Ronaldo, Higuain, Icardi, Immobile – Who will win Serie A's Capocannoniere race?

With Gonzalo Higuain and Cristiano Ronaldo lining up for new clubs, the race to be top goalscorer in Serie A could be enthralling.

Gonzalo Higuain, Mauro Icardi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Ciro Immobile   -  Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo's €112million move to Juventus from Real Madrid is good news for the casual Serie A fan, although it does not exactly level the playing field in terms of the title race.

One thing it does pretty much guarantee, though, is that we will have a new name in the race to finish as the top goalscorer in Italy's top flight next season.

The Capocannoniere prize has been keenly contested in recent years – the top scorers finished level in two of the last four seasons – but 2018-19 might just be the best contest in any of Europe's top leagues.

With the help of Opta, we assess some of the leading candidates for that famous trophy...

 

CRISTIANO RONALDO - JUVENTUS
League games last season: 27
League goals last season: 26

Ronaldo lost out to Lionel Messi in the race to finish top goalscorer in his final season in LaLiga, but his haul of 26 was still hugely impressive given he only managed four goals before the turn of the year.

Juve will need a bit of time to adjust to a system built around the 33-year-old, but, once firing on all cylinders, the four-time European Golden Shoe winner will take some beating.

GONZALO HIGUAIN - AC MILAN
League games last season: 35
League goals last season: 16

Winner of the prize in 2016, Higuain followed up 24 league goals in his first Juve season with a relatively modest 16 last term.

He will have a point to prove to Juve in particular after being moved on just two years on from his €90m move, though, and he plundered 36 Serie A goals for Napoli in a single season the last time he was in that sort of mindset.

CIRO IMMOBILE - LAZIO
League games last season: 33
League goals last season: 29

For any Bundesliga fans who watched him trudge his way through one tough season with Borussia Dortmund, the Immobile of Lazio must seem like an entirely different person.

He followed up 23 goals in 2016-17 with 29 last term to share the prize with Mauro Icardi, ending the season with a strike rate of a goal every 93 minutes.

DRIES MERTENS - NAPOLI
League games last season: 38
League goals last season: 18

Initially an emergency centre-forward after Higuain was sold and Arek Milik injured, Mertens became one of the most devastating goalscorers in the division under Maurizio Sarri at Napoli.

How he will fare under Carlo Ancelotti remains to be seen, but, with 46 Serie A goals in the last two seasons, it would take a brave person indeed to bet against the Belgian outscoring the rest.

ANDREA BELOTTI - TORINO
League games last season: 32
League goals last season: 10

Last season was not the best by Belotti's standards, although it did at least mean a break from the incessant stories about every club under the sun offering €100m to sign him.

If he stays at Toro for the coming campaign, the 24-year-old will be determined to recapture the form that saw him net 26 times in 2016-17.

 

MAURO ICARDI - INTER
League games last season: 34
League goals last season: 29

Inter, it seems, had a bit of a fight on their hands to keep Icardi throughout last season, but it certainly paid dividends.

With 29 goals in 34 games earning him a share of the top-scorer award – not to mention helping to secure a return to the Champions League – Icardi's ruthless form has shown few signs of abating.

EDIN DZEKO - ROMA
League games last season: 36
League goals last season: 16

He perhaps saved his best form for the Champions League, but a return of 16 goals in 36 games for a team that finished 18 points off the leaders is not to be sniffed at.

Dzeko will need bigger numbers to challenge for the award this season, but he hit 29 in 2016-17 – who is to say he will not do so again?

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