EPL: New boys that impress and implode for their clubs


Mesut Oezil (Arsenal)

The resurgent Aaron Ramsey might have stolen the show at the Stadium of Light and won Arsenal the game with two excellent strikes.

But Mesut Oezil's debut against Sunderland was definitely a teaser for things to come for the Gunners. Even a stomach bug couldn't hold back the £43-million ($86.5m) German maestro.

Picking up where he left off in Spain, all Oezil needed was two touches to claim his first assist in an Arsenal shirt.

After expertly trapping a lobbed ball from Kieran Gibbs, Arsenal's record signing coolly slotted the ball to Olivier Giroud to score the opener after 11 minutes.

It was a beautiful assist that Gooners all over the world will be drooling over as they play it over and over again on YouTube.

From there, Oezil simply oozed class and elegance with every touch and caress of the ball and played his part in the build-up to Ramsey's second goal before he was taken off in the 80th minute.

Perhaps most importantly, Oezil's positive performance has galvanised the fickle Arsenal faithful, restoring their faith in Arsene Wenger while leaving them begging for more from their superstar playmaker.

Christian Eriksen (Spurs)

Perpetually linked with Liverpool, Christian Eriksen finally made the move to English shores from Dutch giants Ajax on Aug 30.

And the Dane proved to be well worth the wait as he pulled the strings for Tottenham to show there is life after Gareth Bale.

After his side failed to score from open play in their first three games, Andre Villas-Boas threw Eriksen straight into the starting line-up against Norwich City.

The highly-rated playmaker repaid the Portuguese tactician's faith with a virtuoso performance as he tormented the Canaries with his silky skills.

One particularly jinking run saw Eriksen take on as many as four defenders, who must have been relieved to see the resulting shot saved by John Ruddy before Roberto Soldado's backheel ricocheted off the post.

The 21-year-old Dane then claimed the assist for Gylfi Sigurdsson's opener on 28 minutes with a cheeky no-look pass.

Eriksen wasn't done yet, as he picked out Paulinho in the 49th minute, who then made the cross for Sigurdsson's second goal to seal the result.

At just £11.5m, Eriksen is starting to look like a front-runner for bargain of the season.

Marouane Fellaini (Man United)

It was brief, but all of 30 minutes was enough for Marouane Fellaini to suggest that Manchester United's transfer business wasn't as disastrous as the world would believe it to be.

Never mind that United failed in their pursuit for much higher-profile targets and that the fans were left underwhelmed by David Moyes taking the safe option by signing a former player.

Even though Crystal Palace were down to 10 men, Fellaini's arrival immediately injected the midfield presence that Red Devils supporters have been craving for, and no, I'm not referring to the big Belgian's outrageous afro.

While his athleticism and aerial ability gave United an added physical dimension, the ex-Everton man also showed that he could play with the ball at his feet.

He even had the chance to make it a dream debut at Old Trafford when he calmly controlled a Palace clearance with his chest before crashing a volley from 23 metres on target in the 67th minute, forcing Julian Speroni to make a save.

With his physicality and ability, Fellaini could yet prove a hit for Man United.

He could even erase the memory of Ed Woodward's bungling and the extra £4m United forked out for him instead of paying his £23.5m release clause. Almost.

Gareth Barry (Everton)

Everton fans were probably more excited about the signing of Wigan midfielder James McCarthy as Marouane Fellaini's replacement for £13m on transfer deadline day.

However, it was the on-loan Gareth Barry who lit up Goodison Park last Saturday as the Toffees clung on to record a famous 1-0 victory over Chelsea. Deployed alongside Leon Osman in the defensive midfield role that helped Manchester City win the title two seasons ago, the former Aston Villa man slotted seamlessly into the Everton line-up on his debut.

While the task of taking on Jose Mourinho's men is a daunting one even with home advantage, Barry let his experience do the talking as he barely put a foot wrong in a Man-of-the-Match performance to help manager Roberto Martinez claim his first Premier League win as Everton manager.

The 32-year-old Barry was even on hand to deny fellow debutant Samuel Eto'o a certain goal with an excellent last-ditch tackle in the 29th minute, sparing the stranded Tim Howard's blushes for a botched pass to Chelsea's Andre Schurrle.

Even though it might be a temporary move, Barry could very well become a fan favourite of the Goodison faithful if he continues to shine.

To think that he could have been turning out at Anfield in the red of Liverpool a few years ago if Rafael Benitez had his way.


Samuel Eto'o (Chelsea)

It's no secret that Stamford Bridge has become a bit of a graveyard for strikers with massive reputations. Just ask Adrian Mutu, Hernan Crespo, Andriy Shevchenko and Fernando Torres.

Having turned out for Barcelona and Inter Milan in the past, Samuel Eto'o certainly falls in that category of forwards.

And one would surely hope that his Chelsea debut at Everton won't be a sign of things to come for the former African Player of the Year.

While he had a few good moments, the Cameroon international simply could not do what he had been brought in from Anzhi Makhachkala to do - find the back of the net.

Granted he was denied a certain goal by an excellent last-ditch tackle from Gareth Barry, Eto'o still had a debut to forget.

Stevan Jovetic (Man City)

It has taken Manchester City a while to get Stevan Jovetic fit for his debut since a £22-million ($44m) move from Fiorentina.

However, the Montenegrin simply couldn't make an impact after being handed his first start in a light blue shirt as Manuel Pellegrini's side ground out a goalless draw against Stoke at the Britannia Stadium.

Much has been expected after the Citizens splashed the cash following the sacking of Roberto Mancini, but the Pellegrini era has so far failed to deliver.

With the effervescent Sergio Aguero clearly ahead of him in the pecking order, Jovetic passed on a key opportunity to push his case for a starting spot with his lacklustre performance.

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