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Top ten debuts

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  • 5 picks out ten memorable debuts in the wake of Sergio Aguero's Manchester City bow

It is a big occasion for any player when they make their first appearance for a new club as they are determined to make an instant impact and endear themselves to the supporters.

Sometimes it is a youngster making a first-team breakthrough, or it could be a new signing who has made their name elsewhere to earn a move.

Hopes are always high ahead of a debut but expectations remain realistic, with managers acknowledging that it can take time to adjust to new surroundings, especially if a player is coming in from another country.

But every now and again a newcomer manages to make a dream start to the latest chapter of their career and it can leave a lasting memory.

In the wake of Sergio Aguero's stunning introduction to Premier League life with Manchester City, here counts down ten of the best debuts.

Sergio Aguero (Manchester City v Swansea)

Let us start with the man of the moment and Aguero could hardly have performed better on his first appearance in a Manchester City shirt. With a lack of action in pre-season preventing him from starting against Swansea on Monday, it seemed unlikely that the Argentine would make a significant contribution when he was brought on for the final half hour. But fans did not have to wait long to witness just why City had paid out £38million to Atletico Madrid, as Aguero scored within ten minutes, brilliantly set up David Silva for another goal and then put the seal on a 4-0 victory with a stunning strike from distance.

Wayne Rooney (Manchester United v Fenerbahce)

Big things were expected of Rooney after joining Manchester United in a big-money deal in the summer of 2004. He had already burst on to the scene with Everton and produced some dazzling displays at international level for England, but his debut for the Red Devils was straight out of a Roy of the Rovers comic book. He had to be patient as injury kept him on the sidelines during the early part of the season but, fully recovered, he finally took to the field against Fenerbahce at Old Trafford in the UEFA Champions League. Rooney, then 18, opened his account inside the opening 20 minutes before rifling in a second and curling home a free-kick to complete the first hat-trick of his professional career in a 6-2 triumph.

Fabrizio Ravanelli (Middlesbrough v Liverpool)

The grey-hailed Italian made himself an instant fans' favourite at The Riverside with an impressive debut hat-trick against Roy Evans' Liverpool on the first day of the 1996/97 season. The former Juventus striker's jersey was nearly at breaking point by the time he netted his third in the 81st minute and donned his famous shirt-over-the head celebration to leave Middlesbrough's fans rejoicing at their new hero.

Alan Smith (Leeds v Liverpool)

To score on your Premier League debut is something, but to score with your first touch in front of the Kop at Anfield is something dreams are made of. However, a fresh-faced Smith achieved the feat in November 1998 as he tucked home a Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink pass within minutes of replacing Clyde Wijnhard as Leeds battled back from a goal down to win 3-1 at Liverpool.

Ruud van Nistelrooy (Manchester United v Fulham)

The weight of a £19million price tag brings pressure that often gets to the best of them, but Van Nistelrooy gave Manchester United fans the assurances they were looking for as he followed up his goal in the 2001 Charity Shield clash against Liverpool with a brace on his Premier League debut in a thrilling 3-2 success over Fulham. It proved a hugely successful campaign for the Dutchman as he ended the season with an impressive 36 goals in his maiden season.

James Vaughan (Everton v Crystal Palace)

The Toffees youngster set a new Premier League record when he found the back of the net on his debut against Crystal Palace. Vaughan replaced Gary Naysmith in the 75th minute at Goodison Park with Everton 3-0 up against the Eagles. With just three minutes left 16-year-old Vaughan struck from close-range to become the league's youngest ever scorer, beating James Milner's previous record by 86 days.

Robbie Keane (Coventry v Derby)

Eyebrows were raised when Coventry shelled out £6million on the Republic of Ireland international from Wolves just weeks into the 1999/2000 season, a then-British record for a teenager. However, the doubters were silenced early on as his Sky Blues career got off to a blistering start following a brace on his debut in a 2-0 win at home to Derby County.

Mario Stanic (Chelsea v West Ham)

The name is unlikely to ring a bell with many Premier League fans, but his debut goal against West Ham is less forgettable. The former Croatia international juggled the ball twice before unleashing a fierce volley from all of 35 yards out leaving Shaka Hislop clutching at nothing but air. The Parma capture scored twice in a 4-2 success, although he failed to deliver that kind of quality on a regular basis for the Blues.

Faustino Asprilla (Newcastle v Middlesbrough)

The former Colombia international may have wished he had stayed with Parma after signing for the Magpies during a blizzard in the North East. Thankfully his impressive debut off the bench against Middlesbrough warmed things up for Newcastle's fans. His appearance came with Newcastle trailing 1-0 with only a third of the match remaining. He instantly showed himself to be one of the more skilful players in the country after terrorising Boro's defence, with his seemingly rubber legs going one way and the ball another. Newcastle went on to win 2-1.

Jurgen Klinsmann (Tottenham v Sheffield Wednesday)

The start of the 1994/95 season saw the arrival of German goal machine Klinsmann and he marked his Premier League debut with a pinpoint header against Sheffield Wednesday before unleashing his trademark diving celebration on English fans. The classy striker pulled away from Des Walker before guiding Darren Anderton's floated cross past a helpless Kevin Pressman. Just the first of numerous goals for the Spurs legend.

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