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10 of the greatest English Premier League debuts

Zlatan Ibrahimovic Premier League debut
Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored on his Premier League debut, but is it good enough to make the Top 10? 

Who doesn't want to have the perfect debut? It's everyone's dream and not many are fortunate enough to enjoy one. Scoring in a Premier League debut is a different scenario though because the whole world is watching you.

A dream debut can thrust players into the limelight. Some of them thrive on the instant stardom the Premier League gives them and go on to become greats of the game. However, not everyone is capable of handling the pressure and they slowly fade away.

Regardless, a dream debut always leaves the fans with a wonderful memory - one they will forever fondly remember the players for irrespective of how their careers pan out.

So here are the Top 10 greatest Premier League debuts.


#10. Luis Suarez, Liverpool vs Stoke (2011)

Luis Suarez Premier League debut
Suarez scored off the bench on his Premier League debut

When Liverpool signed Luis Suarez on deadline day in January 2011, they knew that they were spending their money wisely but the Premier League fans didn't know it yet. For the general public, Suarez was the villain who denied Ghana the African dream of reaching the World Cup semifinal with his deliberate handball. Back in Uruguay, he was a hero of course.

Suarez came off the bench against Stoke City on February 2nd in the 63rd minute for Fabio Aurelio to make his Premier League debut. Liverpool were leading 1-0 thanks to an early second half goal from Raul Meireles.

He marked his debut by scoring a goal in front of the Kop, 16 minutes after coming on.

This was just a glimpse of what the Uruguayan was going to do in the seasons that followed.

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#9. Paulo Wanchope, Derby v Man United (1997)

Paulo Wanchope Premier League debut against Manchester United for Derby County
Wanchope scored one of the greatest goals in Derby County’s history

Paulo Wanchope was a Costa Rican striker who played for Premier League clubs Derby County, West Ham United and Manchester City. More recently, he was the manager of Costa Rica.

Wanchope scored a few goals in his Premier League career but none as famous as his first ever. He danced past four Manchester United players and stunned Kasper Schmeichel to score Derby's second goal of the day.

The Rams went on to win the game 3-2 courtesy of goals from Ashley Ward and Dean Sturridge - the uncle of current Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge.

His goal was later voted the greatest in Derby's history by the fans as part of the club's 125th Anniversary Celebrations.

Now that's a memorable debut goal!

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#8. Danny Rose, Tottenham v Arsenal (2010)

Danny Rose Premier League debut
Rose hit a thunderous volley to score

Today, Danny Rose is one of the best left-backs in the Premier League having been named in the PFA Team of the Year for the last two seasons. But back in 2010, that was not the case.

Rose was an emerging winger who joined Spurs in 2007 from Leeds United and was not a first team regular. However, on April 14, 2010, ahead of a North London Derby, Harry Redknapp, the then Tottenham manager, was forced to give Rose his Premier League debut due to unavailability of regular starters.

It didn't take Rose long to announce himself to the Premier League. He hit a thunderous volley from outside the box to give Spurs the lead in the 10th minute.

Spurs went on to win the game 2-1 and thus got their first win over Arsenal since November 1999 - a run of 20 games. The result of the game also ended Arsenal's title hopes and cemented Tottenham's chances of qualifying for the Champions League.

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#7. Michu, Swansea v QPR (2012)

Michu Premier League debut
Michu mesmerised the Premier League in his debut season

Fans who watched Premier League football in 2012/13 are the only ones who are likely to remember Michu because when the Spaniard arrived from Rayo Vallecano, he was not a known figure but he was going to rectify that soon.

Michu made his debut on the opening day of the 2012/13 Premier League season away to QPR and scored the first two goals for Swansea en route to a 5-0 win. The two goals the Spaniard scored were out of the top drawer.

He went on to score 22 goals in just 43 games for Swansea that season and also helped the club win the League Cup which is the first and so far only major trophy won by Swansea in England.

Michu's spectacular 2012/13 season which also earned him a cap for the Spanish national team turned out to be an anomaly as he struggled to live up the expectations. He currently plays in Spain's lower leagues.

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#6. Sergio Aguero, Man City v Swansea (2011)

Sergio Aguero Premier League debut
Sergio Aguero started and never stopped that season

When Manchester City shelled out £38m for a diminutive striker named Sergio Aguero with no Premier League experience in 2011, many eyebrows were raised, but they were not going to remain raised for long.

On the opening day of the 2011/12 Premier League season, a new look Manchester City side put Premier League newcomers, Swansea City, to the sword. The Citizens were 1-0 up when Sergio Aguero was introduced as a substitute in the 59th minute.

Less than 10 minutes later, Aguero found the net for the first time in Premier League. He then assisted David Silva for their third in superb fashion before wrapping things up with a late goal from range.

He finished the season more glamorously than he started it as he scored a last-minute goal on the final matchday to secure Manchester City their first Premier League title.

