The first day of the Premier League campaign saw it’s clubs blood countless summer acquisitions from leagues across the globe.
Several players who had previously been plying their trade in France’s Ligue 1 were among their number and more from a division synonymous with bargain buys will make their first steps in the Premier League in the coming weeks.
Judging by the performances of those who opened their accounts on Saturday, those steps should be expected to be tentative.
At Bournemouth, Aston Villa’s Ligue 1 acquisitions, Jordan Ayew, Jordan Veretout, Jordan Amavi and Idrissa Gueye were all in action, while Yohan Cabaye made his return to English action with Crystal Palace.
To a man, with the possible exception of full-back Amavi, who did well to suppress Cherries creator in chief Matt Ritchie, the aforementioned quintet were not conspicuous by their brilliance.
According to the Guardian ‘the game passed Gueye by in midfield’, while Veretout and Ayew were substituted long before full-time.
Despite having previous Premier League experience and scoring the decisive third goal for Palace in their 3-1 victory over Norwich City, Cabaye was also subdued by the standards of his spell at Newcastle.
In assessing Cabaye’s understated contribution, Eagles’ boss Alan Pardew summed up the main reason their purchasers will have to give signings from the French League time to show their true worth,
“Yohan needs to gain his power and strength back.”
“He’s had nearly a year out of the game – the intensity of Ligue 1 isn’t like this and he didn’t get many games. Once he hardens up and gets six or seven games under his belt we’ll see the old Yohan.”
The opinion that the speed and physicality of the game in England takes some getting used to for those who have grown accustomed to French football’s less combative style and more ponderous tempo was one shared by BBC Radio Five Live summarisers at Ashton Court.
Alongside Cabaye, Liverpool’s Divock Origi and West Ham’s Dmitri Payet are the most high-profile Ligue 1 signings this summer and both, like their fellow Ligue 1 arrivals are expected to require fan patience in order to show their true worth.