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LaLiga: 3 best debuts in recent memory

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Andre Silva bagged a hattrick on his Sevilla debut
Shea Robinson
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LaLiga kicked off with a bang over the weekend with some shock results, plenty of goals, and new talent on display around the country. While Barcelona and Real Madrid will grab the main headlines, there was another noteworthy story which emerged from the first round of fixtures in the Spanish top flight.

Sevilla's thrashing of new boys, Rayo Vallecano at the Estadio de Vallecas witnessed the LaLiga debut of 22-year-old forward, Andre Silva. The Portuguese star signed on loan for Los Hispalenses this summer following a season at AC Milan.

The forward had moved to I Rossoneri last summer for a fee of €38 million but was deemed surplus to requirements at the San Siro for the new season. The loan deal to Sevilla includes an option to buy for €35 million and following his sensational debut, that could end up representing a canny piece of business from the Andalusian side.

Silva bagged himself a debut hattrick, displaying wonderful movement and finishing abilities throughout the match against Vallecano. The young forward had a brace before halftime and added his third goal late in the second half.

Undoubtedly the individual performance of the weekend, Silva's dream start with his new club ranks as one of LaLiga's best in recent memory.

Below, we look at three other players who enjoyed superb debuts for their LaLiga clubs over the past few years.


#3 Stevan Jovetic for Sevilla Vs Real Madrid (January 2017)

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Stevan Jovetic

Stevan Jovetic arrived at Sevilla on a short-term loan deal from Inter Milan in the January transfer window of 2017. The ex-Manchester City forward had struggled for game time at the San Siro and was hoping to breathe new life into his career during his time in Spain.

He started his first LaLiga game on the bench as Sevilla took on a Real Madrid side which hadn't lost in 40 games. He had already made an appearance a few days previously in the Copa Del Rey, scoring a goal during a thrilling 3-3 draw against the same opposition.

67 minutes into the league tie and Cristiano Ronaldo cooly scored a penalty to put Los Blancos ahead. Sevilla manager, Jorge Sampaoli wasted no time in introducing his new signing.

Jovetic came on just two minutes later and what followed was an extraordinary comeback which changed that season's title race. Sergio Ramos scored an own goal in the 85th minute much to the delight of the home crowd and leveled the game at 1-1.

In the second minute of stoppage time, Jovetic struck a sensational goal to hand his new team a historic win and end Real Madrid's lengthy unbeaten run.

The Montenegran would go on to make 21 appearances for Sevilla, scoring six times before transferring to Monaco in the summer of 2017.

#2 Nelson Valdez for Hercules Vs Barcelona (September 2010)

Barcelona v Hercules CF - La Liga
Nelson Valdez enjoyed a dream debut in LaLiga

Having gained promotion from the Segunda Division in the 2009/10 season, Hercules was back in LaLiga for the first time in almost 15 years and determined to put up a strong fight against relegation.

To this end, they smashed their transfer record to bring in Paraguayan forward, Nelson Valdez from Borussia Dortmund for a fee of €3.5 million.

The first assignment for their record signing was to play on the right side of a three-man line behind the main striker at the Nou Camp against Barcelona - not the easiest task for a traditional striker.

However, one of the biggest shocks in LaLiga history was about to unfold with Valdez at the center of it. The Paraguayan somehow scrambled the ball past Barcelona goalkeeper, Victor Valdez in the 27th minute to give the tiny club a stunning lead in Catalonia.

Things were to get better for the journeyman forward as he doubled Hercules' lead just before the hour mark with a neat finish into the roof of the net from a Tiago Gomes cross. The Valencian team held out to record a stunning victory and hand Barcelona their first home defeat in over a year.

Valdez went on to make 25 appearances for Hercules, scoring eight times as the club failed to secure their status in LaLiga, finishing 19th and dropping to the Segunda Division from where they have suffered relegation again and are yet to return.

#1 Hiroshi Kiyotake & Wissam Ben Yedder for Sevilla Vs Espanyol (August 2016)

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Hiroshi Kiyotake and Wissam Ben Yedder both enjoyed stunning debuts for Sevilla

It feels like new arrivals at Sevilla start extremely well as the club appears on this list yet again. This time, however, it is a doubly delightful debut as both Hiroshi Kiyotake and Wissam Ben Yedder put in incredible performances.

The pair arrived in Andalusia during the summer transfer window of 2016. Kiyotake arrived from the German club, Hannover 96 while Ben Yedder moved from Ligue 1 side, Toulouse. Both started Sevilla's first game of the season at home to Espanyol.

In what was possibly the most thrilling opening game of any LaLiga season, the first half saw five goals as Espanyol took a 3-2 lead at the break. The visitors had lead 1-0 before two goals in seven minutes, the second of which was assisted by Kitotake, gave Sevilla the lead on 22 minutes.

However, just four minutes later the Catalan team was level again and just before the break they took the lead after a breathless opening exchange. The second half was no less dramatic as Sevilla came racing out of the blocks.

Four goals in 20 minutes saw the home team take a 6-3 lead. Among the scorers were debutants Ben Yedder and Kiyotake, who scored the fifth and sixth goals respectively. The fourth goal for Espanyol after 79 minutes saw the game finish 6-4 in what was an incredible display of attacking football by both sides.

Kiyotake would only make four appearances for Sevilla before moving back to Japan in 2017. Meanwhile, Ben Yedder remains at the club and has made 56 appearances, netting 20 goals over two seasons.

Edited by Sripad
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