Premier League Top-10 one-season wonders

Strikers scoring goals in the English top-flight come at a premium, and very rarely these days can you get one on the cheap.

Every manager up and down the country is after a 20+ goals a season frontman and some have thought they have found a gem after initially hitting the ground running.

However, for every Alan Shearer or Wayne Rooney who have scored goals season after season, there’s a few who pale into insignificance and never replicate that feat for a second Premier League campaign.

Here at, we run you through the top-10 one-season wonders who have graced the Premier League

  1. Michu (Swansea City)

Who can forget the tall Spaniard who arrived in Wales?

He certainly won’t go down as one of the most expensive footballers to grace the Premier League, having been bought for a mere £2million in the summer of 2012.

He hit the ground running straight away with four in his first three. After that, everyone rushed to get him in their Fantasy Premier League team and he didn’t disappoint, netting 18 in the league and another four in other competitions as he steered the Swans to European football.

He could never replicate that form, and although he scored four in the Europa League in the following season, he only netted another two top-flight goals, before failing at Napoli on loan, and he now plies his trade at Real Oviedo in Spain.

  1. Francis Jeffers (Everton)

The young Englishman looked like he had the world at his feet when netting five goals in four games at the start of the 2000/01 season.

Injury played its part and he did add to his tally that season, which persuaded Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger to spend £8million on the striker.

However, he never went on to reach double figures in a season during his 15-year career which was plagued by injuries, with him only making 13 starts in three seasons with the Gunners.

  1. Andy Johnson (Crystal Palace)

Rose to prominence in the top-flight with Crystal Palace as he spearheaded their attack following their promotion to the Premiership.

He enjoyed a stellar first season, as Johnson found the net on 21 occasions. Fourteen of them may have come from the spot, but he was still lethal despite the Eagles dropping back down to the Championship at the first opportunity.

Everton and Fulham spent almost £20million between them in the hope the goals would flow again, but he never quite reached his 2004-05 heights.

  1. Roque Santa Cruz (Blackburn Rovers)

Santa Cruz arrived on these shores from Bayern Munich and his class shone for Rovers, despite not many expecting him to do so given his modest goal record elsewhere.

However, the Paraguay international found the back of the net on 19 occasions in the Premier League and if it wasn’t for the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo (31), Emmanuel Adebayor (24) and Fernando Torres (24) he would have won the Golden Boot.

He never quite backed that record up though, scoring six the following season, but still earned a £17.5million move to Man City, but only score three goals at the Etihad.

  1. Marcus Stewart (Ipswich)

The English striker helped catapult George Burley’s Tractor Boys into Europe with 21 goals as they produced a season to remember – earning them European football once again.

But Stewart never matched those feats again, and European football appeared to be a hindrance as the Suffolk side dropped out of the Premiership the following season.

  1. Fabrizio Ravanelli (Middlesbrough)

An outstanding centre forward arrived on these shores with a big reputation. Alongside Juninho and Emerson, the trio were a revelation on Teeside.

His 19 goals fired them to the finals of both the FA Cup and League Cup, but their league form suffered and a three-point deduction for not fulfilling a fixture with Blackburn Rovers proved costly as they were ultimately relegated.

With that, Ravanelli departed for Marseille in the summer, before returning to the UK with Derby County in 2001.


  1. Mikael Forssell (Birmingham City)

Forssell is unlucky to be included in this list, with injury the likely cause of his struggles further down the line.

The Finnish striker joined the Blues on loan in 2003 from Chelsea, and found the back of the net with comparative ease, scoring 17 goals in 32 games during his loan at St Andrew’s.

Injuries then became a common occurrence and he only managed to hit double figures in one more season, and that was back in his homeland in 2013 with HJK.

  1. Benjani Mwaruwari (Portsmouth)

The Zimbabwean initially didn’t settle on these shores at Portsmouth, but suddenly found his shooting boots in the 2007/08 season.

After scoring 15 goals in 23 games for Pompey, he caught the eye of Sven Goran Eriksson at Man City, but inevitably flopped, scoring just four goals in 23 league games at the Etihad.

  1. Michael Bridges (Leeds)

Much like Forssell, he was another whose ability was severely impacted by injuries.

Leeds signed Bridges from his hometown Middlesbrough and he proved to be a revelation initially.

He found the net on 19 occasions in the 1999-2000 season, including a hat-trick in just his second game against Southampton. Injuries then went on to play its part and despite staying at Elland Road for the next four seasons, he failed to register another goal for the club.


  1. Michael Ricketts (Bolton)

An England call-up effectively proved to be the end of Ricketts’ purple patch in the 2001-02 season.

After firing Bolton into the top-flight, he netted 15 goals in all competition by February, which subsequently earned him his England call-up.

After his Three Lions debut, he never scored again in that season and suffered more disappointment in spells at Middlesbrough, Leeds and Cardiff to name just a few.

Agree with our top-10? Have we missed anyone out? Leave us a comment below!




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