Manchester United and Chelsea have announced themselves as serious challengers for both the Premier League title and Champions League with the signings of Romelu Lukaku and Alvaro Morata respectively. But who will score the more goals this season?
Romelu Lukaku has scored double figures in all five of his Premier League campaigns – one on loan at West Brom and the latter four with Everton, where the initial season was also spent on loan from Chelsea.
The Belgian striker has come into his own over the past two seasons, scoring a very impressive 43 goals in 74 Premier League games combined for the Toffees. When he wasn’t as prolific during the 2014-15 campaign (10 goals in 36 appearances), Everton finished 11th.
Everton were reliant on Lukaku’s goals again this past season as Ross Barkley (6) was the only other player to score more than four in the league. Only three other Premier League players had more efforts on goal than the 6’3″ striker did at Everton last season. With the creative players United currently have, there’s no reason why he won’t repeat his goalscoring form at Old Trafford. In fact, he might even see more opportunities!
Alvaro Morata had been linked to Manchester United earlier in the summer before they landed their new £75 million hitman. The Spaniard has found his way to Stamford Bridge instead, having seemingly not liked playing the backup role to Karim Benzema at Real Madrid.
Earlier this summer Diego Costa had revealed that Blues boss Antonio Conte had told him that he was no longer in his plans. The 28-year-old has since been spotted partying in an Atletico Madrid shirt – his former club and one who are strongly linked with re-signing him.
However, Atleti are currently under a transfer embargo until January, meaning that if they were to sign the Brazilian-born Spanish international this summer, he wouldn’t be eligible to play until the New Year. With the upcoming season being a World Cup year it would be a bold move for Costa to make that move.
Still, if he’s not in Conte’s plans there’s certainly no reason why the Italian manager would need to play Costa if Chelsea are unable to sell him. The tactician prefers to play a lone striker with a forward either side of him. Morata is almost-certainly his first choice, and Conte has Michy Batshuayi as his backup.
Alvaro Morata was given limited starting opportunities under Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid, despite the French manager being in charge of the club when they re-signed him last summer. The 24-year-old was still able to score 15 goals in 26 La Liga appearances (14 starts) and a further three in 167 minutes of Champions League action. He also scored three goals in four matches for Spain at Euro 2016.
Both players have a proven pedigree but Romelu Lukaku is the only one to have done it in the Premier League previously, and scored double figures in five consecutive seasons. Whether Morata can handle the Premier League remains to be seen. However, I find him to be an intelligent striker who is capable of scoring with both feet and his head.
With the likes of Eden Hazard, Pedro, Willian and Cesc Fabregas creating chances for him, I expect Morata to be among the Premier League top goalscorers this season too.