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Footballers who have better Spells than their Fathers in the EPL

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A few footballers and their fathers have both played in the Premier League, although the sons have had better stints than their old men.

The English top flight has been one of the main destinations for any top footballer in their career since the late 1990s. Following the downfall of Italian Serie A and the monotonous duopoly of Spanish La Liga, the Premier League is an attractive hub for all global stars to taste the fierce competition week in and week out against the best players around the world.

Among those, there have been famous players whose fathers also used to play in the EPL  in the past. They are not necessarily from England or even the United Kingdom. Some names might have had more successful spells than their fathers, while others might have been the opposite. The most well-known one was probably Kasper Schmeichel and his father, Peter the Great Dane. Kasper did have success with Leicester City when they won the league in 2016 and the FA Cup in 2021. However, he was nothing compared to his father, especially trophy-wise. Peter, on the other hand, was part of Manchester United’s glorious era in the 1990s. He clinched five EPL titles and lifted FA Cup trophies three times, plus the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Super Cup. These are the silverware Kasper will never win in his career.

Here are the ones who have been able to do better than their fathers while competing in the best football league in the world today. Surprisingly, only one was an Englishman.

Erling Haaland

The Norwegian international forward is one of the most successful ones on the list. He has won every major title at the club level with Manchester City in his second season only. The former Borussia Dortmund man has clinched the league title twice: the FA Cup, League Cup, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, and FIFA World Cup. Erling has been awarded the Golden Boot in the Premier League twice, as well as being the leading goalscorer last season.

On the contrary, his father, Alf Inge-Haaland, had never enjoyed a single trophy during his playing years. He had longer spells in England with Nottingham Forest, Leeds United, and Manchester City from 1994/95 to 2000/01, but no silverware at all in his collection. Unfortunately, his club’s best finish on the table was only third. Alfie helped The Tricky Trees and The Whites sit third in the 1994/95 and 1999/2000 campaigns, respectively. The former right back’s best performance in the continental competition was in the UEFA Cup 2000, when Leeds reached the semi-final before losing to the eventual champion, Galatasaray.

Brennan Johnson

The 23-year-old Welsh winger is one of the most promising young talents in the UK. Last season, he helped Nottingham Forest avoid relegation, while this season he brought Spurs to be the title contender before they started to lose points and finish fifth. Overall, he has contributed 13 goals and 13 assists in 79 games in the top flight for both clubs. In the 2023–24 campaign, Brennan registered five goals and 10 assists. Should he keep up his form, the versatile winger could improve the demand for next season. His consistent performance might boost the Spurs’ position too. 

Such is quite in contrast to his father’s form, David Johnson. He was part of the Ipswich Town squad in the 2000–01 season when they surprisingly managed to finish fifth. However, he was not the first choice upfront. The former Jamaican international striker was scoreless in 13 Premier League games that season, the only season he played in the top flight. He was, in fact, eventually sold to Nottingham Forest, which was competing in the second tier at the time, in the middle of the season. 

Justine Kluivert

From his name, one can already tell that he is related to the famous Dutch forward in the mid-1990s and 2000s, Patrick Kluivert. Justin joined Premier League side Bournemouth in the summer of 2023 after spending his career in five different major leagues before: the Eredivisie, Italian Serie A, Bundesliga, Ligue 1, and Spanish La Liga. The versatile midfielder had a fine season as he made 32 appearances, scoring seven goals and providing one assist. The former AS Roma man also helped the Cherries finish 12th in the final standings. One of his important contributions was when he netted one goal against Manchester United to pick up one point.

Meanwhile, his father, Patrick, had one brief stint in England when he signed for Newcastle United in the 2004–05 season. He was already 28 years old at the time and was recruited as the duet for the ageing Alan Shearer. The former Barcelona man was only fielded 25 times, registering six goals and one assist. It was a rather disappointing tally for a world-class frontman. What’s worse, the Magpies only finished 14th. Kluivert was eventually released in 2005. 

Frank Lampard

The former England international star in the 2000s and 2010s was a key figure for two clubs, West Ham and Chelsea. However, he was more well-known as a legend in the latter. Lampard was instrumental in the Blues’ glorious era after Roman Abramovich’s takeover in the early 2000s. He helped to create a dynasty in Stamford Bridge and won silverware constantly. The former midfielder was part of the squad when they clinched three league titles in 2005, 2006, and 2010, four FA Cups, two continental trophies, the UEFA Champions League 2012, and the Europa League in the following season. His experience working under top managers such as Claudio Ranieri, Jose Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti, Rafael Benitez, and Luis Felipe Scolari inspired him to start off his managerial career in 2018 with Derby County. He had been able to guide them to the championship promotion playoff instantly in 2019, but lost to Jack Grealish’s Aston Villa. Unfortunately, he moved to the top level too soon by taking charge of his former side. He managed to lead them to finish in the top four in his first season in 2020, plus he reached the FA Cup final. Yet, that seemed to be the pinnacle of his career in the dugout. He has yet to be at the helm of the team after being named a caretaker in the 2022–23 season to avoid relegation. Such appears to be his expertise, as he did the same for Everton in 2022.

Nevertheless, Lampard’s career is still better than that of his father, Lampard Sr. He was known as the true West Ham player as he spent most of his playing career with The Hammers, despite only winning two silverware throughout his career, the FA Cups in 1975 and 1980. He was the former left-back and had a brief stint with Southend United before retiring in 1986. Lampard Sr. also continued his dedication to West Ham in the dugout, but not as head coach. He was merely the assistant of Harry Redknapp, who also happens to be his brother-in-law, from 1994 to 2001. 

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