The 2016/17 EPL season was filled with exciting matches, intense competition, and memorable moments, and it marked the success of Chelsea as the dominant force in English football that year.
The 2016/17 season also saw notable performances from individual players. Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur won the Golden Boot as the league’s top scorer with 29 goals, while N’Golo Kanté of Chelsea was named the PFA Player of the Year for his outstanding performances in midfield.
The teams that were relegated from the Premier League in the 2016/17 season were Sunderland, Middlesbrough, and Hull City.
Before accessing this set, off the top of my head, I couldn’t think of any noteworthy rookie stickers. I was keen to dig in and see what I could find.
Let’s get into the top 10!
10 – Zlatan Ibrahimović – #197 – Rookie Sticker from Panini Fotboll. Allsvenskan 2000 (Swedish League Set)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is often regarded as one of the most talented and complete strikers in the game, and has won numerous individual awards throughout his career.
Ibrahimovic’s is characterised by his physical strength, excellent technique, and ability to score goals from almost anywhere on the pitch. He is equally comfortable using both feet and his head, and is known for his powerful and accurate shots. He is also adept at holding up the ball and bringing his teammates into play.
In the 2016/17 season, Ibrahimovic scored an impressive 28 goals in all competitions for Manchester United, including 17 in the Premier League.e had exceeded many expectation, coming from the MLS and in his mid 30s.
A very interesting stickers. Zlatan’s only league sticker for Manchester United.
9 – David Luiz – #61 – Rookie Sticker from Panini Futebol 2007-2008 (Portugal)
David Luiz is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays as a center back. He is known for his technical skills, physical presence, and ability to play long balls and score from set-pieces.
David Luiz is known for his ability to read the game and anticipate the opposition’s attacks. He is strong in the air and a leader on the pitch. Additionally, he has excellent passing skills for a center back and is capable of launching accurate long balls to start counter-attacks.
However, David Luiz is also known for his tendency to make risky challenges and occasionally give away free-kicks or penalties. Despite this, his positive contributions to Chelsea’s defence and attack made him a key player in their title-winning campaign.
In the 2016/17 season, David Luiz returned to Chelsea after a two-year stint with Paris Saint-Germain. He played an important role in the team’s success that season, helping them win the Premier League title under manager Antonio Conte. Conte’s formation was critical for Luiz’s success. He played in the center of a back 3, shielding his defensive weaknesses and also giving him the authority to dictate the play from the back, spraying balls across the pitch.
His performances earned him a place in the EPL team of the year and a place in my top 10 list!
8 – Kevin De Bruyne – # – Rookie Sticker from Panini Football Belgium 2010-2011
De Bruyne’s has incredible technical ability, intelligence, and versatility. He has excellent ball control and dribbling skills, and is comfortable playing in tight spaces. He is a creative player, capable of playing accurate through balls and crosses that often lead to goals. His shooting ability is also impressive, with his powerful long-range shots.
In addition to his attacking prowess, De Bruyne is also a hard worker defensively. He is known for his high work rate, often tracking back to help his team win back possession. His physicality and endurance make him an all-round midfielder, capable of contributing to both attack and defence.
In the 2016/17 season, De Bruyne was one of the standout performers in the Premier League, helping Manchester City finish third in the table. He played a pivotal role in City’s attack, contributing with 6 goals and an insane 19 assists in 36 league appearances.
Overall, De Bruyne’s 2016/17 season was a testament to his technical ability, creativity, and versatility as a midfielder. He has since continued to perform at a high level, establishing himself as one of the best players in the world.
7 – Alexis Sanchez – #35 – Rookie Sticker from Panini Clausura 2008
Alexis Sanchez is a Chilean forward known for his explosive pace, dribbling skills, and ability to score goals. He is a versatile player who can play on either wing or as a center forward.
One of Sanchez’s greatest strengths is his work rate and tenacity. He is known for his relentless pressing and ability to win the ball back high up the pitch. This makes him a valuable asset in both attack and defence, as he is able to contribute to the team’s overall shape and structure.
Sanchez’s playing style is characterised by his speed and agility, as well as his technical ability on the ball. He has excellent close control and is able to beat defenders in one-on-one situations with ease. He is also a good finisher, with the ability to score goals from a variety of angles and distances.
In the 2016/17 season, Sanchez was the team’s top scorer, with 24 league goals and also provided 10 assists. His performances helped Arsenal to reach the final of the FA Cup, where they beat Chelsea 2-1, with Sanchez scoring and getting the man of the match.
In terms of numbers, this was Alexis’ best for Arsenal. A cool sticker to remember a great Gunners player.
6 – Eden Hazard – #62 – Rookie Sticker from Panini FOOT 2009-2010
Eden Hazard is known for his impressive dribbling, passing, and goal-scoring abilities. He has been praised for his technical skills, explosive pace, and ability to create scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates.
Hazard’s playing style is characterised by his ability to dribble past opponents with ease. He is known for his close control of the ball and his ability to change direction quickly, making it difficult for defenders to stop him. Hazard also has excellent vision and passing ability, allowing him to create scoring opportunities for his teammates. He is also a clinical finisher in front of goal, with a strong left foot and the ability to score from a variety of positions.
During the 2016/17 season, Hazard was a key player for Chelsea FC, helping them to win the Premier League title. He played primarily as a left winger or attacking midfielder in a 3-4-3 formation under manager Antonio Conte. Hazard’s performances were consistently impressive throughout the season, and he scored a total of 16 goals and provided 5 assists in the Premier League.
Hazard was given the license to attack and disregard defending a little in this system. The wide midfield, most often Alonso, worked very hard down the left flank, allowing Hazard to showcase his attacking talents.
