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Ranked! The 5 best Premier League debuts of the weekend

Erling Haaland of Manchester City enters the pitch before the Premier League match between West Ham United and Manchester City at London Stadium on August 07, 2022 in London, England.
(Image credit: Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Hundreds of millions have been spent already, with the expectation that this season could well be another rip-roaring success – and that's just the FPL bosses clamouring to have Erling Haaland in their starting XI.

This summer has been like no other when it comes to Premier League transfers – and it's not just at the top. With unpredictable signings and power moves throughout the league, it's all change for a new campaign, with fresh faces gunning for a big season ahead. 

So who impressed most from Matchday 1?

5. Kalidou Koulibaly

Kalidou Koulibaly of Chelsea gestures during the Premier League match between Everton FC and Chelsea FC at Goodison Park on August 06, 2022 in Liverpool, England.

(Image credit: Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)

James Tarkowski was assured in the centre of Everton's back three – but a defender from the other side really showed his class. Kalidou Koulibaly may be 31 now but he's still reinventing his game.

Koulibaly was as strong as you'd expect to the left of Thiago Silva but the real intrigue in his game on Saturday evening came from the marauding runs forward to help in the attack. Like a Chris Wilder centre-back, the Senegalese stopper affected play at both ends of the pitch and looked like he'd been a part of this side for years.

Antonio Rudiger could have been a big loss – but not if Big Kali performs like this every week. 

4. Darwin Nunez

Darwin Nunez of Liverpool flicks the ball to score their teams first goal during the Premier League match between Fulham FC and Liverpool FC at Craven Cottage on August 06, 2022 in London, England.

(Image credit: Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Roberto Firmino led the line for Liverpool's first match post-Sadio Mané. Darwin Nunez didn't need too long to announce himself, though.

A second-half change when the Reds were a goal down, Nunez stretched the play in a way that the ageing Firmino can't, while linking up with Liverpool's midfielders. He bustled and bullied when in the box, getting his rewards when a sweet flick was turned in for the equaliser.

In a battle of two natural No.9s, both Aleksandr Mitrovic and Nunez both showed they'll have no problem in this league. 

3. William Saliba

William Saliba of Arsenal FC during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Arsenal FC at Selhurst Park on August 5, 2022 in London, United Kingdom.

(Image credit: Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)

Honestly, why did Arsenal send this guy on loan for three whole seasons? 

Whatever the reason, it seems to have worked a treat. Still just 21, William Saliba was an absolute colossus on Friday night against a dangerous Crystal Palace attack, showing supreme physicality off the ball and icy composure in possession. 

Comparisons with Virgil van Dijk are justified – he looks the real deal.

2. Joao Palhinha

Mohamed Salah of Liverpool is challenged by Joao Palhinha of Fulham during the Premier League match between Fulham FC and Liverpool FC at Craven Cottage on August 06, 2022 in London, England.

(Image credit: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Starting against Liverpool, in his first game in English football, in a two-man midfield against Thiago, Fabinho and Jordan Henderson. Considering everything, Joao Palhinha's debut was nothing short of excellent.

The Portuguese recruit was positionally disciplined, won second balls and controlled the centre of midfield for Fulham, not allowing Liverpool to dictate the pace of the game. Playing against such a frenetic, high-intensity side should look far more difficult than Palhinha made it seem.

Ultimately, the Whites were unlucky not to get more than their surprise point. More signings like this and they'll steer well clear of the bottom three. 

1. Erling Haaland

West Ham United v Manchester City – Premier League – London Stadium

(Image credit: Kieran Cleeves)

A Pep Guardiola team with a big man up front, constantly looking to his movement and forcing the ball directly. Yes, it's very strange. 

Erling Haaland didn't have much to do in Super Sunday's headliner but everything he did was to an elite standard. The movement was sublime, winning the penalty, converting it and then doubling his own lead by finding space behind West Ham's otherwise admirably drilled backline.

It was a regular day at the office for the Scandi goal-getter. He'll dazzle in this league – but this was just a snippet of what he's capable of. 

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