Plenty of strikers may have started a season in hot form over time and suddenly lost their scoring boots by Christmas, but Wayne Rooney looks well on course to break the Premier League record for the most goals in a campaign.
Rooney may have missed out on becoming the first player in Premier League history to score three successive hat-tricks when only finding the net once against Chelsea, but he has still registered nine goals in the opening five league games of the campaign.
Former Manchester United teammate Cristiano Ronaldo and all-time Premier League top scorer Alan Shearer jointly hold the record for the most goals in a 38-game season with 31 goals apiece.
But Rooney’s strike rate is currently ahead of both fellow strikers and the England international has already proven in the past that he has the stamina to keep finding the net regularly throughout a season.
In 1995/96 Shearer netted 31 goals for Blackburn, but had only managed four through the opening five games.
Meanwhile, Ronaldo enjoyed a slightly less impressive start to the 2007/08 season for Manchester United, failing to score in his first four appearances and getting sent off at Portsmouth.
Rooney’s previous Premier League best is 26 goals in the 2009/10, but he is in a current Manchester United team loaded with attacking talent.
Sir Alex Ferguson has already watched his team score 21 goals this season and the service to Rooney from the likes of Nani and Ashley Young seems unlikely to dry up anytime soon.
The fact that Rooney is almost certain to never be dropped, alongside being on both penalty and free-kick duties only enhance his chances of breaking the 31-goal mark further.
Rooney’s odds are currently 15/8 to win the Golden Boot this season.
However, Bobby Zamora scored five goals in the opening four games of the 2006/07 season and failed to get close to the Golden Boot, while Robinho opened the 2008/09 campaign with six goals in as many games for Manchester City.
These are two of the players to have proven in the past that it is quite easy to be among the goals early in a campaign, but maintaining this is a far more difficult objective.