From Santa Cruz to Ben Arfa: 10 Premier League Players The Streets Will Never Forget

Clint Dempsey Fulham

"The street will never forget"

You know the drill: school till 3, tea at 6, jumpers for goalposts in between and after. These are the players the streets won't forget and are the ones we all tried to imitate at your five-a-side. Whilst the world seems to only remember the Premier League superstars like Wayne Rooney and Sergio Aguero, there are players out there that conjure up the street-smart brilliance and remind us that there are many heroes out on that pitch.

From ridiculous goalscoring feats with Michu, to scintillating five-a-side-esque ability from Ben Arfa. There are a plethora of notable men down the years who have given us that touch of reality from the days in the back garden.

Exceptional goals, jaw-dropping trickery and countless unforgettable moments for the players the streets will never forget. Here are the 10 Premier League players we will never let go in no particular order.

Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse

We begin the list with two players rather than one, as you simply can't include one without the other in this sense. Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse briefly took over the streets of Premier League football with their incredible performances in the 2011/12 season with Newcastle United, helping the Magpies to achieve Europa League football that year.

Combined, the two Senegal internationals created something magical, bagging 29 Premier League goals that year. Two men representing their country scored magical goal after magical goal that year and truly gobsmacked us all.

Everything they touch turned to gold from Cisse's ridiculous double at Stamford Bridge, to Ba's hat-tricks against Blackburn Rovers and Stoke City.

These two were majestic, and the streets salute you both.


The best one-season wonder in Premier League history? There aren't many who match his feats from the 2012/13 campaign.

Michu signed for Swansea City for just £2m and he was easily the bargain of that year and arguably the bargain of the decade. His 18 Premier League goals in 2012/13 was only bettered by the very best in van Persie, Luis Suarez and Gareth Bale, whilst Christian Benteke bagged 19.

The Spaniard was that good back then he would make his way into the Spain squad at a time when they were the world's best national team.

A League Cup would also come this year after three goals from six in this competition. Michu truly will go down in Premier League folklore.

Ben Arfa

Moving on from the arguably the best one-season wonder, to arguably the greatest talent that never was. Hatem Ben Arfa scored some goals that the great Lionel Messi would be proud of.

The Frenchman's goal against Blackburn in the FA Cup is one of the best in the competition's 148-year history, whilst his mazy run from his own half against Bolton Wanderers was something most can only dream of.

Ben Arfa truly could have been one of the world's best and he did refind this scintillating form with Nice back in 2016/17, bagging 17 in Ligue 1. However, Paris Saint-Germain were just another gargantuan outfit left frustrated when he couldn't keep this fabulous ball rolling a year later.

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Adel Taarabt

If the term 'street footballer' found it's way into the Oxford Dictionary, you'd see the exact definition of Adel Taarabt.

In terms of pure skill, the Moroccan is up there with some of the Premier League's greatest ever. In terms of his brilliance in the Championship, the same applies. However, when he moved up to the top-flight, things changed drastically.

Taarabt was just 20 years old when he bagged 19 goals and 21 assists as Queens Park Rangers ran riot in the second-tier. This was almost 10 years ago, and this outrageously talented player should be in his peak years right about now. Instead, he's recorded just the one goal and one assist for Benfica in Liga NOS this season.

We will never forget his obscene trickery for QPR, however.

Clint Dempsey

Clint Dempsey is unquestionably the best outfield American to have landed in European football, and arguably the greatest to ever be produced from this great sporting nation.

Whilst the likes of Landon Donovan did well at Everton and as Christian Pulisic continues to grow, Dempsey established himself as one of the Premier League's best once upon a time.

12 goals in the Premier League season of 2010/11 was bettered with 17 goals and seven assists a campaign later. Magical goals against Stoke, Sunderland and Juventus were just a selection of memorable efforts from this unforgettable highlight reel.

A legend of Craven Cottage and one of the best exports from America we've ever seen.

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Roque Santa Cruz

19 goals in his debut season with Blackburn, Roque Santa Cruz became an immediate hero for the club and has remained one of their best top-flight players ever since.

Santa Cruz signed from Bayern Munich in 2007 but made the big-money move to Manchester City in 2009 where the world forgot his exceptional talent after two poor seasons at the Etihad.

The streets will never forget you, though. A special player whose name often gets screamed when an old-schooler attempts the long-range effort at five-a-side.

Christian Benteke

The only man who is still active in the Premier League on this list, and his struggles post-Aston Villa makes us all forget the magnificent season he once had.

There was a period where the Belgian was one of English football's most threatening players, to the point where if a cross went in, Benteke would leap the highest and smash the ball home almost every time.

Combining exceptional physicality with extraordinary technical ability for a man who is 6ft 3, the former Villa hero scored 19 goals in the 2012/13 season. He has shown snippets of brilliance since, such as his breathtaking overhead kick against Manchester United for Liverpool.

This goal will forever be overlooked because of Anthony Martial's debut goal that day, but Benteke's strike wasn't too dissimilar from Wayne Rooney's famous bicycle kick at the same end of Old Trafford.

Forget his days with the Reds and Crystal Palace. Benteke's 2012/13 campaign will be remembered forever.

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Andy Johnson

A classic player. A player we often forget to name when talking about elite English strikers down the years of Premier League action.

Andy Johnson was the top English scorer in the year of 2004/05, just one year after the golden generation of England failed once more at Euro 2004. Whilst Sven-Göran Eriksson had his eyes on the up and coming strikers of Wayne Rooney and Jermain Defoe, Johnson, at just 25, was overlooked throughout his career.

28 Championship goals for Crystal Palace in 2003/04 was just the starting point for the Englishman, as he netted 21 with the Eagles in the Premier League the season after.

A true goalscorer and a man who never got the credit he deserved.


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