Wednesday, 31st May 2023

Top flops after a season-wonder

They say the game of football is all about seizing the big moment, and how right they are, when we look at some of the careers of a number of footballers

They say the game of football is all about seizing the big moment, and how right they are, when we look at some of the careers of a number of footballers who swung from top prospects to little known after just a few seasons. Once in a while we get to see breakout stars in this game, but while some go on to make a name for themselves, not all are that fortunate.

Changing fortunes normally result in changing workstations for top players and with this comes flops. Here we examine some of the players who shaped the headlines at their prime, but failed to last more than a season at the top of their game.

Batista Edinaldo: Brazilian forward Batista, better known as Grafite had a great season in 2008/09, as he guided Bundesliga side Wolfsburg to the German league title. He finished the season with a tally of 28 goals in 25 matches and was deservedly named the Player of the Year in Germany. Grafite however failed to replicate this run of form ever again and two years later, he was shipped out to the semi-professional Emirates league, signing for Shabab Al Ahli.

Lucas Perez: Another top player who happened to be a one-season wonder is Spaniard Lucas Perez. In the 2015/16 season, he was a leading light as Deportivo La Coruna fought relegation. His tally of 17 goals and 10 assists at the end of that season persuaded Arsene Wenger to sign him, and Arsenal paid £17m. It came to be money well wasted as he managed just one league goal in two seasons with Arsenal.

Perez is currently at Spanish club Cadiz, who survived relegation last season and at 33, he is still hoping to hit another great season before hanging boots. He did have a revival at Alaves in 2019/20, with 11 goals but after scoring just three league goals last season, we doubt the best bookmakers on football prediction site SportyTrader can back him to reach the heights he did in 2016.

Miguel Cuesta: Better known as Michu, Spaniard Miguel Cuesta took the Premier League by storm in 2012/13 when he signed for Swansea from Rayo Vallecano. For just £2m, Swansea seemed to have found a gem, as in his first season, he netted 18 league goals. He even got a call up to the Spain national team, then the world and European champions. That dream, at 27, didn’t last too long; Michu scored only three league goals in the three seasons that followed, and frustrated, he announced his retirement aged 31.

Saido Berahino: One of the most sought-after talents, Saido Berahino, currently 28, is attached to League One side Sheffield Wednesday. Berahino burst into the scene in 2014/15 when he scored 19 goals for West Brom across all competitions and 10 goals for England U21 in the UEFA U21 Championship. From then on it was a battle for West Brom to hold on to him, even as he stated his wish to leave. A failed move to Tottenham crushed him and he has never been the same player again. He even switched nationality to play for Burundi.