The 10 Best 'One Season Wonder' Strikers in Premier League History

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With former Swansea City forward Michu announcing his retirement today, now is the perfect time to look back to some of the other ‘one season wonder’ frontmen in the Premier League.

Condensing it down to just the top 10, where will the Spaniard feature? Read on to find out…

10. Tony Yeboah

WIMBLEDON V LEEDS

Number of goals in the 1995/96 season: 12

Many of you may be shocked to see the legendary Ghanaian so low down in this list, but the truth is that Yeboah was more of a ‘one and a half season wonder’, after joining Leeds United from Eintracht Frankfurt in January 1995.

Yeboah scored an incredible 12 goals in half a campaign, but it was his first full season in Yorkshire where he really rose to prominence as a cult hero, after some sensational goals; notably against Liverpool and a Goal of the Season winner at Wimbledon. 

9. Amir Zaki

Wigan Athletic's Egyptian forward Amr Za

Number of goals in the 2008/09 season: 10

When Wigan Athletic paid Egyptian side Zmaalek £1.5m to bring striker Amir Zaki on loan for the season, they couldn’t have imagined that the hefty target man would top the Premier League scoring charts two months into the season.

Zaki had scored 10 goals by December and was linked with moves to some of the country’s biggest clubs, but his lack of professionalism soon became publicised and he failed to register another goal before returning to Egypt.

8. Marcus Stewart

Marcus Stewart

Number of goals in the 2000/01 season: 19 

After being promoted, thanks in part to Stewart’s goals, Ipswich Town silenced their critics by finishing the 2000/01 campaign in fifth place and earning a spot in the UEFA Cup, after the clinical striker became the highest-scoring English striker in the top flight.

Stewart’s achievement is remarkable and he should be higher in the list, yet he did still manage six league goals as the Tractor Boys were relegated the following season to which they have never returned. 

7. Andy Johnson

Crystal Palace v Aston Villa

Number of goals in the 2004/05 season: 21

Much like Stewart, Johnson was the Eagles’ star as they moved up to the top flight, scoring 27 goals in the old First Division, but few expected him to produce those kinds of numbers in the Premier League.

Yet, the eight-capped England striker found the back of the net on 21 occasions, finishing second in the race for the Golden Boot. Again, Johnson would be higher, had it not been for goals scored with both Everton and Fulham to undermine his status as a ‘one season wonder’.

6. Michael Bridges

Michael Bridges

Number of goals in the 1999/00 season: 19

Bridges had already opened his top flight account with boyhood club Sunderland, but his reputation was truly established with Leeds United, whom he joined in the summer of 1999 from the Black Cats.

In just his first season at Elland Road, Bridges tore the Premier League apart, finishing as joint fourth top scorer with Andy Cole. His terrible injury problems prevented him from building on that campaign though, and he disappeared into football obscurity.

5. Benjani

Portsmouth v Derby - Barclays Premier League

Number of goals in the 2007/08 season: 12

After a slow start to life op the south coast, consisting of seven goals in two seasons, Benjani Mwaruwari exploded during the 2007/08 season, scoring 12 goals in just half a season, before Manchester City signed the Zimbabwean for up for £8m.

The striker would go on to hit the back of the net three more times for the Citizens that season, taking his total tally up to 15. However, from there on in he was a lumbering disaster, as both Sunderland and Blackburn Rovers fully well know.

4. Michael Ricketts

Michael Ricketts

Number of goals in the 2001/02: 12

Ricketts’ goals fired Bolton Wanderers to the top flight in 2001, with the burly striker even getting the play-off winner. In the Premier League, Ricketts proved just as useful, scoring 12 times to keep the Trotters up.

His form earned him his first (and only) England call-up, but that was the peak for which he would never return. Ricketts soon became a calamitous nuisance; experiencing barren spells with the ten clubs that he went on to play for. 

3. Michu

Crystal Palace v Swansea City - Premier League

Number of goals in the 2012/13 season: 18

Michu just came out of nowhere. Signed from Spanish minnows Rayo Vallecano, the former Swansea City man had spent most of his career in the lower leagues before tearing Premier League defences apart during the 2012/13 season.

Traditionally an attacking midfielder, Michu scored 18 times in what was the Swans’ second season in the top flight, but he couldn’t repeat the trick the following year as he managed just two goals. 

2. DJ Campbell

Blackpool v Bolton Wanderers - Premier League

Number of goals in the 2010/11 season: 13

Having scored sporadically in practically every level of English football, DJ Campbell did his utmost to keep helpless Blackpool in the top flight, by scoring an incredible 13 goals for the Tangerines during the solitary season in the Premier League.

That tally was Campbell’s highest in his career, aside from a spell with Yeading in non-league football, with no goals recorded from additional spells in the top flight at Birmingham City and QPR respectively.

1. Roque Santa Cruz

Sunderland v Blackburn Rovers - FA Cup 4th Round

Number of goals in the 2007/08 season: 19

The ultimate ‘one season wonder’ striker in the Premier League era, Roque Santa Cruz was a relatively big signing for Blackburn Rovers in 2007, having spent years sitting on the bench for Bayern Munich.

The Paraguayan international wasted no time in making his mark, firing 19 goals for the Lancashire side in his first season in England. Yet, that was pretty much it, as the next three years saw him score just seven times for Rovers and Manchester City, the latter of whom paid nearly £18m for him. 

Source: 90min

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