Romelu Lukaku scored once again this weekend as Manchester United managed to escape unscathed in an important 1-0 victory. The Belgian scored the only goal of the match, winning three points for his team. This put him top of the Premier League goal-scoring list, netting six goals in as many matches.
Sergio Aguero of Manchester City and Alvaro Morata of Chelsea have also scored six goals so far this season. Jamie Vardy and Raheem Sterling are on five right now and this could all mean an interesting race for the Golden Boot award.
Harry Kane won this reputable award in two previous seasons, escaping Lukaku last May in his quest for the crown. Now that the Belgian has improved and earned himself a move to a bigger club, it may be his time to succeed the Tottenham striker.
Lukaku Is On A Constant Rise
Ever since his season-long loan at Everton, Lukaku has been improving his tally. In 2013-14 he scored 15 goals in the Premier League. The next year, after he became full member of the Toffees, Lukaku scored just 10 goals in the league. However, his eight goals in nine Europa League matches cannot be discarded.
The Belgian scored 18 Premier League goals in 2015-16 (plus another seven in two English cup competitions), while in his final season at the Goodison he netted 25 league goals. The trend is obvious, Lukaku could really smash his personal record. With 32 Premier League matches to go, he is 20 goals away from that.
Looking At The Numbers
Of course, it is not to expect Lukaku to continue scoring at this tempo. That would mean 38 goals, as his goal-scoring ratio is still impeccable. He played six full matches (540 minutes) and scored six times. The ratio will obviously fall as the season goes on.
However, Lukaku’s advanced statistics are also interesting. Looking at his stats from last season and the current one, there are slight improvements in certain categories. Lukaku had 14 of his 27 shots go on target (52 percent), comparing to last season’s 49.5 percent.
In every of his three seasons at Everton, the striker averaged around three shots per match, while this now grew to 4.5 shots per 90 minutes. If Lukaku was to play equal amount of minutes like last season at Everton, going at this rate of 4.5 shots per match, he would have 54 shots more than last year. More shots will give you more goals, especially if your shooting accuracy is better, it is that simple.
Lukaku will not run this race alone. Aguero scored as many goals as Lukaku, but in 73 minutes less on the pitch. The prolific Argentine had a slightly worse 2016-17 than expected and wants to show Pep Guardiola what he is all about. And that is goals. He will have the service behind him needed to score goals. However, he is not the only main striker next to Gabriel Jesus and attacking midfielders are much more goal-scoring oriented than maybe Juan Mata or Henrikh Mkhitaryan are. This means Manchester City goals should disperse more than at Manchester United. That could give Lukaku an edge.
However, Alvaro Morata is in great form as well. His six goals came in a similar way like Lukaku’s. He is the new main striker at the club. He was also doubted if he could score enough amount of goals for a team like Chelsea. So far he is doing great, he had just 20 shots this season (3.93 per 90 minutes compared to Lukaku making 4.5 per 90) but scored six times. That is a goal conversion ratio of 30 percent – almost one shot in three will be a goal.
Still, the season is very long. Harry Kane will certainly wake up. Alexis Sanchez or Alexander Lacazette might start scoring loads of goals. And Lukaku will have to do very well to win the Golden Boot. One thing is certain: he is probably at the best possible club if he is to achieve that.