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#5. Alan Shearer, Blackburn v Crystal Palace (1992)

Alan Shearer Premier League debuts
Shearer’s record move to Blackburn started with a spectacular debut

Every player who aims to become a top striker in the Premier League has to start from zero. Even, Alan Shearer, who has scored a record 260 Premier League goals.

Shearer started his career at Southampton before moving to Blackburn Rovers in 1992 for £3.3m which made him the most expensive British player.

On August 15, 1992, on the first day of the first ever Premier League season, Shearer started for Blackburn in an away fixture against Crystal Palace.

At the end of the game, Shearer only had to score 258 goals to reach his final tally. The Englishman lived up to the hype created following his transfer by scoring two spectacular goals from outside the box.

The game ended in a 3-3 draw and interestingly, in the Crystal Palace camp were current England and Wales managers, Gareth Southgate and Chris Coleman, respectively.

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#4. Anthony Martial, Man United v Liverpool (2015)

Anthony Martial Premier League debut
Martial hit the ground running upon joining Man Utd

The 2015 Summer Transfer Window was not a spectacular one for Manchester United's standards but they did something which took everyone by surprise. On deadline day, they signed a 19-year-old French striker named Anthony Martial from AS Monaco.

His move made him the most expensive teenager ever and thus there was a lot of spotlight on this transfer. His numbers at Monaco were not spectacular and at the time of his transfer, he was yet to make his France debut. However, he made his full international debut three days after his record transfer.

The first game for Manchester United after Martial's transfer was against arch rivals Liverpool at Old Trafford. The Frenchman was left on the bench but came on in the 65th minute and he couldn't have asked for a better game to make a mark.

After Martial came on the field, the score soon became 2-1 with Christian Benteke of Liverpool scoring from a spectacular overhead kick. It was hard to beat that goal but in the 86th minute, Martial received the ball on the left wing, left three Liverpool players for dead and curved the ball past Simon Mignolet in goal to put the game to bed.

His jubilant celebration included him putting his finger to his mouth as if to silence the critics who questioned him following his big move.

Martial ended the season with 17 goals which also made him Manchester United's top scorer for the season.

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#3. Jurgen Klinsmann, Tottenham v Sheffield Wednesday (1994)

Jurgen Klinsmann Premier League debut
Jurgen Klinsmann became a fan favourite in England in one season

Back in 1994, Spurs were not as good a side as they are today. Hence, it was a big surprise when Jurgen Klinsmann, a World Cup winner with Germany, signed for the North London club.

Despite his known quantities, Klinsmann was not the most popular player in England because he was part of the German team that knocked England out in the 1990 World Cup and also had a reputation for diving.

He made his Premier League debut against Sheffield Wednesday, scored a header and did the most Klinsmann thing possible. He did a self-depreciating dive. The German started the chest slide celebration which is now done by several players around the world.

Klinsmann went on to score 21 goals in the Premier League and 30 overall and won the Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year.

His popularity in England soared thanks to his humour and playing style. He was even inducted into Madame Tussauds Wax Museum.

He left Spurs after that season to play for Bayern Munich and that season also turned out to be his only one in the Premier League. I think he just wanted to play one year in England to change the image he had in the country and boy did he do that well or what.

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#2. Fabrizio Ravanelli, Middlesbrough v Liverpool (1996)

Fabrizio Ravanelli Premier League debut
Ravanelli scored 31 goals in his debut season with Boro

Fabrizio Ravenelli was the only scorer for Juventus in their victorious UEFA Champions League final against Ajax. His next competitive match was in the Premier League against Liverpool playing for Middlesbrough.

It was surprising that Ravenelli chose to play for Boro in 1996 but such was the growing glamour and reputation of the Premier League. It was also around this time that the famous 'Spice Boys' of Liverpool were born.

On the Italian's debut, Liverpool took the lead thrice and he equalised thrice. Everytime Ravanelli scored, the Boro fans went into delirium.

He scored 16 goals in the Premier League and 31 overall in a season where Boro were relegated. His performance, however, propelled the team to the finals of both the FA Cup and League Cup which they subsequently lost.

Despite being the highest paid player in the Premier League player at that time he was quite unhappy with the club and left the following season for Marseille.

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#1. Marcus Rashford, Man United vs Arsenal (2016)

Marcus Rashford Premier League debut
Marcus Rashford became the third youngest scorer for Man Utd in the Premier League on his debut

When Arsenal were travelling to Old Trafford on February 28, 2016, they must have been very confident of beating their arch rivals. But they turned out to be a little too optimistic.

Louis van Gaal was forced to start 18-year-old Marcus Rashford among several other youngsters due to injuries to several first-team players. Rashford made his debut in Man Utd's previous game, a 5-1 win over Midtjylland in the Europa League, where he scored two goals. However, Arsenal were opponents of a different calibre.

Rashford scored the first two goals of the game in and eventual 3-2 win for the home team leaving the Gunners red-faced. He took the chances he was presented with and enjoyed a terrific end to the season which eventually earned him a call up to the England team for Euro 2016.

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Edited by Staff Editor
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