Revealed: Zlatan and Mane among top 10 PL debutants

Date published: Wednesday 17th August 2016 8:41

Zlatan Ibrahimovic: Caught the eye on PL debut

There were a number of players hoping to catch the eye on the first appearances for their new clubs in the Premier League last weekend, but who were the 10 most impressive debutants? 

There’s little to gauge from the opening weekend of the Premier League season, with 37 games of the campaign still to go. However, the first game highlighted the Premier League newbies who have hit the ground running for their respective teams.

Here, count down the top-10 rated players who made their top-flight debut for their new team using their unique rating system.


10: Alvaro Negredo – Middlesbrough 

Alvaro Negredo: Celebrates his first goal for Middlesbrough

On the back of his arrival from Valencia, Alvaro Negredo kicked off his first Premier League appearance for Boro with a goal in the 1-1 draw with Stoke. The Spaniard’s strike in the opening exchanges helped contribute to a rating of 7.42, with the 30-year-old winning an impressive six aerial duels as he led the line for Aitor Karanka’s side with aplomb on his league debut for Middlesbrough.


9: Idrissa Gueye – Everton

Idrissa Gueye: Caught the eye for Everton

Given his impressive form for Aston Villa last season, it’s remarkable to think that Everton were effectively given a clear run at Idrissa Gueye. The Senegal international moved to Goodison Park for a little over £7m and his signing could well be the best of the summer, especially if his debut outing is anything to go by. Gueye controlled the midfield against Tottenham, making six tackles – only Wilfried Zaha (7) made more over the weekend – as he quickly settled into life on Merseyside by scoring 7.44 on an impressive bow.


8: Fernando Llorente – Swansea

Fernando Llorente: New Swansea number nine

The departures of Alberto Paloschi, Bafetimbi Gomis and Andre Ayew left Swansea lacking in attacking options, but the club rectified this shortage with the signings of Fernando Llorente and Borja Baston. The former made his Premier League bow at Burnley and looks perfectly suited to English football. No player had more shots (6) than the Spaniard, while eight aerial duels won was among the best in game week one to help Llorente gain a rating of 7.51.


7: George Friend – Middlesbrough

The second of three Middlesbrough players included in the list as George Friend put in a performance of a seasoned Premier League professional. The 28-year-old left-back provided an effective attacking outlet from deep, completing more dribbles (5) than any other defender this weekend and on his way to a rating of 7.71. Four interceptions, meanwhile, helped maintain Boro’s defensive solidity as they kicked off their Premier League return with a positive result.


6: Andros Townsend – Crystal Palace

While Crystal Palace fell to a 1-0 home defeat to West Brom on Saturday, Andros Townsend enjoyed a commendable debut with the Eagles at Selhurst Park. With his usual trick of cutting inside from the right flank onto his left foot, the England international fired off the joint-most shots (6) of the weekend. Interestingly, only two players made more tackles and interceptions combined (9) than Townsend, who will hope to put his former employers Tottenham to the sword this coming weekend. Weekend rating: 7.93


5: Nathan Redmond – Southampton

Nathan Redmond: Scored on Saints debut

Following his arrival from Norwich, Southampton head coach Claude Puel felt Nathan Redmond would be better suited as a forward in his favoured 4-3-1-2 formation. Indeed, his faith was rewarded in a 1-1 draw with Watford, with the England attacker bagging a second-half equaliser to quickly endear himself to the Saints faithful. Redmond injected creativity in the final third, with his four key passes one of the better returns. Weekend rating: 8.03


4: Gaston Ramirez – Middlesbrough

Gaston Ramirez: Could join Middlesbrough on permanent basis

After turning his temporary move permanent over the summer, Gaston Ramirez quickly showed why he warrants regular Premier League action on his first appearance in the top-flight of English football for his new team. The Uruguayan provided the assist for Negredo’s goal at the Riverside Stadium and was a constant offensive threat against Stoke, with three dribbles and three key passes helping contribute to a rating of 8.21.


3: Adama Diomande – Hull

Adama Diomade & Abel Hernandez: Celebrate Hull's opener

Having registered just three league starts for Hull last season, many anticipated that Adama Diomande wouldn’t be a regular starter for the Tigers this term. However, the 26-year-old netted the first Premier League goal of the campaign – albeit with a huge slice of luck – and maximised his pace and impressive close control to complete six dribbles and draw three fouls for Hull, who sprung a huge upset to defeat defending champions Leicester at the KC Stadium in Saturday’s early match. Matchday rating: 8.23.


2: Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Manchester United

Rooney and Zlatan: Both on target for United

After securing his switch to Manchester United this summer, there were high hopes for Zlatan Ibrahimovic this coming campaign and he was quick to get off the mark against Bournemouth, rifling past Artur Boruc to effectively seal all three points in Sunday’s early kick off.

The charismatic Swede has now scored three goals in four appearances following his summer arrival from PSG, with his all-round effective showing helping gain a rating of 8.28 on his first Premier League appearance.


1: Sadio Mane – Liverpool

Sadio Mane: Enjoyed impressive PL debut for Reds

Despite being linked with both Manchester sides this summer, Liverpool eventually won the race to sign Sadio Mane and were rewarded instantly with a superb individual outing to help defeat Arsenal 4-3 on Sunday.

The Senegal star bagged a fine solo goal at the Emirates to help the Reds to victory in the capital and was routinely targeted by the Arsenal defence having been fouled more times (6) than any other Premier League player this weekend. While inconsistency has been a problem for Mane, further performances like that shown on Sunday, where he rated a highly-impressive 8.53 – will go a long way to writing himself into Liverpool folklore.


Ben McAleer


All statistics courtesy of, where you can find yet more stats, including live in-game data and unique player and team ratings. You can follow all the scores, statistics, live player and team ratings with the new free-to-download WhoScored iOS app.

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