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Football Reporting

Barcelona

In search of the new Pichichi


Lionel Messi has left a void at Barcelona, but also in LaLiga Santander. The Argentine’s exit means that, for the first time in five years, Spanish football will have a new Pichichi this season.

But who will it be? There are a number of candidates for the award, and we’ve taken a close look at the most likely 10.

Karim Benzema

Pros

He is the favourite, and he has been the best of the mere mortals in the three seasons since Cristiano Ronaldo left Real Madrid, surpassing the 20-goal barrier in each.

Cons

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His return to the France setup means that he won’t be able to enjoy the rest he had been afforded during previous seasons.

Gerard Moreno

Pros

He has earned his place on the list, and he has been the third top goalscorer in each of the last two seasons, with 18 and 23 goals. You could even say he was better than Benzema, averaging 0.77 goals per game to the Frenchman’s 0.71.

Cons

We still have to see if he has hit the peak of his powers yet, or if the Champions League commitments will take their toll.

Luis Suarez

Pros

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Another who can not be overlooked. The No.9 is the only player on this list to have won the Pichichi before, and he has shown already at Atletico Madrid that he can still make the difference.

Cons

This could be the season that sees him slow down a little more, and he’ll likely have to share the goals out with Antoine Griezmann as well.

Antoine Griezmann

Pros

He’s back where he played his best football, and should do far better than the 13 he managed in a disappointing season last term. Diego Simeone knows how to manage him.

Cons

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Comebacks don’t usually go as planned, and Atletico are no longer built around him, particularly with Luis Suarez now the main man up top. It remains to be seen how the fans will welcome him.

Iago Aspas

Pros

He’s the soul of Celta Vigo, and everything they do in an attacking sense revolves around him.

Cons

Playing for a team not competing at the top of the table makes it hard to guarantee goals, and Aspas hasn’t been at his best in front of goal for a while now, scoring just six times in 2021.

Memphis Depay

Pros

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He’s in fine form already this season, and he hit 20 last term with Lyon. Without Messi, there’s a burden that needs to be carried and Ronald Koeman will want him to do it.

Cons

He’s not a natural goalscorer, so it won’t be a surprise to see his current scoring rate drop off.

Alexander Isak

Pros

He ended last season with 17 goals after an explosive campaign, he plays in an attack-minded team that is built to provide him.

Cons

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Injuries could weight him down. They played their part last season, and he’s not a penalty taker either.

Youssef En-Nesyri

Pros

He showed how lethal he can be last season, and he already has two goals this term. He’s a good finisher and could be Sevilla’s main man.

Cons

Last season might have been a once-off. He performed at such a high level that it won’t be easily repeated.

Borja Iglesias

Pros

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He has made a big jump at Real Betis, hitting a hot streak of form in the second half of the season. On form, he’s hard to stop.

Cons

He’s inconsistent, just like Betis. He might have a fight on his hands with Willian Jose as well.

Gareth Bale

Pros

He has never been a top scorer, but he should start a lot with Carlo Ancelotti and he has a coach who understands him. He scored 11 times for Tottenham last season without playing a lot.

Cons

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Injuries. It’s always injuries with Bale and his goalscoring contribution has been declining in recent seasons.





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