Football | The best individual seasons in the Premier League

Football | The best individual seasons in the Premier League
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With Mo Salah aiming to become the Premier League’s highest scorer in a single season (in a 38 game format), we take a look at some of the best individual seasons in Premier League history…

2017/18: Mohamed Salah

Mo Salah has had an incredible impact in his first season at Liverpool, and is on the cusp of beating the all-time Premier League record of 31 goals in a single 38 game season.

The 25 year old has already plundered 31 goals in the league (43 overall), and has two league games to add to his tally. The Egyptian international has also registered double figures in assists, and only one of his goals have come from the penalty spot.

Salah was deservedly named as the PFA Player of the Year last week, and has broken a plethora of records in his debut campaign at Anfield.

Jurgen Klopp’s summer signing from Roma bagged 10 goals in his first 13 matches for the Merseyside club, and is showing no signs of slowing down.

He has become the first player to win three Player of the Month awards in one season, and is the first Reds player to surpass 40 goals in a season since Ian Rush.

The former Roma winger has scored against every member of the top six apart from Manchester United, and only Cristiano Ronaldo has outscored him in the Champions League.




2013/14: Luis Suarez

The only Liverpool player to match Salah’s current haul of 31 league goals in the Premier League era.

Suarez’ goals almost fired Liverpool to a long-awaited league title in the 2013/14 season, which proved to be his last in England.

The Uruguayan striker missed the first four games of the season through suspension, but soon made up for lost time upon his return.

He scored 31 league goals in 33 matches as the Reds missed out on the title to Manchester City, including a stunning four goal haul against Norwich.

Suarez was the fulcrum of a formidable Liverpool attack which also featured Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling, and brought so much more to Brendan Rodgers’ side than goals. He laid on 12 assists for his teammates, and was a nightmare for defenders due to his constant movement and pressing.

He cleaned up at the end of season awards, winning the PFA Player of the Year, Football Writers’ Player of the Year and Barclays Fans’ Player of the Year.

Suarez subsequently signed for Barcelona (after yet another biting incident at the World Cup) in the following months, and Liverpool struggled to replace their prolific forward.

2012/13: Robin van Persie, Gareth Bale

Sir Alex Ferguson’s capture of Robin van Persie from Arsenal proved to be a masterstroke.

There were questions raised over van Persie’s age (29) and the fee (an initial £22.5 million), but the Dutch striker soon dispelled any doubts over the transfer.

He notched 26 league goals for the Red Devils in his debut season, and also racked up 15 assists.

In fact, United would have been a staggering 43 points worse off without van Persie’s goals and assists. The only three teams he failed to score against were Norwich, QPR and Swansea.

Van Persie scored late winners against Liverpool and Man City, and produced a multitude of decisive moments as United sealed their 20th league title.

In total, the Holland international’s goals and assists accounted for 48% of the club’s tally.

It was fitting, then, that he was the player who sealed the title in style with a sumptuous volley.

Ferguson described it as “the goal of the century”, and it was a moment of class which typified van Persie’s season.




Despite van Persie’s exploits, it was Gareth Bale who was crowned as the 2012/13 PFA Player of the Year.

Bale’s progression as a player was fascinating.

Signed as a left back from Southampton, the Wales international endured a miserable start to life at Spurs, failing to win a game in his first 24 attempts.

He was eventually converted into a winger – he was also deployed as a number 10 – and enjoyed his best season in England in the 2012/13 season under André Villas-Boas.

Bale scored 21 league goals for the North London club, with a record nine strikes coming from outside the area.

So often, Wales’ all-time top scorer produced a moment of magic to swing a game in Spurs’ favour. He won more points for his team than any other player, and scored stunning strikes against Liverpool, United, and West Ham to name but a few.

His goals helped the club surpass their best ever Premier League points tally, and Spurs were unlucky to miss out on a Champions League place. Only van Persie and Suarez – two traditional strikers – outscored Bale, whose performances attracted Spanish giants Real Madrid.

Before departing for sunny Spain for a world record fee, Bale’s stunning season resulted in him being awarded with the PFA Players’ Player of the Year, the PFA Young Player of the Year, and the FWA Footballer of the Year awards.

2007/08: Cristiano Ronaldo  

This was the season that Cristiano Ronaldo announced himself as the world’s best player.

The five time Ballon D’Or winner scored 42 goals for Manchester United as the Red Devils won both the league and the Champions League.

31 of those goals (complimented by six assists) came in 34 appearances in the league, a remarkable achievement for a winger.

He scored an array of stunning goals from both open play and free-kicks (such as that physics-defying effort against Portsmouth), and also put United ahead against Chelsea in the Champions League final.

He had fans on the edge of his set with his dazzling footwork and devastating finishing, and was deservedly crowned as the winner of the Ballon D’Or for the first time.

2003/04: Thierry Henry

One of the great Premier League strikers at his very best.

Henry lit up English football during his years at Arsenal, and the ’03/04 was his best season for the ‘Invincibles’, who went the whole season unbeaten.

The classy French striker scored 30 goals in the league for Arsene Wenger’s side, a whopping 41% of their total league goals. He also topped the assists chart in the English top flight, setting up 15 goals for his teammates.

He was the complete striker; fast, strong, technically excellent, and ruthless in front of goal. His vision was exceptional, as was his movement. His performance in Arsenal’s 5-1 demolition of Inter Milan in Europe will live long in the minds of Arsenal supporters.

Unsurprisingly, Henry was named as the PFA Players’ Player of the Year for the second successive year.




2002/03: Ruud van Nistelrooy

Ruud van Nistelrooy knew how to score goals.

The Dutch striker scored 44 goals in all competitions as Man United won their 11th Premier League title in the ’02/03 season.

25 of those goals came in the league (in 34 appearances), and his record of scoring in 10 consecutive league games was only beaten in 2015 by Jamie Vardy.

His goal on the last day of the season saw him pip Thierry Henry to the Golden Boot, and van Nistelrooy also won the Premier League Player of the Season award.

The former Holland international also scored 12 goals in the Champions League – more than any other player – despite being eliminated at the quarter-final stage.

The poacher’s prolific form also earned him a place in UEFA’s team of the year, and the UEFA Club Forward of the Year award.

1994/95: Alan Shearer

Shearer – the Premier League’s all-time top scorer – enjoyed his most prolific league campaign in the 1994/95 season.

The former England international hit the 31 goal mark in the previous two seasons, and managed 34 in the ’94/95 campaign. The tally equaled Andy Cole’s record from the previous season (for Newcastle), and helped Blackburn seal their first and only Premier League title.

He was powerful and prolific, and formed a formidable partnership up front with Chris Sutton for the Lancashire club. The duo contributed 61.25% of all Blackburn’s 1994/95 goals.

Shearer added 16 assists to his goals haul, meaning the striker was directly involved in 50 league goals for the title winners.

He was crowned as the PFA Player of the Year, and his tally of 34 goals hasn’t been repeated since (although the season is now shorter).

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