Premier League clubs have once again been at the forefront of the transfer market this summer, with the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal having all invested huge sums in new signings.
Manchester City have made Jack Grealish the most expensive player in Premier League history and Britian’s first £100m player, whilst rivals United have secured the signing of Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund.
After a slow start to the window, Chelsea have now sealed a club-record deal for Romelu Lukaku and each will be hoping their marquee arrivals can hit the ground running as the new season begins this weekend.
Ahead of a series of exciting first appearances in new colours, we look at five big-money signings who smashed it on their Premier League debuts.
Blackburn made Alan Shearer the most expensive player in British football history ahead of the Premier League’s inaugural campaign, the Lancashire side – backed by Jack Walker’s millions – investing heavily following promotion from the second tier.
Shearer had impressed since coming through the ranks at Southampton and the summer signing wasted little time in making an impression on his new club, scoring two stunning goals during a thrilling 3-3 draw with Crystal Palace in August 1992.
Shearer’s double included a wonderful dipping volley from outside of the penalty area and his first appearance proved a sign of things to come, the forward netting 16 goals in just 21 league appearances before injury curtailed his campaign.
#OnThisDay in 1992, a promising centre-forward called Alan Shearer signed for Blackburn Rovers for a record-breaking £3.6m.
He'd go on to score 130 goals in 171 appearances for Blackburn, including these two on his debut.
Bloody HELL, Wor Al.pic.twitter.com/h0WsDtkLyK
— MUNDIAL (@MundialMag) July 27, 2021
He returned the following season and continued to fire at a prolific rate, netting 30+ league goals in three consecutive campaigns, winning two Golden Boot accolades and the 1994/95 Premier League title.
Shearer departed Blackburn after scoring 112 goals in just 138 league games, signing for boyhood side Newcastle in a £15m world record deal in 1996.
Middlesbrough invested heavily in a series of glamorous signings during the mid-90s, the north east outfit splashing the cash as the new-look Premier League enjoyed a wave of exciting imports from abroad.
Fabrizio Ravanelli was the most notable name to arrive in a recruitment drive that also included the signings of Brazilian duo Juninho and Emerson, with the forward having formed part of the Juventus side crowned Champions League winners the previous season.
Ravanelli was made the highest paid player in the division upon his arrival on Teeside and enjoyed one of the most spectacular debuts in Premier League history, scoring a hat-trick during a pulsating six-goal draw with Liverpool at the Riverside.
📆 #OnThisDay August 17, 1996
Fabrizio Ravanelli scored a hat-trick on his Premier League debut ⚽⚽⚽pic.twitter.com/Oi2U0dEQMG
— Goal (@goal) August 17, 2019
Ravanelli scored a staggering 31 goals across all competitions as Middlesbrough reached both domestic cup finals, though their league form was less impressive as Bryan Robson’s big-spending side suffered relegation.
Amidst a drop into the second tier and grumblings of discontent for much of his time with the club, the Italian signed for Marseille after just one prolific season in English football.
Manchester City’s billionaire takeover saw the club handed funds to compete with Europe’s elite, an emerging side spending big on a succession of signings including the £34m arrival of Sergio Aguero.
Aguero had starred during five seasons with Atletico Madrid, but arrived in the Premier League with a point to prove and made it emphatically during performance number one at the Etihad.
Introduced from the bench during a home clash against Swansea, Aguero took just nine minutes to open his account for the club with a predatory finish from close range.
He then turned provider for David Silva, before netting a spectacular second from distance to cement himself as an instant fans’ favourite in Manchester.
Aguero became one of the Premier League’s greatest ever imports across a decade in City’s colours, winning five league titles and scoring more goals than any other overseas player, whilst his 260 goals in all competitions is a club record.
Eyebrows were raised when Manchester United spent an initial £36m on Anthony Martial in 2015, making the forward the most expensive teenager in football history.
Martial had shown promise after breaking into the Monaco side, though the fee still came as a surprise with the forward arriving into the Premier League as a relative unknown.
Martial made himself a household name following his Red Devils’ debut however, coming off the bench to seal a 3-1 win over arch-rivals Liverpool with a wonderful solo goal.
What a debut it was for @AnthonyMartial! 👏 Is his strike our best at home to Liverpool in the @PremierLeague? Vote: https://t.co/o0aOn4Sdh1 pic.twitter.com/1pNzEq2iJT
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 15, 2017
The Frenchman burst beyond Nathaniel Clyne and Martin Skrtel before firing home, with a raucous Old Trafford rising to salute the arrival of a new hero.
Martial has since scored 78 goals in 272 appearances during his time in English football, but none more memorable than his delightful debut effort.
Romelu Lukaku will be looking to enjoy another debut to remember after signing for Chelsea, having scored on his first appearances for West Brom, Everton, Manchester United and Inter Milan.
His finest first appearance came in the colours of the Red Devils, making his mark quickly following a £75m arrival from Everton in 2017.
Lukaku scored twice as United opened the Premier League season with an emphatic 4-0 win against West Ham, racing onto Marcus Rashford’s pass to open the scoring and fire home his first goal for the club.
The Belgian then glanced home Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s cross to double his side’s advantage, Lukaku getting himself up and running during a debut campaign that delivered 27 goals in all competitions.
He netted 42 goals in total across his two seasons with the club, before signing for Inter in a £73m deal.
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