Is Kylian Mbappé’s Golden Boot record under threat?

“Sooner or later, we have to get used to playing without Kylian Mbappé.” Could this phrase, spouted with increasing regularity by Paris Saint-Germain manager Luís Enrique, put pay to Mbappé’s chances of winning the Ligue 1 Golden Boot this season? 

Mbappé has won the Golden Boot in each of the last five Ligue 1 seasons, including one season in which he shared the accolade with AS Monaco’s Wissam Ben Yedder (2019/20). 

Despite missing the opening game of the Ligue 1 season, against FC Lorient, due to being ostracised by PSG’s hierarchy, it didn’t take long for Mbappé to hit the front in the race for the Golden Boot. With 21 goals in just 23 games, the France captain is still the overwhelming favourite, however, his announced departure could put a spanner in the works. 

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Since informing Nasser Al-Khelaifi that he would leave the club upon the expiry of his contract at the end of the season, Mbappé has been used sparingly in Ligue 1. He came off the bench to score against FC Nantes at the start of February; he was then substituted without scoring against Stade Rennais and AS Monaco, coming off at half-time against the latter. 

Mbappé then didn’t start against Stade de Reims on Sunday, coming on with just 17 minutes to go and failing to get on the scoresheet as Les Parisiens went on to draw 2-2. With just one goal in his last four games, his charge towards the Golden Boot is stalling. 

David and Aubameyang close the gap to Mbappé

Meanwhile, other prolific strikers have entered purple patches. Having scored just one goal in his opening 12 Ligue 1 games for Olympique de Marseille, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has five in his last three. He is now on 11 for the season in Ligue 1, one behind Alexandre Lacazette, who like Olympique Lyonnais, has been revived since the turn of the year. 

However, the biggest threat is arguably Lille OSC’s Jonathan David. The Canadian striker was sorely lacking in form earlier in the campaign, with LOSC’s president, Olivier Létang stating in November that it would be good for the forward to go away on international duty in order to rediscover his confidence. 

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And rediscover it he did. David has eight goals in his last six games in Ligue 1 and 14 overall for the season. He is now the top scorer in Europe’s top five leagues in all competitions in 2024, with an incredible 14 goals, one more than Mbappé. However, unlike Mbappé, the Lille forward is almost guaranteed to start all games between now and the end of the season. David, Aubameyang, Lacazette and co. have a gap to close to Mbappé, but it is perhaps not an insurmountable gap. 

GFFN | Luke Entwistle

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