EPL debuts: The good, bad & ugly

The opening weekend of the new Premier League season brought with it plenty of debut appearances, and we take a look at the best, and worst, on display across England.

No fewer than 40 new signings made their bow in the first round of fixtures, with some impressing and others falling woefully short.

Below we pick out those who made the biggest impact, both of the positive and negative variety, during a round of Premier League that bought us plenty of entertainment.

The Good:

Morgan Schneiderlin (Manchester United)

One of the reasons the much-hyped Bastian Schweinsteiger started on the bench was Morgan Schneiderlin, arguably the weekend's most impressive debutant. The £25m signing from Southampton looked like he had been playing in a Manchester United shirt for the last 10 years and fitted seamlessly into Louis van Gaal's side. With more passes (50) and more tackles (5) than any team-mate, expect Schneiderlin to make a starting spot his own this season, and for many more to come.

Matteo Darmian (Manchester United)

The arrival of Matteo Darmian seems to have plugged one of United's most telling holes last term, namely the right-back position. Signed from Torino, the Italy international proved a real workhorse at the back, covering for Chris Smalling on numerous occasions while also providing a speedy outlet when going forward. After such a composed performance, expect him to come along in leaps and bounds under Van Gaal.

Roberto Firmino (Liverpool)

He may have only been given the final 12 minutes against Stoke, but Roberto Firmino showed plenty of promise during his Liverpool debut, literally hitting the ground running with some pacey, well-controlled bursts down the wing to give the Potters defenders something to truly worry about for the first time in the game. And, he may not have played a significant part in Philippe Coutinho's winner, but his injection of speed and determination definitely had an impact on the team's play in the closing stages, with more impetus being put on attack after the Brazilian's introduction.

Andre Ayew (Swansea City)

Making your debut in the Premier League is daunting enough, but making it away to the champions should be simply nerve-wracking. Not so, though, if your name is Andre Ayew. The Ghana international, signed from Marseille, looked at home under the spotlight against Chelsea, and marked the occasion with an individual moment of brilliance after dragging a loose ball off the toe of John Terry before rifling home past Thibaut Courtois. Swansea would eventually draw the game 2-2, and they had Ayew to thank for much of their attacking impetus throughout the game.

The Bad:

Jordan Ayew (Aston Villa)

Things didn't go as well for Andre's younger brother, Jordan Ayew, who endured a mixed performance for Aston Villa in their 1-0 win over newly-promoted AFC Bournemouth. Call it pre-season cobwebs or a failure to settle in his new surroundings, but the Ghanaian proved rather flat during the hour he was given before being yanked off, with insult added to injury when his replacement, Rudy Gestede, headed home the only goal of the game shortly after coming on.

Petr Cech (Arsenal)

Arsenal fans had been cautiously optimistic that the signing of Petr Cech would be the final piece in the puzzle, but a 2-0 loss to West Ham showed there is still plenty work to be done at the Emirates Stadium. The goalkeeper was by no means out of his depth, but supporters have questioned his positioning during both goals, although an equal amount of blame can be laid on the defenders, who hardly made the Czech international's job any easier following a lackluster display at the back all around.

Aleksandar Mitrovic (Newcastle)

Debutants often dream of marking the occasion with a stunning goal, or perhaps a steadfast defensive display at the back which might include a goal-line clearance or two. For Aleksandar Mitrovic, his focus after coming on as a 75th-minute substitute for Newcastle was to not be sent off after it took the Yugoslavian just 60 seconds to pick up his first-ever Premier League booking for a reckless foul on Matt Targett. At 20 years of age, the former Anderlecht man clearly has room to grow, but will need to shake off any nerves before he is break into the first-team reckoning.

The Ugly:

Christian Benteke (Liverpool)

After joining from Aston Villa for £32.5m, Liverpool fans were expecting plenty from Christian Benteke on debut against Stoke City in the weekend's final game. However, what they got instead was a stark reminder of just how much they miss Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge as the Belgium international proved largely ineffective in a lone centre-forward role. Unlike SAS, Benteke is more of a standing target man and less of a gung-ho attacker, holding up play and making a menace of himself in the aerial dual. However, with the Reds preferring to play the ball on the deck and their creativity largely missing on the day, Benteke more often than not found himself with his back to goal, and with few supporting runs to utilise, there is clearly the need for a gelling period as Rodgers again looks to rework his tactics to match the options at his disposal.

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