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Debut watch

We pick out the star players who made their first appearances for their new clubs this weekend.

Last Updated: 16/09/13 at 11:26

Gareth Bale

The match report headlines from the Spanish press said it all on the world's most expensive footballer on Saturday evening. Marca ran with a translation of, 'Because he's worth it'. Following his £85million move to Real Madrid in the summer transfer window, Welshman Bale announced himself in the perfect fashion with a goal in the 2-2 draw at Villarreal. It might not have been the most spectacular goal, but Bale's close-range finish drew Real level at 1-1. Cristiano Ronaldo's new contract may have gone on to eclipse Bale's debut but the former Tottenham Hotspur man showed no signs of being overawed by the pressure of playing for Real.

Mesut Ozil

Arsenal fans could not have asked for much more from their big-money transfer deadline day signing from Real Madrid. Classy German Ozil took just 11 minutes to make a memorable impact in Saturday's win over Sunderland. There are assists and then there are assists. Ozil's pass to set up Olivier Giroud was the latter. A swift and decisive set-up, as much for the run that Kieran Gibbs picked out as the final pass, which itself was delicious. And let us not forget the 'pick it out of the air' first touch that gave him the chance to make that final pass. Arsenal can now be even more excited than when the signing of Ozil was first announced.

Marouane Fellaini

Fellaini pleased

Fellaini pleased with debut Marouane Fellaini was happy to have made his first Manchester United outing against Crystal Palace. Read more.

Manchester United's transfer deadline signing was more efficient than spectacular as he stuck to the basics in the victory over Crystal Palace. Former Everton star Fellaini came on shortly after the hour mark at Old Trafford as a replacement for Anderson. He did little wrong but the Belgium international also did not offer any immediate indication he will solve United's problem of a lack of attacking threat from the centre of midfield.

Samuel Eto'o

Has he still got it? Have his legs gone? All those questions have been asked of the Cameroonian legend since he joined Chelsea. Eto'o made his debut in the defeat by Everton at the weekend when playing as his new team's lone striker. At times isolated, Eto'o was forced to feed off scraps. However, he showed glimpses of his undoubted talent and it looks as though he still has plenty of that goalscoring ability. If he is given a regular run of games to ensure he is in peak condition, Eto'o will surely score at least double figures. Jose Mourinho is in no doubt, as he said: "Samuel is still a killer".

Christian Eriksen

Away for the sensationalism surrounding Bale and Ozil, Eriksen made his debut to less of a fanfare but he made just as great an impact. In his 71-minute outing in Saturday's 2-0 win over Norwich City, the sublimely talented Dane was the star of Tottenham Hotspur's victory. Eriksen's performance was a playmaking masterclass and he looks set to be a smash hit at White Hart Lane, where he seemingly settled without any sort of problems after just three training sessions. Manager Andre Villas-Boas has been playing down his team's potential, but it is impossible to ignore the talent.

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Readers' Comments

I

sn'tthis strange. Last season we were worried that we were stuck with a Dinosaur in Moyes while Liverpool and Everton were disappearing into the distance with their young, spritely managerts, playing football from heaven. Progressive managers, they said. Managers who understand the modern game.........

HarryBoulton
Rodgers: The pressure's on

B

eing consistently and unrelentingly dog turd really takes it out of you. Try shadow boxing. That's what it's like watching Liverpool, punching thin air.

sinbadsdad
Neville: Reds need a rest

G

ood list, some crackers in there. For me, I'd have had Steve McManaman for Liverpool away at Celtic in the UEFA cup in 1997. I was in the ground that night and everyone kept screaming at him to make a pass, but he just kept going and going and going...brilliant, and in the dying minutes too.

uncle-muller
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