5 one season wonders Man United should consider before Kane bid


Manchester United are being linked with a sensational swoop for Tottenham’s Harry Kane, with fees in the region of £50m being mooted by newspaper reports.

After shelling out a fortune in wages for Radamel Falcao last season United fans may think that £50m is a snip for a 30-goal a season striker but is it too soon for the Englishman?

Let’s face it we’ve been here before. Time and again the Premier League and the England national team have been handed a great new hope only for such talents to ebb away.

Before the Old Trafford board hand Daniel Levy another weighty cheque they could benefit from a gentle reminder from these one-season wonders.

Francis Jeffers

After hitting 18 Premier League goals in three seasons of limited football at Everton, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger paid a then-sizeable fee of £8m to bring the striker to north London.

Jeffers’ goal scoring ability was lost somewhere on the trip to Highbury though as he managed just four league goals in a Gunners shirt before being farmed out on loan back to the Toffees, where he failed to score in 18 games.


Andy Johnson

Johnson was prolific in the second tier with Crystal Palace and caught the eye with 21 strikes in 37 Premier League games in the Eagles’ ill-fated 2004-05 campaign.

He continued to smash the goals in the Championship and convinced Everton to shell out £7.25m to bring him back to the top flight.

A tally of 22 goals in 74 games was not enough for the Toffees though and he was soon on the move again. Stints with Fulham, QPR and Palace again have proven less than fruitful with just 31 strikes in a further 136 appearances.


Michael Ricketts

Ricketts carried the form that saw him hit 19 First Division goals in 2000-01 into the Premier League with Bolton and netted 15 strikes in his first top flight campaign.

An England call-up soon followed but the Wanderers ace soon fell away. Just six league goals in the following campaign saw him sold to Middlesbrough and then Leeds before a series of loan spells and eventual decline into the third tier of the English game.


Jon Stead

Stead made a huge jump from the third tier to the Premier League when signing for Blackburn in 2003-4 and six goals in just 13 games that season hinted at a promising future.

More first team opportunities followed but the goals did not as he fired just twice in 29 games the following season and he was shipped out to Sunderland where he hit just one in 30.

A somewhat nomadic career path followed with stints at Derby, Sheffield United, Ipswich, Coventry, Bristol City, Huddersfield and Oldham yielding few goals before a drop to League One with Bradford.


James Beattie

In 2002-03 Beattie smashed 23 goals for Southampton, just two fewer than Golden Boot winner Ruud van Nistelrooy.

England honours soon followed and Beattie was being talked about in some circles as  the Three Lions’ saviour … but then it all went wrong.

As quickly as he was thrust into the limelight he was booted out of it as the goals dried up.  A move to Everton was expected to see a return to form but 15 goals in 86 appearances hinted at a lucky streak rather than sublime skill.

This was further evidenced by lean spells at Stoke and Rangers before Beattie found his level in the Championship and then League Two.

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