Premier League One-Season Wonders

In the minds of football fans, they have already decided how good a player is after seeing them for the first time. However, these initial thoughts have constantly been wrong down the years when they have claimed certain players are only a one-season wonder, and they won’t be able to match their achievements again the following season.

The most notable example of this was when fans began to question Harry Kane’s quality after scoring 23 goals in his debut Premier League season. Since then, he has gone onto become one of the world’s best strikers and a leader in most online sportsbook markets for the first scorer whenever he is on the pitch.

But not all lamented one season wonders have enjoyed the same sustained success.

Michu

The Spanish striker was an undoubted one-season wonder after making his £2 million move from Rayo Vallecano. In his debut season with Swansea, he made an immediate impact as he scored 18 goals in his 34 appearances in the Premier League.

 
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He also helped the Swans win their first-ever major trophy as he scored in the League Cup semi-final against Chelsea to set up a final date with Bradford City. His first season success saw him named as the club’s Player of the Year, as well as the fans’ Player of the Year.

His performances even caught the eye of Vicente del Bosque, and he was called up to the Spanish national squad where he made one appearance.

However, the following season was a fall from grace as he scored just two goals and ended the season being loaned out to Napoli. While in Italy he failed to make an impression due to consistent injury problems and upon his return to Swansea he was released.

After his release, he played for Langreo and Oviedo where he scored eleven goals over two seasons before he announced his retirement aged 31 in 2017.

Amr Zaki

The Egyptian striker arrived in the Premier League in 2008 on a loan deal with Wigan Athletic. He scored ten goals in his first season, which was a decent return since he had never played in any of Europe’s top leagues.

 
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However, he wasn’t exactly a one-season wonder; he was more a half-season wonder. All of his ten goals came in the first half of the season, and after a mid-season fixture with Newcastle United, only Nicolas Anelka and Robinho were ahead of him in the race for the golden boot.

The one goal that stands out for Zaki was an overhead kick that he scored for Wigan in a famous win over Liverpool at Anfield. However, following an African Cup of Nations qualifier Zaki refused to report back to training at the agreed time in April. Steve Bruce, who is currently Newcastle manager, branded him as one of the most unprofessional players that he has worked with, and he never played for the club again.

He did return to the Premier League a few seasons later with Hull City, but he failed to score a single goal in his five-month spell with the club. He returned to his native Egypt to play for five more years before retiring in 2015, having failed to reach his potential.

Michael Ricketts

When Bolton Wanderers were promoted into the Premier League for the 2001-02 season, Michael Ricketts was their main goalscoring option. After an impressive season in Division One where he scored 19 goals, he was expected to be a young starlet in the Premier League.

 

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He more than surpassed all expectations for Bolton, as he scored 15 goals by February, which also included a famous winner at Old Trafford against Manchester United. His form saw him earn a first call-up for England in 2002, as he joined the likes of Alan Shearer and Michael Owen in the squad.

However, this was ultimately his downfall as he played 45 minutes for England against the Netherlands before falling to find the net again for the remainder of the season. Similar to Bolton, who are in a downfall of their own too. Ricketts would score four goals in the following season before moving onto Middlesbrough, Preston North End and Oldham Atheltic. He never played another minute for England and announced his retirement in 2010 after having his contract cancelled by Tranmere Rovers.

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