The Premier League is finally back and with all clubs adding to their squads over the summer, we look at the best debuts from the opening day action.
The first Kenyan to grace the Premier League impressed on his Southampton debut, with six-foot-two-inch defensive midfielder Wanyama playing his part in the Saints’ stout rearguard effort against West Brom, which kept Shane Long, Nicolas Anelka and substitute Matej Vydra off the score-sheet, before England’s Rickie Lambert sealed a 1-0 win with a last-minute penalty.
Swansea City’s £12m marquee summer signing Wifried Bony was well worth his goal, after coming on as a second half substitute, but the tireless performance of defensive midfielder Canas – who was picked up on a free transfer from La Liga side Real Betis at the end of last season – will have cheered Michael Laudrup, whose Swans’ were far better than the 4-1 score-line against a clinical Manchester United side suggests.
A late penalty-save from Simon Mignolet and a finely taken goal by Daniel Sturridge were the decisive moments in Liverpool’s 1-0 win over Stoke, but the performance of new £7.5m attacking midfielder Aspas – who, along with Philippe Coutinho on the wing repeatedly rattled the Potters’ defence – marks the former Celta Vigo man out as a player to watch this season.
Aston Villa – who are 87/100 to beat Chelsea, with a two-goal head-start at Stamford Bridge next time out – could hardly have kicked-off their campaign in better style, with young Spanish left-back Luna capping an assured debut with a goal, after Christian Benteke’s brace sent the Villains on their way to a shock 3-1 win against Arsenal at the Emirates.
Ricky van Wolfswinkel
The former Sporting Lisbon striker – who set Norwich back a club-record £8.5m in March – popped up with a 71st minute header from fellow-scorer Steven Whittaker’s cross to equalise, after a two-goal four-minute spell from Ross Barkley and Seamus Coleman had put Everton in front, as Roberto Martinez’s first game in charge of the Toffees ended in a 2-2 draw.