The Premier League’s Top 7 Debuts This Weekend!


This article was first published on August 9th 2015.

The Premier League 2015/16 kicked off yesterday, and as always after a summer of spending we’ve been given a host of new faces to the league! Here we take a look at who’s had the biggest impacts on their Premier League debuts!

7. Matteo Darmian – Manchester United

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Darmian kept Harry Kane et al quiet all day. Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Louis van Gaal’s new Italian right back played the first 81 minutes of the new campaign, and an overall solid 81 minutes they were. The defender, who arrived from Torino in July, made no mistakes and looked at ease in the Old Trafford defensive setup.

The 25-year-old looks like he still has a bit to learn about pushing forward and joining – even creating – some attacks for the Red Devils, but first and foremost his job is to defend and he excelled at that in United’s season opener yesterday.

6. Yohan Cabaye – Crystal Palace

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Cabaye celebrates Palace’s strong start to the season. Photo: Stephen Pond/Getty Images

One of the league’s most creative players on his day, Yohan Cabaye joined Palace last month in what was a real statement of intent from Alan Pardew – He and the Eagles are looking to push on!

Cabaye enjoyed a fruitful season at Paris Saint-Germain last year, picking up the Ligue 1 title. Cabaye impressed on his Palace debut, and even bagged himself a late goal in their 3-1 domination of newly promoted Norwich City.

5. Georginio Wijnaldum – Newcastle

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Wijnaldum’s goal had put Newcastle 2-1 in front against Southampton earlier. Photo: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Toon Army picked up a hidden gem when they signed Wijnaldum from PSV. A tough, physical midfielder, who loves to get forward and score goals, the Dutch international is perfectly suited to the Premier League, meaning Newcastle fans should love him!

He scored a goal in today’s 2-2 stalemate with Southampton, a brilliant header from a well-hit cross.

4. Sergio Romero – Manchester United

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Sergio Romero dives to make a save during United’s victory over Spurs. Photo: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Romero was the surprise inclusion in the United team this week after David De Gea was left out of the match day squad with van Gaal citing the keeper’s mentality. Sam Johnstone had played a lot of United’s games in pre-season and on their US Tour, but he was left on the bench in favour of Argentina net minder Sergio Romero, who hadn’t featured for even a minute in the United jersey before yesterday.

The goalkeeper had one early error when he misplaced a pass to his right hand side with the ball trickling out for a Spurs throw in. However, overall his performance was to be applauded. He pulled off some important saves when he needed to, and some impressive stops too. A clean sheet against 31-goal Harry Kane is a good way to start your career at a new club too.

3. Andre Ayew – Swansea

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Ayew forces the ball over the line in Swansea’s trip to Stamford Bridge yesterday. Photo: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Swansea’s new battling forward had one of the best debuts a player can hope for – especially when that debut comes at the home of the champions, Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea. Ayew got on the scoresheet to cancel out Oscar’s initial opener, and was a handfull for the Blues’ backline for the entire game.

The Ghana international looked like he had been a Swansea player for a number of years, rather than a number of weeks. He fit into the team brilliantly, and seemed to thrive in the pace and physicality of the league. He’ll likely have a very good season based on this debut!

2. Rudy Gestede – Aston Villa

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Gestede leaps highest to condemn Bournemouth to opening day defeat! Photo: Michael Steele/Getty Images

Aston Villa had a task on their hands after the departure of Christian Benteke, who racked up 42 Premier League goals for the Villains during his time there! In came Rudy Gestede, who was making waves in the Championship for some time with Blackburn Rovers. Sherwood had already praised the Benin international’s ability in the air before he took to the pitch, and Sherwood was made to look a genius after the win against newly promoted Bournemouth!

Gestede entered the game for another new signing, Jordan Ayew, with half an hour remaining. Gestede endeared himself to the Villa fans straight away with a brilliant headed goal from a corner in a tricky tie against a relatively unknown team!

1. Reece Oxford – West Ham

Question: Where was World Cup winner and £42.5 million man Mesut Ozil today? Answer: In 16-year-old Reece Oxford’s pocket all day!

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Oxford celebrates with teammates during West Ham’s win over Arsenal today. Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images

What a performance from the young man! Oxford made his league debut today for West Ham in a brilliant 0-2 win in the Emirates Stadium thanks to goals from Cheikhou Kouyate and Mauro Zarate. Reece Oxford had a stunning debut in the middle of the park, breaking up Gunners’ play for the 80 minutes he was on the pitch. Just like that – a star is born!

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