How Did La Liga’s New Signings Perform On Debut?7 min read
With the opening weekend of the La Liga season done and dusted, each of the 20 teams will be either licking their wounds or slapping each other on the back for a job well done.
Many players made debuts at their new teams, but how did they get on? Let’s take a look…
Barca new boys
Both Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie De Jong donned a Barça shirt for the first time in official competition.
Though the 1-0 loss against Athletic Club wasn’t expected, there were still positives to take from the game, not least De Jong’s command of the midfield.
Leaving Sergio Busquets on the bench was a big call from Ernesto Valverde, but the young Dutchman was calmness personified and looked like he’d played there all his career.
Griezmann’s start was quieter by comparison, but that was more to do with him being put as the central striker when Luis Suarez departed, and not getting any service from his wide players.
He showed enough movement and understanding with his team-mates for supporters to realise that he’ll settle in just fine.
Old-guard over Odegaard
Former Barcelona player, Denis Suarez, returned to his Celta Vigo roots, but his day wasn’t much to write home about. A yellow card and a performance where he was unable to assert his authority will have displeased him as much as the 3-1 defeat to a familiar Real Madrid.
Los Blancos have loaned out Martin Odegaard again, this time to Real Sociedad, and the midfielder’s zest and hunger was a feature in the visitors being able to snatch a draw against Valencia at the death. Well, in the 101st minute to be precise.
The Norwegian still harbours dreams of playing for Real Madrid’s first team one day, and if he can produce on a more regular basis, that might not be beyond him.
Roberto Soldado, remember him Spurs fans? A debut header, as well as a headed assist, allowed his Granada side to recover from 4-2 down with 17 minutes left, to draw 4-4 at a Villarreal side who also had Moi Gomez getting on the scoresheet on his (second) debut.
Strong start for Sevilla
Sevilla had four players making their debut for Julen Lopetegui, the Andalusians running out 2-0 winners at Espanyol.
Oliver Torres gave a fleeting glimpse of his prowess, whilst Luuk de Jong and Joan Jordan had reasonable debuts too. The best of the quartet was Real Madrid loanee, Sergio Reguilon.
A goal for the youngster and an all-action 90 minutes which brought him a yellow card but plaudits too.
With just six minutes played at the Benito Villamarin, Real Vallodolid’s Sandro Ramirez – on loan from Everton – was bearing down on goal, looking for his first score since 2017.
Taken out by Betis keeper, and Sandro’s former team-mate, Joel Robles, the striker was not only denied a debut goal, but also had to go off injured, with Robles shown a red for his troubles.
Betis’ striker, Borja Iglesias, didn’t fare too much better either, subbed off through injury too. At least the home fans could enjoy watching Nabil Fekir boss their midfield even if it was ultimately in vain, thanks to a last-minute Oscar Plano winner for the visitors.
Ex-Premier League players combine
Marc Cucurella did enough to be happy with on debut for a Getafe side that now haven’t scored against Atletico Madrid in 17 games.
The Rojiblancos three debutants had differing experiences at the Wanda Metropolitano too. Joao Felix? More like WOW Felix! What a triumph for the youngster, even if he had to go off injured.
Supporters were on their feet every time he touched the ball, and he’s shown no signs of letting his astronomical transfer fee weigh heavily on his shoulders.
Kieran Trippier provided the cross from which Alvaro Morata scored the winner, and the former Spurs right-back was diligent in most aspects of his play. After a great pre-season with his new club, Trippier looks comfortable and settled.
Unfortunately for Renan Lodi, a harsh sending off before half-time put paid to any thoughts he had of making a mark.
All in all, however, the new signings will be happy with their performances, and will be hoping to build on them during the course of the campaign.
Listen to the latest episode of the Eye On LaLiga podcast with Oliver Wilson and Jason Pettigrove: The Season Finally Gets Going!!