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Cavani and 7 one club, one season PL players as Man Utd contract decision ‘made’

Sometimes you’re just here for a good time, not a long time.

And while the Premier League has been home to several world class performers who have turned in terrific displays year after year, it has also seen well-known players who are just passing through.

Edinson Cavani could well be one of those players, with reports in Argentina claiming that the Manchester United forward has decided he won’t be signing a new deal at Old Trafford and will leave for boyhood club Boca Juniors when his one-year United contract runs out at the end of the campaign.

The Uruguayan has been a valuable asset to United, with his movement in the box often praised and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hailing him for his influence on young forwards Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial.

Cavani could be leaving United at the end of the season

But if he is to depart then we’ll have to add him to our list of players who only appeared in one Premier League season, and for one Premier League club.

So to clarify, we’re not looking for a one season wonder such as Swansea’s Michu, or a rarely seen absolute flop in the mould of Newcastle’s World Cup winning Stephane Guivarc’h or Liverpool’s frankly hilarious Sean Dundee. Plus anyone who played in two different Premier League seasons, even if they were for the same club, is out.

We don’t even want a player who was brilliant for one club for one season and then went on to play for another one in a different campaign. Frankly, those people disgust us.

One Premier League club, one season. That’s it.

And we know exactly where to begin.

Esteban Cambiasso (Leicester City) – 2014/15

The Argentinean was a shock arrival at Leicester in 2014
The Argentinean was a shock arrival at Leicester in 2014

He won La Liga, five Serie A titles and the Champions League, and when Cambiasso pitched up at newly-promoted Leicester – back in the top-flight for the first time in 10 years – the club’s fans could scarcely believe it. No-one could.

The steely midfielder would go on to win the Foxes’ Player of the Year award in his one and only campaign, featuring 31 times in the league as Nigel Pearson managed to lift his side from their limpet-like grip to the foot of the table and up to 14th by the end of the campaign.

Cambiasso was a driving force in that effort prior to leaving for Olympiakos, and the standards he set would help to power the remarkable season that was to come.

Bastian Schweinsteiger (Manchester United) – 2015/16

The was much hype around Schweinsteiger’s arrival in the summer of 2015

Before you all start shouting, yes Schweinsteiger was a Manchester United player across two seasons, but he only played in the Premier League in one of them.

The reason for that? Jose Mourinho.

The Portuguese just wasn’t having the Bayern Munich and Germany stalwart, but he did play 31 matches for Louis van Gaal in his first season at the club, including 18 times in the league.

It was clear that he wasn’t the same player who had dazzled for club and country throughout the 2000s though, and his impact on the side had waned long before Mourinho completely shut him out of his plans.

Fernando Hierro (Bolton Wanderers) – 2004/05

Hierro scored 127 goals in 439 games for Real Madrid
Hierro scored 127 goals in 439 games for Real Madrid

Very much a Bolton signing of the time, Spanish legend Hierro pitched up at the Reebok Stadium to join his good mate Ivan Campo in the summer of 2004, but while Campo would remain a Bolton player for six years, it was just the one campaign for Spain’s fifth-highest goalscorer of all-time.

Equally accomplished at centre-back and as a defensive midfielder, the set-piece specialist picked up five La Liga titles and three Champions League trophies during his time with Real Madrid.

At Bolton he made 29 appearances in the Trotters side which finished the 2004/05 season in sixth, level on points with European champions Liverpool.

Which relatively speaking, is just as good.

Julio Baptista (Arsenal) – 2006/07

Baptista joined Arsenal on loan from Real Madrid in the summer of 2006
Baptista joined Arsenal on loan from Real Madrid in the summer of 2006

The rich history of one season, one club players is of course littered with loan signings, with Arsenal’s move for Brazilian ‘Beast’ Baptista one of the most eye-catching.

The forward came in from Real Madrid with a big reputation, but he never quite managed to live up to that during an inconsistent campaign.

What made things all the more frustrating for the Gunners fans was that they could see Baptista had the talent on his day, and that day was emphatically January 9, 2007 when he scored four goals and missed a penalty in a 6-3 League Cup win over Liverpool at Anfield.

At least he’d always have that.

Attilio Lombardo (Crystal Palace) – 1997/98

Lombardo had just one season in the Premier League with Palace, but did stay at the club
Lombardo had just one season in the Premier League with Palace, but did stay at the club

Perhaps the most honourable of the one season, one club men, stylish Italian winger Lombardo did stay with Crystal Palace for a second campaign, but as that was in the old First Division following relegation then we’re going to allow him in.

Plus he’s fun to write about.

The ‘Bald Eagle’ had been one of the best Italian wingers of the 1990s with Sampdoria and Juventus, winning the Champions League with the latter, before he pitched up at Selhurst Park in the summer of 1997.

He started well, but an injury wrecked his season and Palace’s, with the south Londoners’ form tailing off dramatically.

Lombardo was appointed as a player-manager, but after he couldn’t save the club from relegation he began the next season with them in the Football League, playing until January before, with Palace in financial trouble, he moved to Sven-Goran Eriksson’s Lazio.

Jon Dahl Tomasson (Newcastle United) – 1997/98

Tomasson takes on Blackburn’s Colin Hendry – who definitely played for more than one season

We couldn’t bring ourselves to include Guivarc’h but there is no shame in mentioning Tomasson, the Dane who arrived at Newcastle as a 20-year-old and immediately saw Alan Shearer suffer a serious injury and Les Ferdinand sold to Tottenham.

That heaped pressure on young shoulders, and he wasn’t able to live up to it. Kenny Dalglish’s side had finished second in 1996/97 but they slumped to 13th this time around, with Tomasson only scoring three league goals.

He’d go on to find success elsewhere though, winning the UEFA Cup with Feyenoord in 2002 and then the Champions League with AC Milan a year later.

His final kick for Milan was a successful penalty in the 2005 Istanbul shootout against Liverpool, while he had later spells with Stuttgart, Villarreal and Feyenoord again.

Henrik Larsson (Manchester United) – 2006/07

Larsson joined United from Barcelona for two months in January 2007
Larsson joined United from Helsingborg for two months in January 2007

It was only brief, but everyone involved seemed to have a great time.

Swedish scoring legend Larsson had decided to move back to his homeland with Helsingborg after the 2006 World Cup, but with the domestic season on a break from the beginning of 2007, Sir Alex Ferguson sensed a chance to add a veteran goalscorer to his ranks.

Larsson would play 13 times for Manchester United across his two-and-a-half months on loan, scoring three times and impressing Ferguson enough that the Scot desperately tried to extend the deal until the end of the season.

The forward is a man of his word though, and he returned to Helsingborg having helped United progress in the FA Cup and Champions League, as well as earn points towards what would be a title-winning Premier League season.




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