Premier League offers the most entertaining football in Europe. With the fast-paced game of going up and down for 90 minutes (unless you watch City), hard tackles and terrifying speed are what make the Premier League what it is. However, there’s another aspect you cannot forget when talking about the gems of English football. Those gems are the players that come up to the big stage, impress everyone turning themselves into heroes, and then disappearing forever. The gems we are talking about are – one-season wonders.
One-season wonder is a commonly used phrase to downplay a player’s achievement, implying that he won’t be able to keep it up for a longer period of time. As such, Harry Kane was often referred to as one-season wonder when he came up at Tottenham. Those claims failed miserably, but here we’ll take a look at the ones that did prove to be one-season wonders.
The chant was commonly singed among the Swansea supporters in the 2012/13 season. The unlikely hero really did have a season to remember. Arriving from sunny Spain’s Rayo Vallecano for less than €3 million, he proved to be an addition nobody expected. Michu used his height magnificently as he kept banging in goals throughout the whole season. At the end of the 2012/13 league campaign, Michu managed to score 18 goals in 35 appearances, adding 2 assists and winning 5 man-of-the-match awards. In sad aftermath, Michu failed to make an impact the following season at Swansea, as well as on his loan at Napoli just to retreat to Spain’s 4th tier and retire recently.
- Roque Santa Cruz
Here’s a man who made us all think twice before declaring a player as the next Alan Shearer. After years at Bayern where he failed to make a more significant impact, Santa Cruz tried his luck in England. Blackburn bought out his contract for €5 million, and it was a move to behold. The Paraguayan started banging goals for fun, scoring stunning 19 goals in his first season in England while adding three in the same amount of appearances in the League Cup. This is a very curious case as Santa Cruz not only failed to reach 20 goals ever before or after – he couldn’t even get to double digits in the league. This didn’t stop ambitious Manchester City to acquire him for €20 million at the start of their project. This proved to be a pretty bad move as Santa Cruz never got even close to the heights he reached in the 2007/08 season.
Looking back at these two, there’s something nostalgic about their careers. Popping up out of nowhere, dominating for a season, and going back to reality. It genuinely does feel as if they showed up to fulfill every aspiring fan’s dream, to show that dreams do come true even for a short while. They are the unlucky heroes and an unexplained phenomenon. They are fan-favorites. They are one-season wonders.