The race for the Golden Boot is over.
And, while it turned out to be a fairy-tale first Premier League season for Liverpool‘s Mohamed Salah, there were a few other names in the top five trying to catch the Egyptian forward. Harry Kane being not far behind.
The video below shows who made it to the top five list for the prestigious golden boot. And well, there’s quite a few familiar names in there.
Check it out!
Hughes arrived at St Mary’s in March on a short-term contract and took eight points from as many games to help Saints avoid relegation on the final day of the season.
With his existing deal set to expire, the Welshman is unsure what his future holds but would like the chance to build something on the south coast.
“I’ve come in here, been able to make an impact,” said Hughes.
“It’s a good club, I’m a professional football manager, I would love the opportunity. We’ll have to wait and see.
“I would imagine the club have had discussions, not this week or the last week, probably ever since I walked through the door in terms of what they would do. There were two scenarios: if we went down or we stayed up.
“In my view they will make a quick decision one way or the other.
“If it involves me, I will delighted but I was given a short-term contract to come and do a job and that’s what I’ve done.”
Former striker Hughes, who played for Southampton from 1998 to 2000, lost his opening three league games after succeeding the sacked Mauricio Pellegrino but took eight points from the next four to all but secure safety going into Sunday’s season finale.
Only an improbable swing in goal difference could have consigned Saints to the Championship on the final weekend and, despite a dramatic 1-0 loss to champions Manchester City, a defeat for relegation rivals Swansea meant their top flight status was never severely threatened.
Hughes, sacked by relegated Stoke in January, maintained his record of never having taken a club down and said he risked harming his reputation by taking charge of Saints.
“From my point of view, I came in, difficult circumstances. It could have gone wrong, maybe personally,” he said.
“But the motivation was never to get back on the horse, so to speak. It was the fact that I’d played at this club and I knew it was a good opportunity.
“I looked at the squad and thought they need maybe a little bit of direction, they’ve lost confidence; still the risk, from my point of view, in terms of representational damage, if it went wrong.
“But I walked through the door and straight away I knew there was a group I could work with and maybe make better and get them out of this situation.”
Everton majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri and Bill Kenwright are expected to meet under-pressure manager Sam Allardyce on Wednesday in London to address a tough season for the Toffees.
Sunday’s ghastly 3-1 defeat at West Ham compounded the doom and gloom around the Blues as Everton finished eighth in the Premier League – a far cry from their lowly position just above the relegation zone when Allardyce took the hotseat in November 2017 – but, nevertheless, a disgruntled fan base have grown fed up of the supposed negativity Big Sam brings to the table.
The lacklustre nature of performances, particularly away from home, defensive frailties (Everton conceded 58 league goals over the course of the campaign – the most since 2000-01) and team selection have all added to the chorus of support against Allardyce, with the Wayne Rooney MLS saga being the icing on the cake.
There are, though, many who feel Evertonians are being too cutthroat given that the 63-year-old did the job asked of him. Allardyce, himself, still has 12 months to run on his £6-million-a-year Merseyside deal.
Here, we look at five managers who could come in and replace the ex-England boss if he is given the sack.
The man the Blues tried to get but failed last October. In the end, their pursuit – which would have seen the Toffees shell out up to £10m to prise him away from Watford – was a disaster.
Talk of a move disrupted the stellar job the Portuguese was doing at Vicarage Road. Indeed, his plight really went off the rails as the Hornets registered just a single win in 11 matches and he was shown the door – with Everton taking plenty of the blame – in January.
Silva has been out of work since but is still high up Moshiri’s wishlist given he is young (40 years of age) and plays a brand of easy-on-the-eye football that could appease supporters.
Given West Ham have also emerged as contenders to land Silva, Moshiri and Co will need to move quickly for arguably their No1 target.
The Bournemouth boss was a Blue growing up and has been linked with the job often in the past, especially when Ronald Koeman got the sack. But, having steered the Cherries to another competitive 12th-place berth, the future looks pretty rosy down on the south coast.
Howe is a messiah there and the club is in his blood, with promise of more funds to strengthen and build on their longest-ever stay in the top-flight (three seasons*).
The question for Howe is when does he take that next step? Whenever that question is raised, it seems to do a disservice to Bournemouth, but his ambition is surely higher than settling for mid-table?
Many would argue Everton is not a significant step up, at the moment, but if Moshiri backs Howe with finances, then that coupled with the overall size of the two clubs in comparison, makes it night and day.
A move to Everton could indeed provide Howe with a springboard to a top five side. Bournemouth, however, would be unlikely to allow him the opportunity to leave just yet.
A man with no Premier League experience but nonetheless a name with star quality and a habit of winning trophies – something Everton have lacked in a manager since their last silverware success way back in 1995.
Fonseca has recently secured back-to-back Ukrainian Premier League titles with giants Shakhtar Donetsk, winning the double this season and the treble in his maiden term last year. Known for having an astute tactical knowledge and thorough understanding of the intricacies of European football, the 45-year-old is a viable option.
Moshiri had previously targeted the ex-Braga boss in October and would be sensible to sound him out again, though this does smack of a Frank de Boer-esque scenario particularly if he was appointed and unable to get his ideas across quickly.
Shakhtar would require a hefty sum of at least £15 million compensation while he has no shortage of other admirers, so Everton may not even be on his radar whatsoever.
A proper long shot but a rumour which has had a few legs in the tabloids. At 68, Wenger is unlikely to want to commit to a long-term project nor sees Everton as a viable option.
Financially, Moshiri’s millions may pose some attraction but even his wallet could not convince the Frenchman to take on a job where significant surgery is needed and a complete overhaul of a playing squad, despite the Toffees’ near £200m investment last summer.
Add in other factors like settling in a new part of England, the grind of the Premier League and the emotion of his Arsenal farewell, plus the fact he has had no shortage of other lucrative and more appealing offers, then this is a no-go.
Surely international football beckons for the three-time Premier League winner ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
A manager whose stock is pretty high at the moment after he guided Porto, in his maiden season, to their first Primeira Liga title since 2013.
The 43-year-old former Portugal winger, who enjoyed a decent playing career in Serie A, would bring an attractive style of football while he has often worked on small budgets in the past – a factor that could be the opposite at Goodison Park.
Conceicao’s current salary is low, compared to equivalent pay in the Premier League, but it’s doubtful he would join the Merseysiders purely on financial grounds. He has the Champions League to look forward to next season and a chance to establish the Portugal giants as a strong force again, so don’t expect him to be leaving just yet despite the speculation.