5 – Diego Costa – #68 – Rookie Sticker from Colecciones ESTE Spanish Liga 2009-2010
Costa is a powerful and aggressive striker who is always looking to get in behind the opposition’s defense. He has a great sense of positioning and is excellent at making runs into the box to get on the end of crosses and through balls. He is also comfortable dropping deep to receive the ball and link up with his teammates.
In addition to his scoring prowess, Costa is also known for his physicality. He is a hard-working player who is not afraid to put in a challenge and is always looking to win the ball back for his team. Costa is especially known for his aggressive style, winding up opponents with “dirty” tactics and often getting cards in the process.
During the 2016/17 season, Costa had a very successful campaign with Chelsea, scoring 20 goals and providing 7 assists in 35 appearances. His physicality and goalscoring ability were crucial to Chelsea’s title-winning campaign, as he often provided the focal point of their attack and scored important goals in tight games.
One of Costa’s best individual seasons and a title winning season; a cool sticker to add to the collection.
4 – Kelechi Iheanacho Rookie Sticker – #162
Iheanacho is known for his poacher’s instinct, positioning, and finishing ability. He has a natural gift for finding space in the box and is often in the right place at the right time to score goals. Iheanacho is also a capable dribbler and has good close control, which allows him to beat defenders in tight spaces.
During the 2016/17 season, Iheanacho made 20 league appearances, scoring 4 goals and providing 3 assists. He was often used as a substitute, but still managed to make a significant impact in several games.
He moved to Leicester City the following season and has been a decent player for them. I would classify him as a nearly player, showing immense class but lacking the killer instinct.
At the time of writing, he is 26 years old, having to potential to add this killer instinct to his game. Time will tell but an interesting rookie sticker to take a risk on.
3 – N’Golo Kanté – #66 – Rookie Sticker from Panini FOOT 2014-2015
Kanté was a key player in Leicester City’s historic Premier League title-winning campaign in the 2015/16 season and has continued to impress since his move to Chelsea in 2016.
Kante’s playing style is defined by his incredible work rate, stamina, and defensive ability. He is a tenacious midfielder who excels at breaking up opposition attacks and intercepting passes. Kante is also highly effective at winning back possession for his team, thanks to his excellent tackling technique and impressive speed.
In addition to his defensive contributions, Kante is also a skilled passer of the ball. He doesn’t have expansive passing but he always makes the correct decsion and is able to quickly distribute the ball to his teammates in order to launch counter-attacks. Despite primarily playing in a defensive midfield role, Kante has also shown an ability to contribute to the attack, with his energy and quickness making him a valuable asset in transition.
During the 2016/17 season, Kante was an integral part of Chelsea’s Premier League title-winning team. He played in all but 3 of their league games, helping to solidify their midfield and provide a solid foundation for the team. Kante’s performances earned him the Premier League Player of the Season award.
It is not an accident that Leicester won the league the previous season with Kante in the team and this season Chelsea won. He is truely a dynamo in the center of the pitch. He was crucial in France’s 2018 World Cup victory also; one of those players that aren’t glamorous but crucial to the team, drawing comparisons to compatriot, Claude Makelele.
A great sticker of Kante, his first year at Chelsea.
2 – Harry Kane – #284 – Rookie Sticker from Topps English Premier League 2014-2015
Kane’s playing style is that of a traditional center forward, who often plays as a lone striker in a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 formation. He is a versatile striker who can score goals from a variety of positions, including inside and outside the box, with both feet, and with his head.
Kane is a powerful and aggressive striker who excels at holding the ball up, using his strength and positioning to shield defenders and create space for his teammates. He is also a skillful dribbler who can beat defenders in one-on-one situations and has excellent vision and passing ability, often dropping deep to link up play with midfielders, having a great relationship with Son on the field.
During the 2016/17 season, Kane was one of the most lethal strikers in the Premier League, scoring 29 goals in 30 league appearances, as well as 7 assists. An incredible strike rate and a golden boot for his great season.
It was a Fantastic season for Kane and Spurs, finishing 2nd, with Kane making the team of the season. In terms of goal rate (goal/game), this was Kane’s personal best.
A very interesting sticker for the all-time leading scorer for Spurs and England.
1 – Marcus Rashford – #198 – Rookie Sticker from Panini UEFA Euro France 2016
Marcus Rashford burst onto the scene in 2016 and had a memorable debut season for Manchester United.
Rashford is a versatile forward who can play on either wing or as a central striker. He is known for his pace, quick feet, and dribbling ability. He is also a skilled finisher, with the ability to score from both inside and outside the box. He has a uniquely powerful shot that can catch any keeper out.
Rashford’s pace and dribbling ability often cause problems for opposition defenders, and his versatility allows him to play in a variety of attacking positions. He has continued to develop his game since his breakout season, becoming an important player for both Manchester United and the England national team.
In the 2016/17 season, Rashford made a whopping 53 appearances in all competitions, scoring 11 goals with 5 in the league.
After a dip in form, the 2022/23 season has seen a Rashford resurgence, showing super form, with 16 goals and has been United’s standout player.
Technically not Rashford’s rookie sticker but it is his first league sticker for United. Some may consider it a rookie but technically it’s not.
Nonetheless, a super sticker and a great investment!
Overall, the Topps English Premier League 2016-2017 set was a weak one in terms of rookies and sticker investment. If you are looking to make some money, don’t spend money on this set.
On the other hand, the set has some great stickers representing established player individual seasons. If you want to remember so epic performances, getting a few on these stickers is a great idea.
What do you guys think?
Thanks for reading.