Ranking the 5 biggest one-season wonders in Premier League history

Swansea City v FC Petrolul Ploiesti - UEFA Europa League Play-Offs: First Leg
Swansea City v FC Petrolul Ploiesti - UEFA Europa League Play-Offs: First Leg
Nikhil Krishna

A one-season wonder is a cruel moniker given to players who have had a bright flash for just a season. They hit their peak performance before they sadly faded away to normalcy, or in some cases, even worse in terms of ability. The Premier League, in its almost 30 year existence, has had a number of greats including Thierry Henry, Cristiano Ronaldo, Steven Gerrard and Sergio Aguero. They have consistently been superb performers.

On the flipside, the Premier League has also seen the unlikeliest of talents hit their peak, albeit not for long. Here are five of the biggest one-season wonders in Premier League history.

#5 Benjani

Blackburn Rovers v West Ham United - Premier League
Blackburn Rovers v West Ham United - Premier League

One of Portsmouth's 2007-08 wonders that shone so bright that by January he scored 12 goals in the Premier League. In all he hit 15 goals in 36 games.

"He's not arrived on the plane!" πŸ›«When Harry Redknapp struggled to convince Benjani to sign for Man City πŸ˜ƒ

The Zimbabwean, who arrived from French side Auxerre, took most by surprise. Not least Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp, who brokered a deal with Manchester City for close to four million pounds. There he endured a torrid two-season spell scoring just four goals before being unceremoniously shipped out.

#4 Sadio Berahino

Stoke City v Manchester United - Premier League
Stoke City v Manchester United - Premier League

Sadio Berahino took the Premier League by storm in 2014-15 when the 20 year old for West Brom scored 20 goals. Big things were touted for the young forward,

Berahino was one of the surprise packages during the 2014-15 season, scoring 20 goals in all competitions for the Baggies. After being rewarded with an England call-up most fans expected big things from the young forward.

Temptations to play football elsewhere and disciplinary issues (such as the infamous "nitrous oxide" inhaling scandal) meant off-field antics took over the young forward's reputation. His form on the pitch drastically dipped, and he even looked to go on strike and not play for West Brom anymore.

A move to Stoke City followed, which saw him score a mere three goals in 50 appearances for the club. They suffered relegation in his spell.

#3 Roque Santa Cruz

Blackburn Rovers v Newcastle United - Premier League
Blackburn Rovers v Newcastle United - Premier League

He was brought to Blackburn Rovers having had stunning form for Paraguay and giants Bayern Munich. €5 million seemed like a sensational bargain for a striker who served as understudy at one of Europe's biggest clubs.

He hit the ground running, scoring 19 times in 37 games in 2007-08 finishing 4th in the season's top scorer list. He was behind only Cristiano Ronaldo, Fernando Torres and Emmanuel Adebayor as Blackburn overachieved with an eighth place finish.

Classic games in December - Wigan beat Blackburn 5-3, both Marcus Bent and Roque Santa Cruz scored hat-tricks.#wafc #epl

Almost as soon as Blackburn believed they had a goal machine on their hands, the goals dried up as he scored just nine times in the next 27 games. Amazingly, Manchester City came with a Β£17.5m for his services on a four-year deal, leading Blackburn to cash out on their star man. Sadly he scored just four times for Manchester City and was largely persona non grata.

#2 Robinho

Manchester City v Chelsea - Premier League
Manchester City v Chelsea - Premier League

Robinho was touted as a generational talent and the next Ronaldo Nazario for his sharp pace and clinical ability to beat a marker. He was signed by Real Madrid as a galactico and given the number 10 shirt for good measure. He delivered by being the third top scorer in his three seasons at Madrid, even finishing top 10 in the Ballon D'or rankings.

As fickle as Real Madrid are however with management and change, Robinho was sold to Manchester City for a then eye watering 32 million pound move. This was the Cityzens' first ever marquee signing under the Abu Dhabi sports group.

That finish from @Robinho #OnThisDay in 2008 😍😍 #mcfc

In his first full season he was fourth top scorer with 14 goals in the Premier League in 2008-09, topping the club charts. Promise, however, turned to inconsistent disappointment and injury troubles which saw him miss up to three months of next season with just a single goal. Manchester City promptly sent him packing out on loan to Santos after which he never played for the club.

#1 Michu

Valencia CF v Swansea City - UEFA Europa League
Valencia CF v Swansea City - UEFA Europa League

Perhaps the most memorable and influential "one-season wonder" in all of modern football. He was signed for just Β£2 million from Rayo Vallecano. Few expected the attacking midfielder/centre forward to explode onto the scene with a silky smooth technique and a penchant for the spectacular.

His 2012-13 season saw him score 18 goals in just 35 games, finishing in the top five on the scoring charts.

What made him stand out was the class and comfort he had on the ball, despite being a tall, physically imposing player. He possessed a lethal left-foot shot that found the top left corner of the net with surprising regularity.

He even had a trophy to his name as Swansea City ran out as League Cup winners that season in a massive upset. Sadly, a career plagued by injuries meant Michu's star shone very briefly before he retired aged just 31 years

Edited by Aditya Singh


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