The 2023-24 European Golden Shoe contenders: Harry Kane leads the way…

The 2023-24 season is the first in 20 years that doesn’t feature either Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo in one of Europe’s major leagues.

Those two names dominated the scoring charts across Europe for almost two entire decades, notching almost a thousand league goals combined and lifting no fewer than 10 European Golden Shoe awards.

But we’ve now arrived at a new era and some familiar names have already made a strong start in the opening couple of months of the 2023-24 campaign. We’ve taken a look at the top 10 goalscorers across Europe’s big five leagues – Ligue 1, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A and the Premier League.

Note: if two players are tied on goals, we’ve ordered them by their goals-per-minute ratio. Jarrod Bowen, Jonas Wind, Son Heung-Min and Antoine Griezmann miss out on cracking the top 10 due to that.

10. Leroy Sane – 8

He’s been good rather than great over the past few years, but 2023-24 seems to be the season in which Sane has well and truly burst back into life and realised the frightening potential he showed at Manchester City back in the day.

Sane is linking up with Kane wonderfully well and is enjoying his football under Thomas Tuchel.

As well as regularly banging in the goals, he’s been European football’s undisputed dribble king.

9. Gerard Moreno – 8

The Villarreal striker endured a slow start to the season with just two goals in his first six appearances of 2023-24 in all competitions.

Moreno has since burst back into life by scoring in each of his last five La Liga outings for the Yellow Submarine – a feat arguably all the more impressive given that they’ve been faltering, winning just one of five matches in said run.

An injury scare kept him out of Spain’s most recent squad. Villarreal will be praying he’s fit and available when club football resumes.


8. Lois Openda – 9

RB Leipzig have a proven track record in recruiting excellent forwards and that has continued with 23-year-old Belgian forward Openda, signed from Lens in the summer.

He’s slotted in very nicely indeed for the Bundesliga club and has recently underlined his class with back-to-back braces against Darmstadt and Koln.

Don’t be surprised if he’s Leipzig’s next big money-spinning sale.

7. Mohamed Salah – 10

Liverpool’s Egyptian King has been a near ever-present in the European goalscoring charts since arriving at Anfield in 2017 – so it’s no surprise to see him feature here once more.

Salah has 10 goals in 12 Premier League appearances so far this season. Remarkable consistency.

6. Jude Bellingham – 10 

The England international scored in his first four La Liga appearances for Real Madrid and his contributions have been absolutely vital in Carlo Ancelotti’s side sitting pretty at the top of the table.

Bellingham failed to keep that run going as Madrid came from behind to beat Real Sociedad 2-1, but he’s continued to be one of their standout individuals. His 10 goals in his first 10 appearances in all competitions equalled Cristiano Ronaldo’s record-breaking start.

He only turned 20 and already he looks like a leader at the heart of Los Blancos’ midfield. Ridiculous.

Having just scored twice in a comeback win away to Barcelona, we’re reaching the point where it’s impossible to overhype Bellingham. He might just be the best player in the world.

READ: Jude Bellingham produced an El Clasico masterclass – he might genuinely be England’s greatest ever


5. Lautaro Martinez – 12

The Argentinian World Cup winner began the 2023-24 campaign by scoring both of Inter’s goals in a routine 2-0 win over Monza and added a third as Simone Inzaghi’s Nerazzurri went to Cagliari and won by the same scoreline.

He then scored twice against Fiorentina and surprisingly didn’t notch in the 5-1 Derby della Madonnina victory over AC Milan but was a menace throughout. A move to bring Romelu Lukaku back to the San Siro broke down after his flirtations with Juventus, but now it appears that Martinez is ready to be their out-and-out talisman up top.

At the end of September, Martinez underlined his status as one of Europe’s most in-form marksmen with a spellbinding four-goal, 35-minute cameo against Salernitana. Absolutely outrageous.

4. Erling Haaland – 13

The least surprising entry in the top 10, it’s a testament to Haaland’s ridiculously lethal quality that people have questioned whether he’s lost his touch while averaging a goal a game.

The Norwegian will surely claim the Premier League’s Golden Boot again, having already established a healthy lead in the top scorers’ chart with 13 goals in 12 appearances for Pep Guardiola’s reigning champions.

3. Kylian Mbappe – 13

Having registered a respectable average of 24 league goals a season for PSG since arriving from Monaco back in 2017, Mbappe has surprisingly only broken the 30-goal mark once (33 back in 2018-19) and is yet to claim a European Golden Shoe.

But Haaland has serious competition if he wants to retain the accolade from last season.

Now that Messi and Neymar have left, this season is Mbappe’s first in which he’s undoubtedly the main man at the Parc des Princes. Having scored 13 goals in 11 appearances that total 881 minutes, we have a feeling that this could be the year his numbers go truly stratospheric.

2. Serhou Guirassy – 15

A relatively lesser-known name, Guirassy signed for Stuttgart this summer after impressing there on loan from Rennes last season. He’s since taken his game to another level as surprise package Stuttgart have punched well above their weight to sit third in the Bundesliga table.

The 27-year-old Guinea international averaged a goal every other game in the German top flight last term and he’s bettering that ratio in 2023-24 so far with 15 goals in just nine games, notching in almost every outing so far.

No player on this list has a better goals-per-minute return. Not even…

1. Harry Kane – 17

The England captain has made a sensational start to life in Germany. He’s already scored more than any Bundesliga player managed last season and we’re yet to put up our Christmas trees.

It was only a couple of years back that Robert Lewandowski broke Gerd Muller’s long-held record of 40 league goals in a Bundesliga season, but Kane might genuinely be in with a shout of challenging that in his debut season. He’s already scored three hat-tricks.

Look at the way he ripped apart Borussia Dortmund and you get the sense there’ll be no stopping him.

READ NEXT: The highest-paid XI in European football in 2023-24: De Jong, Kane, Mbappe…

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