It is always interesting to find out how the new Premier League players will perform throughout the season. Football in England vastly differs from the football played in other countries around Europe. While Spain is more technical and Germany remains more tactical, the Premier League is a bit physical.
As seen earlier, a new player takes a few weeks or months to make the adjustments to acclimatize the style of play and truly settle in for his new side. Here comes the interesting aspect, it’s even more impressive to see when a player steps in the Premier League and influences his club’s performance immediately.
In this article we have picked five players who were able to influence the league on their debut season.
Anthony Martial (Manchester United)
As this young French lad showed in the game for the national team at the weekend, he has the exact strength, technique and pace to topple defenders, carry the ball at speed all the way and also tee up his teammates for crucial goals. It’s true, following the sensational transfer from Monaco in the summer transfer window, he now does not score as many goals as he used to do at the start of his stunning career, but the limitation of goal tally may be due to United’s failure to create a great deal of chances in this season. In his debut season with Manchester United Martial has bagged six goals with 4 assists from 21 matches. It’s really impressive to see how Anthony Martial has perfectly taken the responsibility of the wide role in recent matches, consistently maintaining the width when Juan Mata roams inside on the other wing. United have managed to get the clean sheets in the Premier League encounters with Martial on the left flank and van Gaal also has praised his willingness to listen whatever the coach says. This diligence is surely encouraging but if the Dutch manager uses him as a central striker instead of aging Rooney, United will benefit much more.
Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur)
Dele Alli has had an exceptional start to the Premier League in his debut season, coming into the Tottenham side when injury crisis loomed large as Ryan Mason and Nabil Bentaleb was dropped out of the starting eleven with injury. The 19-year-old Englishman grabbed his chance with both hands to prove himself as a regular starter in the Spurs midfield. He has 2 goals and 1 assist from 16 matches but this statistics doesn’t show how effective this 19-year-old attacker has been.
Tottenham signed Alli for £5million in January this year, but quickly loaned him back to MK Dons for the remaining of the last campaign. There he won the Football League Young Player of the Year award back in May as MK Dons were promoted to the Championship for the first time in history. But now life with the Spurs going well for Alli in his debut Premier League season. Even former England captain Frank Lampard praised his performance against Aston Villa recently, which saw him net an impressive goal from just the edge of the box.
Andre Ayew (Swansea City)
The English Premier League is definitely very hard to adapt to but 25-year- old Ghanaian attacker Andre Ayew has settled in to life nicely at Swansea in typically striking manner. His arrival to England followed a frustrating season for the French side Marseille, who managed to finish fourth in the ligue 1 and ousted from both the cup competitions early.
On the very first day of the season, the stylish attacking midfielder netted a brilliant goal at defending champions Chelsea’s home ground as Swansea unexpectedly held Jose Mourinho’s Blues side to a convincing 2-2 draw. An excellent performance in the 2-1 shock win over van Gaal’s Manchester United in late August definitely marked Ayew’s arrival to EPL.
Quickly this natural born leader, who has 5 goals till now, won Premier League Player of the Month award in August and since then was being hailed as one of the superhit signings of the summer. Skilful, tenacious and also with fine technique, the son of the legendary Abedi ‘Pele’ Ayew now seems to have found the perfect fit in a challenging league Ayew has long coveted.
Dimitri Payet (West Ham United)
One of the hotshots this summer was mid-table English sides singing top players from other European Leagues whom they might not have been able to buy in the past. One of the much talked about instances of this trend was former Marseille star Dimitri Payet moving to West Ham United. The French midfielder grabbed a place in the team of the season in French Ligue 1 last term, but surprisingly decided to part away with Marseille after spending two seasons in the southern France.
The France international has been a major factor in the fine start West Ham enjoying this season following his £10.7m summer transfer from Marseille but unfortunately Payet, who has netted five goals in 14 matches for his new club, picked up an ankle injury in a rough challenge from James McCarthy during the 1-1 draw with Everton. Earlier it was suggested that he has to wait for a surgery first but now reports claim despite the fitness concern he will play for his national team Ghana in a World Cup Qualifier against Comoros tomorrow.
Matteo Darmian (Manchester United)
Matteo Darmian surely enjoying a confident start to his Manchester United career, after a debut ‘Man of the Match’ performance against Tottenham. Following his arrival from Italian side Torino, he has not just impressed as a right-back but also at full-back position on the opposite flank, featuring in that position because of the horrific leg break of Luke Shaw.
When the 25-year-old Italian hasn’t appeared on Manchester United’s right side, the Red Devils’ have looked defensively very weak on that flank and despite Antonio Valencia filling in at right-back when Darmian isn’t there, looked exposable many times. Also the versatility this talented defender has provided with the move from right to left full-back is good news for van Gaal. Not only that Darmian showed the same attributes on the left as he displayed on the right.
Matteo Darmian is a promising full-back who picks the defensive duty as his top priority. Timing of tackles and positioning mark the Italian a difficult opponent to get past as a winger. His passing is also very sound, which perfectly suits the passing game of Manchester United and he can win a header in set pieces against much taller opponents, this is might be from the experience of filling in as a centre-back a few times for his former club Torino.