Thursday 24 May 2018

How the Premier League debutants fared

Manchester City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo made an unconvincing debut in their 2-1 win at Manchester City.
Manchester City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo made an unconvincing debut in their 2-1 win at Manchester City.

The Premier League returned for the first time since the transfer window closed last month after record spending by top flight clubs.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at how some of the new boys coped on their debuts for their new sides in England:

Claudio Bravo (Manchester City)

The goalkeeper was thrown in for his City debut in their derby win at Manchester United and, although he earned praise for his "personalty" from boss Pep Guardiola during City's 2-1 win, he was at fault for Zlatan Ibrahimovic's goal after flapping at a free-kick. Bravo, signed from Barcelona, replaced Joe Hart - who has been sent on loan to Torino - and was also lucky to avoid a red card for a rash challenge on Wayne Rooney during an unsteady debut.

Leroy Sane (Manchester City)

A £37.5million buy from Schalke, the winger had recovered from a hamstring injury to climb off the bench and help City record their victory at Old Trafford. He almost grabbed an assist in the second half when he slipped in Kevin De Bruyne, only for his team-mate to see his short hit the inside of a post and roll across the goal, and showed enough to suggest he will be a huge asset for City.

Lucas Perez (Arsenal)

Perez started ahead of Alexis Sanchez in the Gunners' late 2-1 win over Southampton, but was anonymous as he struggled to fit in to his new team's game plan in the first half. Signed from Deportivo La Coruña for £17million to add punch to Arsenal's attack, the 28-year-old improved slightly after the break, but he was still replaced by Olivier Giroud with over 20 minutes left.

Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal)

The defender cost £35million from Valenica and was signed to help end the routine unease in Arsenal's defence. He was more assured than Perez and looked comfortable as he had more touches (94) and played more passes (86) than anyone else. It was not a standard win for the Gunners, but they will be pleased with the German World Cup winners' bow.

Jack Wilshere (Bournemouth)

The Arsenal loanee started on the bench for the Cherries against West Brom as he looks to get his career back on track on the south coast. He replaced Jordon Ibe after 62 minutes with the score at 0-0 at the Vitality Stadium and played in an advanced midfield role. Callum Wilson's goal made it a winning debut for Wilshere, but now he needs to play and prove his fitness after last season's injury-plagued year.

Moussa Sissoko (Tottenham)

The midfielder snubbed Everton to join Tottenham from Newcastle on deadline day, but started on the bench at Stoke and his team-mates had done the job by the time he was introduced for Christian Eriksen with 12 minutes left in their 4-0 win. The 27-year-old impressed for France at Euro 2016 and his inclusion on the bench underlined the strength of Tottenham's squad.

Wilfried Bony (Stoke)

On loan from Manchester City, the striker was brought in to add goals to the Stoke attack after they only scored 41 times in the league last season, but he was overshadowed by Tottenham as the Potters were thumped 4-0. Harry Kane showed him what to do with limited chances, with the Spurs striker scoring despite having just three touches in Stoke's area.

Mathieu Flamini (Crystal Palace)

The midfielder made his Palace debut as an 84th-minute substitute for Joe Ledley to help the Eagles see out their victory at Middlesbrough. The 32-year-old had little time to make an impact, but will prove an astute pick-up for Palace and, despite two spells at Arsenal and playing for AC Milan, he has never cost a transfer fee.

Press Association

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