Timo Werner, Paco Alcacer, Robert Lewandowski or somebody else? The race to finish as top scorer looks set to be an intriguing one in 2019/20. - © DFL
Timo Werner, Paco Alcacer, Robert Lewandowski or somebody else? The race to finish as top scorer looks set to be an intriguing one in 2019/20. - © DFL
bundesliga

Robert Lewandowski and the players who could dethrone him as the Bundesliga's top scorer

Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski may have won a fourth Torjägerkanone as the Bundesliga's top scorer last season, but he will be in no hurry to relinquish his crown in 2019/20. We run the rule over the candidates vying for top spot….

Robert Lewandowski

Club: Bayern Munich
Age: 30
Goals last season: 22

The Bundesliga's record foreign-born goalscorer goes into the campaign with 202 league strikes to his name, having hit the target at least 20 times in seven of his nine years in Germany. With Bayern among the favourites for the title once again, Lewy will be the man to beat in the scoring charts.

Watch: ALL 22 of Lewandowski's goals from 2018/19!

Paco Alcacer

Club: Borussia Dortmund
Age: 25
Goals last season: 18

It is testament to Alcacer's incredible quality that he scored 18 times in a stop-start debut Bundesliga season hampered by recurring muscular injuries. The 25-year-old only made 11 starts following his move from Barcelona but still hit a league record 12 goals from the substitute's bench. With a long summer break to recharge the batteries and a full pre-season to ensure peak fitness, just imagine what the Spaniard is capable of in 2019/20…

Paco Alcacer broke the Bundesliga record for most goals by a substituted played in a season. - 2019 DFL

Kai Havertz

Club: Bayer Leverkusen
Age: 20
Goals last season: 17

Havertz was already considered an extraordinary player even before he took his game to another level last season. From his position in attacking midfield, the youngster finished as the club's top scorer with 17 goals – the first teenager in Bundesliga history to reach such a tally - and his form was such that it persuaded Joachim Löw to make him a full Germany international. Now 20 and one of the most feared attackers in Europe, Havertz is one of the players to watch this term.

"Is that a 20-goal season I see in the distance?" - Kai Havertz will be targeting an even more impressive season with Bayer Leverkusen in 2019/20. - Lukas Schulze/Bundesliga/DFL

Marco Reus

Club: Borussia Dortmund
Age: 30
Goals last season: 17

Following a couple of years of rotten luck with injuries, Reus was back at his absolute best in 2018/19. The Dortmund captain spearheaded his side's title tilt as they ran eventual champions Bayern close to the wire, and his return of 17 goals (scored in 27 league appearances) was his second-best ever. "The closer to the end of my career I come, the more intense the focus is on [winning the title]," said the Germany star, who turned 30 in May. A fit, firing and highly motivated Reus can only be bad news for defenders.

Watch: Reus' skills and tricks

Andrej Kramaric

Club: Hoffenheim
Age: 28
Goals last season: 17

The Croatian forward enjoyed his most prolific-ever season in one of Europe's top five leagues, netting 17 times for a Hoffenheim side that narrowly missed out on Europa League qualification in 2018/19. A regular scorer, he never went more than three games without finding the target, and is also a reliable penalty taker, converting five of the six he took last term. His partnership with Ishak Belfodil, who scored 16 Bundesliga goals last season, will be key in the team's renewed push for European qualification.

Andrej Kramaric is already Hoffenheim's leading scorer in the club's Bundesliga history. - imago images / Sportfoto Rudel

Wout Weghorst

Club: Wolfsburg
Age: 26
Goals last season: 17

The 6'6" Dutchman enjoyed a remarkable maiden Bundesliga season following his arrival at Wolfsburg from AZ Alkmaar. His haul of 17 goals and seven assists not only helped fire the Wolves into the Europa League, it also earned him a contract extension to keep him at the Volkswagen Arena until 2023. New head coach Oliver Glasner has stated he wants to implement a fast-paced, proactive style of play, so expect to see the 26-year-old forward among the goals again.

A debut season for the Dutchman to remember - Wolfsburg have a new star striker with Wout Weghorst. - 2019 Getty Images

Timo Werner
Club: RB Leipzig
Age: 23
Goals last season: 16

On the face of it, you might think Timo Werner would be a touch disappointed with his tally of 16 league goals in 2018/19, having hit 21 two seasons previously. Yet those numbers do not tell the full story. The Germany international added versatility to his already considerable arsenal, often playing as a wide attacker rather than an out-and-out forward – and contributed a personal-best seven assists for good measure. With the shrewd hand of Julian Nagelsmann at the wheel this term, the 23-year-old will be more unpredictable than ever, especially with strike partner Yussuf Poulsen looking increasingly ruthless (15 goals last season).

Watch: Werner's Bundesliga Mixtape!

Jean-Philippe Mateta

Club: Mainz
Age: 22
Goals last season: 14

Jean-Philippe Mateta has to be one of the unsung heroes of 2018/19. The French striker joined Mainz after scoring 17 goals in Ligue 2 the previous campaign, and with only two top-flight games for former employers Lyon to his name. Did his lack of experience show? Not one iota! Mateta plundered 14 goals, serving up a hat-trick in a 5-0 rout of Freiburg and a brace against Fortuna Düsseldorf to help the 05ers secure their top-tier status with four games to spare - as the first Frenchman in Bundesliga history to reach 14 debut-season goals at that! Hakuna Mateta - Mainz will be hoping it ain't no passing craze...

How many times will Mainz's Jean-Philippe Mateta be taking home the match-ball next season? - imago images / Marcel Lorenz

Luca Waldschmidt

Club: Freiburg
Age: 23
Goals last season: 9

The Freiburg attacker flew somewhat under the radar last season – Nils Petersen has long been the main man up front for Christian Streich's side – and made just 16 starts. Nevertheless, Waldschmidt still managed to rustle Bundesliga nets nine times. He served further notice of his goalscoring instincts over the summer, smashing in seven for Germany at the UEFA U21 EURO in Italy to claim the top scorer's crown. The wind very much in his sails as a result, expect the youngster to hit the ground running in the new campaign.

Can Luca Waldschmidt bring his incredible form with the Germany U21's to the Bundesliga with Freiburg this season? - imago images / DeFodi

Alfred Finnbogason

Club: Augsburg
Age: 30
Goals last season: 10

Augsburg's Iceland international was sidelined for 16 league games in 2018/19 through a series of minor injuries, but he still scored 10 times from 17 starts to help the side steer clear of relegation trouble. Deadly at penalties – he converted all four spot-kicks he took last term – Finnbogason is a classic poacher who comes alive in the opposition area.

Fitness has been the only problem for Augsburg's "ice-man" when it comes to scoring goals. - © imago/DeFodi