Skip to content
en-gb GO TO bet365 Sports
  1. Football
  2. Premier League

Premier League stars who shone brightly but briefly

The Premier League has seen its fair share of one-season wonders over the years and we have picked out five of the best.

Not every player to have graced the English top-flight has been able to enjoy a sustained period of success, but some have started out strong before tailing off and disappearing out of the spotlight altogether.

Dimitri Payet - West Ham 2015/16

West Ham's final season playing at Upton Park was a successful one, as they finished seventh in the league - their highest placing for nearly 20 years - while supporters had a new hero to embrace in France international Dimitri Payet.

Payet arrived at the Hammers from Marseille in the summer of 2015 and he scored nine goals and provided 12 assists during his first season at the club.

That was enough to earn him not only West Ham's player of the season award, but he was also included in the PFA Team of the Year.

Sadly for the Irons - who are 9/4 to finish in the top six this season - just six months after picking up those accolades, Payet requested a move and returned to Marseille in January 2017.

Michu - Swansea City 2012/13

Spanish forward Michu was a relative unknown when he arrived at Swansea City in the summer of 2012, but he quickly introduced himself to the Premier League by scoring two goals and providing an assist on his debut against QPR.

Michu would go on to score 22 goals in his debut season for the Swans, 18 of which came in the league, while he also netted in their League Cup final victory over Bradford City and earned international recognition with Spain.

However, the former Celta Vigo star could not match those high standards in subsequent seasons, with injury also playing a part, as he was first shipped out on loan to Napoli before having his contract terminated by mutual consent in November 2015.

Brief stints in the Spanish lower leagues followed for Michu, before he hung up his boots in 2017, just four years on from his heroics in South Wales.

Marcus Stewart - Ipswich Town 2000/01

Marcus Stewart was a prolific scorer in the Football League with both Bristol Rovers and Huddersfield Town before he helped Ipswich Town to promotion to the top-flight in the year 2000.

The Tractor Boys were tipped to struggle in their first season back at the highest level, but they defied the odds to finish fifth, thanks largely to the goals of Stewart, who struck 19 during his debut Premier League season.

That tally saw Stewart end the season as the second-highest scorer in the league, but unfortunately for him and Ipswich they could not replicate that form the following year, as the club were relegated and their leading striker could only net six times.

Stewart did remain in the Premier League, joining Sunderland in 2002, but he scored only once in the top-flight for the Black Cats and their relegation in 2003 saw the forward's top-level career come to an end.

Amr Zaki - Wigan Athletic 2008/09

Long before Mohamed Salah was tearing it up in the Premier League, there was another Egyptian forward scoring goals in England, as Amr Zaki hit the ground running with Wigan during the 2008/09 campaign.

Zaki was only on loan at the DW Stadium, but he struck 10 goals in his first 16 appearances for the club, including a brace at Anfield against Liverpool, who are 7/4 to win the Premier League title this season.

However, he then failed to score in his final 13 outings, as disciplinary issues affected the latter part of his stay with Wigan, and the club ultimately opted against making his loan move permanent.

A brief and unsuccessful loan spell with Hull City came during the following season, before Zaki finished his career with whistle-stop tours of Turkey, Kuwait Morocco, Lebanon and his homeland.

Roque Santa Cruz - Blackburn Rovers 2007/08

Roque Santa Cruz was just the second Paraguayan to have played in the Premier League when he joined Blackburn Rovers in 2007, but he arrived with a big reputation after spending eight years in the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich.

The forward certainly impressed during his first season in England, netting 19 league goals as Rovers finished seventh and, despite a quieter 2008/09 campaign, he earned a move to big-spending Man City, where he was reunited with former Ewood Park boss Mark Hughes.

Things didn't work out for Santa Cruz in Manchester, however, and after four underwhelming years that included a loan spell back at Blackburn, he joined Spanish side Malaga on a permanent basis.

Now at the age of 40, Santa Cruz is still going strong with Libertad in his homeland, while he is also Paraguay's all-time record scorer, netting 32 goals before hanging up his international boots in 2016.

Related Articles

bet365 uses cookies

We use cookies to deliver a better and more personalised service. For more information, see our Cookie Policy

New to bet365? Bet £10 & Get £30 in Free Bets

Join Now

Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of qualifying bets. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.