A Number Nine Bites the Dust: 9 English Strikers Who Failed to Live Up to Their Early Potential

Remember at the start of the season when everyone was raving about Tammy Abraham? 


Well, he hasn't scored a Premier League goals since September. The youngster still has plenty of time on his side, but the now the Chelsea loanee (who was tipped for a seat in the plane to Russia this summer) looks to have drifted from his start of season form.


Could Tammy turn out like every other English number nine who has failed to live up to the obscene expectations of the British press?


Let's hope not, but here's nine others who have completely flopped from their early career potential...

9. Matt Derbyshire

Matt Derbyshire's career path has been relatively strange to say the least. While most failed English prodigies usually travel around the lower reaches of the Football League - a pilgrimage of inadequacy, if you like.


But Derbyshire was somewhat different. At first, he enjoyed Premier League success. The young England Under-21 international racked up a rather impressive nine goals in his debut campaign for Blackburn - with only 17 starts to his name.


But that was pretty much it. Derbyshire spent the next three years gradually being forgotten about before an out of the ordinary switch to Olympiakos. His Greek honeymoon last for two years before he began the aforementioned pilgrimage... until 2016, when his career took another turn.


Derbyshire made an even stranger transfer to Cypriot football club Omonia - for whom he has since scored an impressive 46 goals in 52 appearances.

8. Fraizer Campbell

Fraizer Campbell's career has somewhat seen him fluctuate on the Premier League/Championship border.


As a promising youngster starting out at Manchester United (a club known for producing young talent), Campbell was beautifully hyped up to turn into, well, not much really.


He's always been a bit of a danger man for the likes of Sunderland, Hull and Cardiff; but ultimately, inconsistent performances have stopped him from reaching the top. And at the ripe old age of 30, he doesn't look likely to go much further (if at all).

7. Gabriel Agbonlahor

As much as Gabby Agbonlahor failed to live up to the typical over-hyping from British media that has resulted in the deaths of so many English players' careers, FIFA fans will forever be thankful for Agbonlahor's ability to consistently stay in the Premier League. Well, until a couple of years ago.


The Aston Villa legend (which really says a lot about the state of the club today) was always that rapid striker in everyone's Ultimate Teams that angered players to the point of controller destruction.


Unfortunately, he never managed to repeat such ability on an actual football pitch, and he remains with Villa in the Championship.

6. Scott Sinclair

Though not exactly a number nine, and not really a failure; Scott Sinclair could've definitely gone a lot further in his career than he has.


Rising to fame under Brendan Rodgers, and being the main man at Swansea during their debut Premier League season, Sinclair earned himself a move to Manchester City.


Introducing the next cause of a footballer's crumbling career: money.


Though sat on a tidy pay day, Sinclair occupied the bench for three years at the Etihad; watching his international (and ultimately career) hopes fade away.


He's now finally settled again, winning week in week out back under Rodgers at Celtic, but you get the feeling that so much more could've come from the now 28-year-old.

5. Patrick Bamford

Patrick Bamford is a bit of a curious case. At 24-years-old, there's still hope left in his already Championship condemned career; but the former Chelsea loanee is certainly a victim of that rigorous system of a new club every season.


There was that one season with current club Middlesbrough - at the time, on loan from the Blues - whereby he netted 17 goals in one season; and every media outlet went nuts for the then 20-year-old.


It was pretty much make or break for Bamford at that point, and his step up into the Premier League flopped massively. Since then he's become completely forgotten about.


RIP Patrick Bamford - 2014/15

4. Calrton Cole

A bit of a throwback when we think of 21st century football. 


Carlton Cole perhaps presents a name that out younger readers will be familiar with - but little more than a has been striker that was never quite ready for the role of first choice striker.


2001 saw Cole start his career at Chelsea, promising a lot but producing little. Failed loan spells at various Premier League sides saw him join West Ham in 2006, where he managed 47 goals in a total of 207 matches.


Cole is still playing, to the surprise of many. The 34-year-old is currently plying his trade over in Indonesia - turning out for Persib Bandung. 


It's interesting where some players end up, isn't it?

3. Connor Wickham

The story of Connor Neil Ralph Wickham is actually that of one filled with sorrow. 


The 24-year-old (yes, he's still only 24) looked as if he was ready to take the Premier League by storm when he burst on the scene for Sunderland back in 2011.


However, a youngster who once looked like the next big thing had his success story cut criminally short by a plague of injuries, and now sees himself amongst the rotation in the Crystal Palace squad.

2. Benik Afobe

Afobe's career really kicked off when he moved to Championship outfit Wolves


Until then he had very much been on the peripherals of the Arsenal squad, and never really looked like breaking through.


After a successful spell in the Midlands, the then 23-year-old made the very wise looking move to Bournemouth - a team that were still in the lower reaches of the top flight, and would be more than willing to give him game time.


However, something hasn't quite clicked with the Cherries. Ten goals in 63 appearances has seen him return to Molineux this January, and he looks lost to Championship level football if things remain as they are.

1. Saido Berahino

It's a genuine shock that West Brom chairman Jeremy Pearce isn't currently serving a life sentence in jail for murdering Berahino. Figuratively speaking, of course.


The young Berahino was at one point being lined up by Spurs for a £25m move to White Hart Lane way back in 2015. Up until he failed to force his way out of Albion, Berahino was literally flying.


Ten goals in eleven appearances for England Under-21s, and scoring goals for fun at the Hawthorns, he seriously looked like he would be something special.


But following the transfer saga, game time became a problem, his confidence dropped and Saido Berahino was never the same again. 


He's been playing at Stoke for a year now, and (at the time of writing) still hasn't scored a goal.

It's actually rather depressing when you read through this list. 


So much hope, so much raw talent, yet so little finishing product. Oh well, England have Harry Kane now so it doesn't really matter to us, does it?


Still though, you can't help but think of what could've been. Imagine an England team being headlined by Carlton Cole *Insert heart eyes emoji*.