13 of the Premier League's biggest one-season wonders


The Premier League is quite possibly the toughest division in the world.

Plenty of highly-rated strikers have arrived in England and struggled to make much of an impact - Andriy Shevchenko and Radamel Falcao, to name but two. 

Then there are others who have hit the ground running in their first season, only for the goals to dry up in the next campaign. 

Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane were both dismissed as "one-season wonders" after 2015/16 and both strikers have proven their critics wrong. 

Tottenham fans even love to sing "He's just a one-season wonder" when Kane achieves one of his many milestones. 

It just goes to show players shouldn't be written off too quickly - except in the cases of the following, as GIVEMESPORT looks at the biggest flashes in the Premier League pan. 

Robinho | Manchester City | 2008/09 

It's fair to say that when Manchester City first got their money, they hadn't a clue what to do with it. In 2008, Robinho became the club's record signing despite wrongly believing he was joining Manchester United. No wonder he fizzled out pretty quickly after netting 15 memorable goals, including a fine free-kick against Chelsea on his league debut. 

Manchester City v FC Twente - UEFA Cup

Amr Zaki | Wigan | 2008/09

It's strange to think everyone was raving about Zaki when he only netted 10 goals, but they did come in only 16 games. There were comparisons with Lionel Messi and links to Real Madrid, before he ended up at Hull and failed to score. In the final six years of his career after leaving the Latics, the striker scored a grand total of three goals and played for seven different clubs. Los Blancos probably dodged a bullet. 

Wigan Athletic v Fulham - Premier League

Benni McCarthy | Blackburn Rovers | 2006/07 

Having first impressed under Jose Mourinho at Porto and won the Champions League, the South African was sure to be a hit in England. And he was, for a time. In the 2006/07 season, he outscored Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, and another new arrival in English football, Tottenham's Dimitar Berbatov. Just two shy of Golden Boot winner Didier Drogba with 18 goals, the striker couldn't keep it up. 

Blackburn Rovers v Middlesbrough

Roque Santa Cruz | Blackburn Rovers | 2007/08

Ewood Park habitually churned out these one-season wonders back when Blackburn were a top 10 Premier League side. The Paraguayan had a ratio of a goal every two games, but in his second season, he only scored nine times in 27 appearances. Bizarrely, it was then that City paid £17.5million for him, before sending him on loan to Malaga, Real Betis, and ultimately back to Blackburn. 

Blackburn Rovers' Paraguayan forward Roq

Benjani | Portsmouth | 2007/08

Just like the man above, Benjani's career went downhill once he headed to the Etihad, a move he apparently didn't even want to make. All 12 of his league goals for Portsmouth were followed by his superb, pointy celebration. Pompey fared pretty well too, winning the FA Cup with a squad featuring David James, Sol Campbell, Sulley Muntari, Kanu and - Harry Redknapp was in charge, so naturally, - Niko Krancjar. 

Portsmouth v Bolton Wanderers - Barclays Premier League

Michu | Swansea | 2012/13

Look up 'one-season wonder' in the dictionary and Michu's name will be next to it. The Spaniard is already retired at the age of 33. A pity when he once ranked alongside Robin van Persie, Luis Suarez, and Gareth Bale in the goalscoring charts. 


Andy Johnson | Crystal Palace | 2004/05

Johnson went toe-to-toe with eventual Golden Boot winner Thierry Henry with 21 goals. Sadly, it wasn't enough to save the Eagles from hurtling back to the second tier on the final day of the season.  If anything, though, that made his exploits more impressive as he was banging in the goals for a newly-promoted club, while Henry was surrounded by Invincibles. To be fair to AJ, he actually did OK at Everton, Fulham, and QPR, but he was never quite the top striker we'd all envisaged. 

Crystal Palace v Wolverhampton Wanderers

Asamoah Gyan | Sunderland | 2010/11

Gyan was Sunderland's record signing and repaid his fee with 11 goals. Interest from elsewhere began to turn his head and Steve Bruce was forced to loan him out to Al Ain, where he once again scored for fun. 

Stoke City v Sunderland - Premier League

Mido | Tottenham Hotspur | 2005/06

Martin Jol was impressed with the Egyptian's work alongside Robbie Keane and Jermain Defoe during his loan spell from Roma and his move was made permanent. Mido was an instant hit with Spurs fans too after describing their arch hate-figure Sol Campbell as "one of the easiest defenders I have played against". He didn't seem to enjoy playing against many other Premier League defenders, though, and he ended up at Barnsley, via Middlesbrough and Wigan. 

Tottenham Hotspur's Mido celebrates afte

Papiss Cisse | Newcastle United | 2011/12

Cisse is best remembered for his wonder goal against Chelsea, as well as his impressive partnership with Demba Ba. He hit 13 goals for the Magpies in 2011/2 but didn't get the big move that his striking buddy enjoyed. He made the headlines more recently when The Sun ran a story claiming he had two wives. 

Newcastle United v Chelsea - Premier League

Michael Ricketts | Bolton Wanderers | 2001/02

Hear us out, kids, because Bolton's squad used to be absolutely class, all under the stewardship of Sam Allardyce. Michael Ricketts helped to get them into the Premier League and then scored 15 goals by mid-January. That form earned him an England call-up, after which he scored nine goals in three years. 

Michael Ricketts and Chris Powell

Jon Stead | Blackburn Rovers | 2003/04

It seemed like the world and his wife were competing to sign the striker from Huddersfield, but it was Blackburn who came up with the £1million needed to procure him from the Terriers. Since then, he's become the ultimate journeyman, playing for - wait for it - Sunderland, Derby, Sheffield United, Ipswich, Coventry, Bristol City, Huddersfield again, Oldham, Bradford, Notts County and finally, Harrogate Town. 

Blackburn Rovers v Manchester United

Marcus Stewart | Ipswich | 2000/01

Ipswich came fifth in 2001, in large part thanks to Marcus Stewart's 19 goals. He was on a mission to win the Golden Boot but was pipped to the award by Chelsea's Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink.

Michael Carrick, Marcus Stewart

Nobody likes to see players' careers evaporate into nothing, especially when they looked capable of so much more.

It's just testament to the difficulty of the Premier League that it's so hard to make a lasting impact. 

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