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Danny Ings on the charge as race for Premier League golden boot heats up

Golden boot

The race for the Premier League’s Golden Boot is hotting up after Southampton’s Danny Ings struck twice against Watford on Sunday to move within one of leader Jamie Vardy.

Here, the PA news agency looks at the leading contenders.

Jamie Vardy, Leicester (19 goals)

PA Graphic

PA Graphic

The hero of Leicester’s stunning 2016 title success enjoyed an outstanding first half of the season, netting 13 goals in a blistering 10-game run through the autumn. He was even being tipped for player of the year honours but form has dipped since, with just two goals in 10 league games.

Danny Ings, Southampton (18)

The move to St Mary’s has rejuvenated Ings’ career after his injury-ravaged spell at Liverpool. The 27-year-old has enjoyed a consistent season, adding a cutting edge to a side that made a slow start to the season. He has scored three goals in three games since the competition resumed.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Arsenal (17)

Aubameyang's last Premier League goal came in February

Aubameyang’s last Premier League goal came in February (John Walton/PA)

The Gabon striker finished joint-top with Liverpool pair Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane on 22 last season and made a stunning start this term with seven goals in the opening seven games. He has remained the Gunners’ chief threat but, amid speculation about his future, has not scored since the restart.

Mohamed Salah, Liverpool (17)

Salah has been one of the key factors in Liverpool's title success

Salah has been one of the key factors in Liverpool’s title success (Martin Rickett/PA)

The Egyptian, who won the Golden Boot outright with 32 goals in 2017-18, continues to cut in from the right of the Reds’ attack to devastating effect. Looking refreshed, he scored in the 4-0 thrashing of Crystal Palace last week and, with the title now confirmed, the reins could come off altogether.

Others

Martial scored a hat-trick against Sheffield United last week

Martial scored a hat-trick against Sheffield United last week (Michael Steele/NMC Pool)

Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero (16) looks to be out of the reckoning due to injury but Wolves forward Raul Jimenez (15), the aforementioned Mane (15) and Manchester United pair Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford (both 14) may still have a chance.