Football Features

Can Chelsea’s Cole Palmer win the Golden Boot?

By Will Evans | Twenty3

Published: 14:00, 17 April 2024

Cole Palmer’s four-goal haul against Everton has lit the touch paper in this season’s Golden Boot race.

Chelsea’s talisman is now joint-top of the Premier League’s scoring charts with Erling Haaland, after reaching an impressive 20 goals for the campaign.

And there are no signs he is set to slow down, having netted 10 times in his last five league outings.

Here we consider whether the Blues star can maintain his fine form and finish 2023/24 in pole position.

Maximising minutes

Many eyebrows were raised when Chelsea paid Manchester City an initial £40million for Palmer’s services last summer.

But his impact has been remarkable since arriving at Stamford Bridge — racking up 29 top-flight goal contributions at an average of 0.86 goals and 0.39 assists per 90 minutes.

Notably, only Alexander Isak (0.87) has a better goal return per 90, though the Newcastle United forward is another potential Golden Boot candidate with 17 strikes this term.

Primary challenger Haaland is marginally behind Palmer, with 0.82 goals per match to date.

Spot-kick success

Palmer is aiming to be Chelsea’s first Golden Boot winner since Didier Drogba in 2009/10 — and his accuracy from the penalty spot may be a key factor in achieving that ambition.

The 21-year-old has scored nine penalties, which is four more than any other Premier League player.

However, no other club have won as many spot-kicks as the Blues, who lead the way with 12 for the season.

In contrast, Manchester City have only been awarded six, which has directly impacted Haaland’s tally.

Chelsea’s record could therefore be unsustainable over the coming weeks, potentially hindering Palmer’s chances of becoming the division’s youngest top scorer since Michael Owen in 1997/98 and 1998/99.

Fantastic form

Palmer is certainly enjoying life at Stamford Bridge, having struck in each of his last seven league fixtures in West London.

That run has included a brace against Burnley, a hat-trick versus Manchester United and the four-goal return in Monday’s demolition of Everton. It is hard not to get carried away by such a hot streak, but Palmer’s 48.78% shooting accuracy across the season rings a note of caution — 38 players in the division have hit the target with a greater percentage of their shots.

Nonetheless, with his confidence high and in a rich vein of form, the England international could ride the crest of a wave to this season’s Golden Boot.