Eddie Howe is interested in reuniting with his former Bournemouth star Dominic Solanke at Newcastle United, so how have Championship top-scorers fared in the Premier League?
Solanke ended the 2021/22 regular second-tier term second to record-breaker Aleksandar Mitrovic in the Golden Boot race. The forward hit 29 goals across his 46 games to help the Cherries seal promotion, while Mitrovic fired Fulham to the title with 43 from 44 matches.
Three players in Blackburn Rovers’ Ben Brereton Diaz, Bristol City’s Andreas Weimann and Swansea City’s Joel Piroe shared third-place in the scoring charts this season with 22 each. They, plus Mitrovic and Solanke, were the only Championship stars to offer in excess of 20.
Howe interested in Solanke reunion with Newcastle raid on Bournemouth
Now, Howe is examining strengthening his Newcastle attack and is interested in a summer transfer swoop for Bournemouth striker Solanke. That’s according to Jeunes Footeux, who report the Toon boss is keen to sign an upgrade on his £25m January signing Chris Wood.
Solanke is among Howe’s top-targets should Newcastle step up their interest in signing an attacker following Bournemouth’s promotion as runners-up. However, the Cherries would demand at least £38.5m to part with the 24-year-old they signed from Liverpool for £19m.
Bournemouth’s asking price does not scare the Magpies hierarchy off, with Wood scarcely offering a goal threat so far. Howe also praised Solanke greatly during their time together, having raided Anfield for the one-cap England international during the January 2019 sales.
“He’s an outstanding athlete, an outstanding player technically, tactically,” Howe told the Daily Echo in 2020. “I’ve said it many times, and people are probably bored of me saying it, but I think he’s going to be an outstanding player for this football club in the future.”
So, with Howe now interested in reuniting with Solanke at Newcastle, how have the recent Championship top-scorers who have made the step up to the Premier League fared in the top-flight for the Bournemouth striker to possibly replicate or hope to avoid on Tyneside?
Armstrong struggles show challenge Newcastle face amid Solanke interest
Ivan Toney won the 2020/21 Championship Golden Boot after hitting 31 goals as Brentford finished third before winning the play-offs. The striker had only joined the Bees in the 2020 summer market, as well, after leaving Peterborough in a £5m deal that could rise to £10m.
Premier League point duty has rarely been a tall order for the 26-year-old, who has hit the back of the net against Aston Villa, Wolves (twice), Newcastle, Everton, Manchester United and West Ham. He also struck a hat-trick away to Norwich and a brace at home to Burnley.
Thomas Frank has also enjoyed seeing Toney assist against Wolves, Liverpool, Chelsea and West Ham. But Southampton have not relished Adam Armstrong’s input since signing him from Blackburn Rovers in August for £15m after finishing second in the Golden Boot chase.
Armstrong hit 28 Championship goals despite Blackburn finishing the 2020/21 campaign in just 15th-place. Yet the 25-year-old has struggled to give the same dynamic impact on the south coast, having only scored at Everton in August and against Aston Villa in November.
Mitrovic clinched Championship Golden Boot award from Watkins in 2019/20
Mitrovic fired Fulham to promotion via the play-offs in the 2019/20 campaign after ending the regular season with the Championship Golden Boot award secured. The Serbian struck home 26 goals over 40 games, but could only then hit three in 27 Premier League outings.
His efforts in the 2020/21 top-flight term saw the Cottagers relegated back to the second-tier. Mitrovic also only started 13 of his appearances, while Ollie Watkins – who finished in second for the Golden Boot with 25 goals – enjoyed solid success after joining Aston Villa.
The Villans raided Brentford for Watkins in what was a club-record £28m transfer, rising to £33m after add-ons. He would hit 14 goals and offer eight assists during the 26-year-old’s debut top-flight campaign, including Watkins scoring a hat-trick to help beat Liverpool 7-2.
Pukki edges Maupay and Abraham for 2018/19 Golden Boot for Championship title
Norwich enjoyed promotion to the Premier League as Championship champions during the 2018/19 season, as Teemu Pukki edged Tammy Abraham and Neal Maupay for the Golden Boot award. He scored 29 times, to the Aston Villa and Brentford stars’ hauls of 25 apiece.
Maupay’s efforts secured the Bees ace a £16m move to Brighton that year, while Abraham returned to parent club Chelsea. All three then hit Premier League goals, as Pukki followed his second-tier haul for 11, Maupay gave the Seagulls 10 and Abraham hit 15 for the Blues.
Vydra flying high with Derby in 2017/18 before flopping at Burnley
Matej Vydra was flying high with Derby in the 2017/18 season to clinch the Championship Golden Boot award. The forward hit home 21 times before sealing a last-ditch £11m move to Burnley that August. But the 30-year-old has never justified the fee spent at Turf Moor.
The Czech Republic international offered just one Premier League goal in 13 appearances during the 2018/19 term. His record barely improved in year two with two goals across 19 games, year three with three goals in 28 outings or year four with two goals in 22 fixtures.
Leon Clarke, meanwhile, had finished second to Vydra for the Championship Golden Boot. But his Sheffield United haul did not lead to Premier League football until 2019/20, when he made just two outings and failed to score before joining Wigan on loan that January.
Wood enjoyed prolific Leeds campaign ahead of Newcastle’s Gayle in 2016/17
While Wood has struggled to score regularly since joining Newcastle from Burnley in the January 2022 market, he enjoyed a prolific campaign with Leeds during the 2016/17 term. The New Zealander struck 27 goals to merit an August transfer to Turf Moor worth £15m.
Wood enjoyed instant success in claret-and-blue, scoring 10 goals during his maiden top-flight campaign under Sean Dyche. His haul included scoring at Tottenham on debut, while hitting the back of the net against West Ham (three) Everton and Leicester, among others.
The 30-year-old’s second-tier record also eclipsed Dwight Gayle’s haul of 23 that helped to secure Newcastle the 2016/17 Championship title. United raided Crystal Palace to sign the striker for £10m under Rafa Benitez in 2016, but he has never been a Premier League star.
Gayle has so far made 80 top-flight appearances with the Toon across four seasons, while spending 2018/19 back in the Championship on loan with West Brom. The 32-year-old has additionally only scored 11 Premier League goals, including just one in his last 25 outings.
Howe, then, would hope Solanke follows the likes of Watkins and Abraham more so than Gayle if Newcastle step up his interest in reuniting with the Bournemouth striker this year.