#9 Knowledge MusonaAdmittedly, players from smaller footballing nations are outsiders to clinch top-scorer awards in major tournaments, but Zimbabwe have such attacking quality going forward, that Musona deserves a mention. He bagged five goals during qualification—only two players scored more—and this was despite the Warriors being pooled in a tricky group. He dovetails superbly with Khama Billiat, and is certainly one to watch.
#8 Fiston Abdul Razak
One of the most underrated players in the African game today, Fiston scored four goals during the World Cup 2018 qualifying campaign, and followed that up with a further six as Burundi secured their first Afcon qualification this time around.
He’ll form part of an excellent forward line alongside Cedric Amissi and Saido Berahino, but just how far will Les Hirondelles go in the tournament proper?
#7 Percy Tau
Bafana Bafana have won many plaudits for their defensive solidity under Stuart Baxter, they conceded just two and kept four clean sheets during qualification, but in Tau, they also have an eye-catching attacking threat.
The versatile forward, who is a threat with his pace, movement and intelligence in possession, netted twice as South Africa edged past Libya at the weekend, and gives the national side a cutting edge.
#6 M’Baye Niang
Niang is the first of two Senegal players in this list, with the Teranga Lions the joint-third top scorers during qualification. The powerful attacker appears set to lead the line for Aliou Cisse’s side, where he’ll both run the lines effectively and represent physical threat. Plus, he’s sure to have ample support in the form of Sadio Mane, Ismaila Sarr and Keita Balde.
#5 Cedric Bakambu
If they can bounce back after a disappointing qualifying campaign, they’ll be contenders, and Bakambu, who scored 19 in 23 for Beijing Guoan, will be their primary goalscoring threat.
#4 Odion Ighalo
Ighalo has received his fair share of criticism from Nigeria fans, and endured a testing World Cup. Nonetheless, he has responded superbly, and ended the qualifying campaign as the top scorer across the whole of Africa.
Critically, five of his seven goals game in the decisive double-header against Libya, and considering Kelechi Iheanacho’s decline, he doesn’t have much competition to lead the line for the Super Eagles.
#3 Baghdad Bounedjah
The Algeria hitman, like a few others on this list, may play in a ‘lesser’ league, but he’s still first-choice for Les Fennecs, despite their wealth of attacking options.
He scored a ridiculous 60 goals during 2018—earning a spot in Goal’s African Team of the Year—and will have support from the likes of Riyad Mahrez, Adam Ounas, Sofiane Feghouli and Yacine Brahimi.
- Getty Images
#2 Sadio Mane
Mane is currently in the form of his life, and even though he’s not an out-and-out striker, must feature prominently among the potential golden boot candidates.
His pace and technique makes him a serious threat in Egypt.
#1 Mohamed Salah
Despite concerns about his current form, Salah has to be our pick as favourite for the golden boot…assuming this season doesn’t take too much out of him.
He was Africa's joint top scorer during the 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign, and his record-breaking goal return at Liverpool has been well-documented.
The forward currently has 17 goals in the Prem this season, following on from 32 last term. Home advantage should also help…