Best English Premier League Debuts

Soubhik Ray

Here's a look at 10 of the best English Premier League debuts.Not to judge a book by its cover, but debuts can tell a lot about a footballer. If a player wants to make a mark for his new club, what better day to do it than his debut. Fans won't be pinning any great expecations on the new face at their club, and the debutantcan use this moment to put up a memorable show. But English Premier League debutants are not always that lucky. Big-money signings arriving to ply their trade in EPL can fear for a shaky start. Many a time players signed with a lot of expectations have failed to impress on their EPL debut and ultimately in the remaining years. Have a look:

#10 Robbie Keane for Coventry City v Derby County (1999)

The all-time record goalscorer for Ireland knows how to make an impact. Starting as a youth product of Wolverhampton Wanderers, Keane went on to make his debut for the Wolves at just 17 years of age. Impressing at the Molineux, Keane attracted interest from several clubs, before joining Coventry City in the 1999-2000 EPL season. The Β£6 million pad for him was then a British record transfer for a teenager. And the Irishman proved to be a superb buy as he netted a brace on debut against Derby County. The teenager netted 12 goals on his debut EPL season as Inter Milan came knocking. The Italian giants were awed by the teenage striker and sealed a Β£13 million move to Inter.

#9 James Vaughan for Everton v Crystal Palace (2005)

Vaughan showed promise in his early years at Everton Academy. Born in Birmingham, Vaughan at the age of nine was spotted by Everton scouts and was taken under their wings. After impressing for the reserve team, manager David Moyes handed Vaughan his EPL debut against Crystal Palace on 10 April 2005. The teenage forward took the Premier League by storn in his very first outing for the Tofees. Vaughan, at 16 years and 271 days, became the Premier League's youngest scorer. With just three minutes left on the clock, Vaughan netted to overtake the record James Milner had set at Leeds United on 10 November 2002.

#8 James Wilson for Manchester United v Sunderland (2013)

James Wilson had one of the most cracking debuts one could ever imagine. The 18 year old had a successful time with the reserves team and was finally handed a debut by the caretaker manager Ryan Giggs. On his debut, he scored two goals to help United beat Hull City. Watch out for this lad in the coming years.

#7 Fabrizio Ravanelli for Middlesbrough v Liverpool (1996)

Ravanelli after lifting the UEFA Champions League with Juventus in 1996, quite surprisingly found Middlesbrough as his perfect destination. The Italian striker nicknamed Il Penna Bianca (The White Feather), netted a hat-trick on his EPL debut to shut the visiting Liverpool fans. Ravanelli netted 31 goals in all competitons for the Boro on his debut season to lead them to the League Cup and FA Cup finals. But his heroics were not enough as the Riverside club were relegated that season, and Ravanelli fled to Marseille.

#6 Michu for Swansea v QPR (2012)

Michu is a strange name, and the striker was a relatively unknown material before he arrived at Swansea. The Spaniard was signed from Rayo Vallecano for Β£2 million on 20 July 2012. And after he had pundered 22 goals in his debut season, it looked like a masterstroke by manager Michael Laudrup. On his debut on 18 August 2012 at Loftus Road against QPR, Michu netted a brace and also assisted Scott Sinclair as the Swans routed the Hoops 5-0.

#5 Cristiano Ronaldo for Manchester United v Bolton (2003)

The Portuguese may not have found the back of the net on his debut, but still provided a glimpse of what lay in store. The youngster was handed the legendary number 7 jersey by Alex Ferguson, and was in the company of club legends George Best, Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona and David Beckham who had donned that jersey number. But Cristiano used this hype around the number, to motivate him for the big day. Coming on as a 60th minute substitute for Nicky Butt, he foxed the Bolton players with ease. Popping through either flanks and even surging onto the centre, Ronaldo had the Old Trafford faithful drooling at this wonderkid and the records that he could go on to achieve.

#4 Ruud van Nistelrooy for Manchester United v Fulham (2001)

Manchester United had shelled out Β£19 million for Nistelrooy, but the Dutchman didn't seem to be weighed down by it. On being asked about his pricetag he had calmly replied, "The price is not heavy for me – it lifts me up because it means United have big confidence in me." On his Premier League debut Nistelrooy netted a brace as the Red Devils secured a 3-2 win. Nistelrooy proved to be worth the pricetag, as he went on to net 36 goals in his debut season for Manchester United.

#3 Jurgen Klinsmann for Tottenham v Sheffield Wednesday (1994)

When Klinsmann arrived at Tottenham, even his own club fans were booing the German striker. The 1990 World Cup can be cited as a reason for this hatred amongst the fans. In the World Cup semi-final at Turin, Germany beat England 4-3 on penalties to end their final dreams. The loss was soured further for English fans due to Germany's physical tactics used in the match. So the Premier League and Spurs fans certainly didn't give Klinsmann a warm welcome. Tottenham had paid AS Monaco Β£2 million for Klinsmann's services, and the German proved his worth on his very first outing in a Spurs shirt. In a seven-goal thriller away at Sheffield, Klinsmann assisted two goals before heading home to put Spurs up 4-2. Accused of going down too easily on several occasions, the German then dived onto the ground in celebration. Klinsmann went on to win the 1995 Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year and sold over 150,000 shirts. But he left the Spurs the following season, returning home to Germany by signing for Bayern Munich.

#2 Alan Shearer for Blackburn v Crystal Palace (1992)

Shearer is arguably the greatest striker to have graced the English Premier League. The Englishman coming through the ranks at the Southampton academy, tore apart Arsenal on his full debut. He netted a hat-trick to announce himself to the world. En route to his heroics, Shearer at 17 years 240 days, became the youngest player to score a hat-trick in the top-flight. But unfortunately his heroics for the Saints were before the advent of the cash-rich EPL. Shearer made his EPL era debut for Blackburn Rovers on August 15, 1992, the season's opening day. He netted a brace to ensure a well-fought 3-3 draw away at Selhurst Park. His habit of ripping apart opposition defences went on to hand the Rovers their maiden and only EPL trophy in 1995.

#1 Sergio Aguero for Manchester City v Swansea (2011)


When your club is ready to splurge Β£38 million for you, then towering expectations come along with it. Aguero was snapped up by Manchester City on 28 July 2011 from Atletico Madrid. His goalscoring heroics for Atletico (101 goals in 234 appearances) along with his hefty pricetag had piled up a lot of pressure for the striker. But the Argentine set the Premier League on fire on his City debut. Kun made his EPL debut for the Citizens on 15 August 2011 at home against Swansea. Manager Roberto Mancini decided not to start the new City boy, in order to let him get accustomed to the rough EPL first. But when he came on from the bench in the 59th minute, it hardly seemed as if he was here for the first time. He netted his first goal in a City shirt, courtesy a cross provided by Micah Richards. Aguero then turned provider, setting up Spaniard David Silva. And to etch his name in the memories of all City fans, Kun then slammed a 30-yard screamer. City won the match 4-0, and was now a proud owner of one of the Premier League's finest strikers.

Edited by Staff Editor


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