Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Sadio Mane and John Stones: Which Premier League players shone on their debut?
By Gerard Brand
Last Updated: 15/08/16 10:38pm
New season, new ball, new teams, new managers, but how did the new players fare on their debuts in the Premier League?
As Pep Guardiola, Antonio Conte, Aitor Karanka and Walter Mazzarri all took their Premier League bow off the pitch, the summer imports shone on it during the opening weekend of the season.
With some familiar Premier League stars also appearing for their new clubs for the first time, here's how a select few got on...
John Stones - Man City
Stones was under the spotlight on his Manchester City debut against Sunderland on Saturday after his £47.5m move from Everton.
He was solid in the opening 45 minutes, taking off on one or two marauding runs over the halfway line, and dealing with everything that came his way.
However, sometimes criticised for his eagerness to step out of defence, Stones was arguably at fault for Sunderland's equaliser.
Upon charging out to close former City man Jack Rodwell down, Stones left a gap behind him for Jermain Defoe to run into, cue the equaliser. A mixed debut, but Guardiola will no doubt give him plenty of chances to prove himself.
Nolito - Man City
Starting on the left of midfield for City, Nolito showed all the trademarks we expected after his signing from Celta Vigo in the summer.
He was hard-working without being spectacular, and came close to opening his account with a curling effort having cut in from the left onto his right foot.
On the opposite wing, Raheem Sterling endeared himself to the City fans after a difficult summer with a man-of-the-match performance, and with many predicting a duel for the left-wing position between the two, the England man may have the upper hand at this early stage.
Sadio Mane - Liverpool
Mane's superb second-half strike sent his manager and team-mates into raptures, cutting in from the right on a mazy run before finding the top corner with his left foot, but his all-round contribution should not be underplayed.
The Senegalese forward seems to have bought into Jurgen Klopp's philosophy seamlessly, defending from the front and causing a nuisance for Arsenal's makeshift back four.
He made six tackles and gained possession eight times, more than any player on the pitch at the Emirates, and while his pace was his trademark at Southampton, it will be interesting to see what defensive qualities he develops under Klopp.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic - Man Utd
All eyes were on the Swede on what many considered a belated Premier League debut, and his first touch didn't disappoint.
Just as in the Community Shield final against Leicester, Ibrahimovic's first action was to flick the ball into the path of a team-mate, and though the flamboyance was not at its usual level for the remainder of the match, the 34-year-old's presence was undoubted.
He topped the win off with a snapshot into the bottom left corner from 25 yards, running straight to the United bench to greet Jose Mourinho and the coaching staff.
"It was good, very good. I feel alive," Ibrahimovic said. "I always try to create some chances, help my team-mates, whoever scored today was not important. Only get the win to start the Premier League well."
Eric Bailly - Man Utd
If eyes were on Zlatan before the game, attention turned to another summer signing shortly after.
Eric Bailly's man-of-the-match performance would have pleased Mourinho most, the 22-year-old Ivorian looking like he has played in the top flight for years.
He didn't put a foot wrong, was calm and composed in a first half that Bournemouth arguably edged, and picked up the player gong on only his 41st career top-flight game.
Sky Sports' Jamie Redknapp said after the game: "He's a midfielder's dream because he can also play. He'll pop the ball into midfield at times, he's got great pace, he's uncompromising. United fans are going to love him."
Vincent Janssen - Tottenham
He didn't start at Goodison Park on Saturday, but Janssen's contributions after coming on for the final 34 minutes were impressive.
The 22-year-old Dutch striker linked up well with Harry Kane, who was otherwise invisible in the 1-1 draw, and nearly topped the debut off with a winning goal but for Maarten Stekelenburg's late save.
His manager, Mauricio Pochettino, said after the game: "In the second half we played in the way we normally do, created a lot of chances, and I think we deserved more. We tried to correct some problems we had in the first half and I think it was good.
"Then I think the team felt comfortable [when Vincent came on] and he brought good energy into the team. He is a different option to play and it is for this that we signed him, We are very happy with him."
Will it be Kane, Janssen or perhaps both going forward?
Ahmed Musa - Leicester
Champions Leicester were brought back down to earth on Saturday with a 2-1 defeat at newly-promoted Hull, and debutant Musa was one of few bright sparks.
"Musa can be the type of player who can change the course of a game at any moment," Thierry Henry said before the game, and the first half was clear evidence.
He teed up Jamie Vardy twice, as well as Christian Fuchs, making more key passes (4) than anyone on the pitch, but fell away in the second half along with his side.
Perhaps against Arsenal next week, as he did with his superb solo goal against Barcelona in the International Champions Cup, he'll be more selfish with better results.
Idrissa Gueye - Everton
A rare positive in a poor Aston Villa side last year, Gueye found his way back into the Premier League with Ronald Koeman's Everton, and judging by his debut showing on Saturday against Tottenham, will be sticking around for a while.
Gueye was everywhere, breaking up play and keeping things simple for those ahead of him, making more tackles (6) and gaining possession more times (8) than anyone on the pitch.
His trademark work-rate will no doubt win him plenty of fans at Goodison.
Andre Ayew - West Ham
It was a disappointing first appearance for West Ham's club-record signing as Ayew was forced off through injury after just 35 minutes against Chelsea on Monday Night Football.
He had started on the right flank as part of a Hammers front three, with Enner Valencia on the left and Andy Carroll through the middle.
But with Chelsea largely controlling possession for the time he was on the pitch, Ayew had little opportunity to make a good first impression.
N'Golo Kante - Chelsea
Chelsea's new midfielder was walking on eggshells from the third minute after picking up a very early yellow card during Chelsea's 2-1 win over the Hammers on Monday.
He looked his usual busy self apart from that misstep, although was perhaps a touch fortunate to avoid a second yellow after a late challenge on international team-mate Dimitri Payet.
The former Leicester City man looks ideally suited to Antonio Conte's style of play.