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Opinion Piece: Who are some one season wonders in the Premier League?

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One-season wonders in the Premier League

Back before Harry Kane was breaking records left, right, and centre, I was inexplicably labelling him a ‘one-season wonder’. Now that he’s gone on to make me look a complete and utter fool, I’ve decided to take a look at some of the true one-season wonders from Premier League history.

So, here’s my list of players that burned twice as bright, but for half as long.

Charlie Adam (Blackpool)

First up on the list is Charlie Adam. After securing a surprise promotion to the Premier League with Blackpool in 2010, Adam would go on to set English football’s topflight alight.

Adam, despite turning out for relegation threatened Blackpool, scored twelve goals and registered eight assists in his inaugural Premier League campaign and would go on to be nominated for the PFA Players’ Player of the Year.

Despite his season ending in relegation, the Scot’s sparkling form throughout the campaign would earn him a dream move to Liverpool. However, after spells at the Merseyside club and Stoke City, Adam would fail to rediscover his Tangerine form.

The midfielder is now most notably remembered for spectacularly scoring from his own half against Chelsea, and less spectacularly, tripping over the corner flag against Burnley.

But, I haven’t forgotten your incredible breakout season, Charlie.

Ravel Morrison (Man United)

Once hailed as “the best kid you will ever see” by Sir Alex Ferguson (Disclaimer: This is according to Rio Ferdinand), Ravel Morrison is perhaps more a case of wasted talent rather than a one-season wonder.

Joining West Ham in 2012 in hope of a fresh start, the former England youth international would not become a first team squad member until the 2013-14 season, at which point the young midfielder began turning heads.

Still only 20, Morrison would go on to make twenty-one appearances for the club that season, racking up an impressive five goals from midfield.

His most memorable moment came in the form of a scintillating solo goal in a 3-0 victory over Spurs at White Hart Lane. Starting from inside his own half, Morrison slalomed through multiple Spurs defenders and finished coolly with a sublime dink over the on-rushing Hugo Lloris.

However, Morrison’s fine form was fleeting and after a number of off-field problems and a host of clubs, the Jamaican International reunited with former teammate Wayne Rooney at DC United, where, unsurprisingly, he has recently been left out in the cold.

Papiss Demba Cissé (Newcastle)

In January of 2012, after three prolific seasons in Germany with Freiburg, Senegalese striker Papiss Cissé joined Newcastle United for £9.3 million, instantly becoming a hit with the Toon fans.

Scoring thirteen times in his first fourteen games for the Magpies, Cissé looked a very shrewd bit of business. In this time, he scored a host of spectacular goals, including that gravity defying half volley against Chelsea, leading Newcastle to a fifth place finish in the Premier League.

However, in spite of his lightning start in the North East, Cissé would go on to score just 24 goals in his following 104 appearances for the club, eventually being sold to Shandong Luneng in the Chinese Super League.

Amr Zaki (Wigan)

Now onto the first of two legendary one-season wonders, Amr Zaki. Signing for Wigan Athletic on loan in the summer of 2008, the burly Egyptian striker seemingly arrived out of nowhere.

Zaki had an incredible start to life in the Premier League, and after scoring on his debut he went onto score eight goals in his first eleven appearances, leading to alleged interest from European giants, Real Madrid.

However, after frequently going AWOL on international breaks to the dismay of manager Steve Bruce, and only scoring twice more in the remainder of the season, the Egyptian’s time at Wigan was over and his status as a true one-season wonder was set in stone.

Somewhere in Madrid Florentino Perez is breathing a huge sigh of relief.

Michu (Swansea)

Finally, we move on to arguably the greatest one-season wonder in Premier League history, Michu. An unknown quantity upon joining Swansea City for £2 million in the summer of 2012, the Spaniard scored twice on his debut against QPR and didn’t look back.

The languid striker went on to score eighteen goals in thirty-five appearances for the Swans that season and was subsequently linked with big money moves to Arsenal and Liverpool - becoming an FPL sensation in the process.

However, injury struggles would blight Michu’s second season in the Premier League and he would muster just two more league goals for the Welsh club before moving on in the hope of reigniting his career.

Michu went on to have spells at Napoli and 4th tier Spanish side UP Langreo, before retiring in 2017 at the tender age of thirty-one.

Want to join in on the discussion? Ben Hunt is a new Contributor at The Hype Train in 2023, and you can have your take on our latest opinion piece by finding the Train on Twitter at @HypeTrainHQ, and Ben at @BenHunt1238

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The Hype Train is an entertainment website founded in 2015, specialising in general football and Fantasy sports reporting, starting with Fantasy Premier League (FPL), before expanding to MLS Fantasy coverage in 2018.

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