trophies. With a staggering four to his name, we simply couldn’t overlook the mercurial Frenchman for top spot.
Man City win the Premier League (Reaction via The Football Terrace)