Premiership debut doubles

Preview

When Sergio Aguero scored an impressive brace on his Premier League debut against Swansea, he became the first player to do so since Mido back in 2005.

 

The list of players who have scored Premier League debut braces is full of stars, but there are also a couple of names that the younger readers may not know. 

The Pretenders

In the inaugural Premiership season in 1992, there were a host of names who scored twice on their first outing in the new format, but as they had already featured in the top flight, they do not really count.

This list includes ex-England captain, Alan Shearer, Brian Deane and Leeds’ Lee Chapman.

On the 24th July 1992, the recently promoted Blackburn Rovers signed Southampton’s Alan Shearer for a then British transfer record of £3.3 million. Whilst there was interest from Alex Ferguson to bring him to Old Trafford, Shearer opted for Rovers.

His debut was at Selhurst Park against Crystal Palace on the 15th August 1992 where he scored two goals in the second-half, putting his new club 3-2 up and heading for the three points – only for Simon Osborn to score a last minute equaliser for the Eagles.

Shearer’s season was not the happiest, whilst he did score an impressive 16 goals in 21 games, he missed half of the season after snapping his right anterior cruciate ligament on Boxing Day against Leeds. The game had started well for him as he bagged a brace, and whilst Shearer did not finish the game, his team did go on to win the game 3-1.

Reigning champions from the old era were Howard Wilkinson’s Leeds United. They had finished four points ahead of bitter rivals, Manchester United. On the first day of the Premiership, Lee Chapman scored twice against Wimbledon to give his team a 2-1 winning start to the season.

Meanwhile, the first goal of the new Premier League was scored by Brian Deane, this came in the fifth minute of Sheffield United’s 2-1 win against Manchester United. Deane got his second of the game in the 50th minute from the penalty spot, before Mark Hughes pulled one back, but it was not enough for the team that went on to lift the championship.

The shock package in that first season was Norwich; they got off to an excellent start when they beat Arsenal 4-2 at Highbury. The Canaries were 2-0 down at half-time; but after four goals in 21 minutes, including two from Mark Robins, the away team went on to win the game.

They ended up qualifying for the UEFA Cup where a whole new adventure began. They famously enjoyed an historical 2-1 win in Munich against Bayern when Jeremy Goss scored a screamer from outside the area.

Nottingham Forest’s season started well after a 1-0 win against Liverpool thanks to a young Teddy Sheringham’s winner, but their year turned very sour. Gary Bannister joined the club to replace Teddy, who had moved to Spurs. The new singing managed to score twice in his first game, but unfortunately his goals could not stop his team losing 5-3 against Oldham.

The year did not get any better for Forest, they struggled after losing Sheringham so early in the season and having seen Des Walker move to Sampdoria previously. It was Brian Clough’s 18th and final season with the club, sadly they finished bottom of the table and the legendary boss duly resigned.

Extra mention

In the 1994/95 season; Ashley Ward returned to top flight football with Norwich. On his debut, at home to Chelsea, he managed to score twice in a 3-0 win. It was an excellent start for the big striker who had joined from Crewe Alexandra, but his goals were not enough to stop his new team from finishing two off the bottom and being relegated.

1995/96 – The first

The first true Premier League debutant double came on 3rd March 1996, when dread-locked Dutchman, Regi Blinker scored twice against Aston Villa for Sheffield Wednesday. Unfortunately for him, and the Owls, Wednesday lost 3-2. As for the rest of Regi’s season, he failed to find the back of the net again, and he only managed to score once more before he left in the summer of ’97.

After a relatively unsuccessful time in England, Regi moved to Scotland with Celtic as part of the deal that saw Paolo Di Canio move in the opposite direction. Unlike his time in England, the Dutchman won a trophy when he was part of the team that won the 1997/98 league title.

1996/97 – The ‘White Feather’

The start of the 1996/97 season saw two players score twice on their first outing for their new clubs, one of whom went one better.

Italian star, Fabrizio Ravanelli, signed for Middlesbrough from Juventus for £7 million. He was fresh from lifting the Champions League with his old club. On his debut for Boro, he immediately became a fans’ favourite after he scored a hat-trick in their 3-3 draw with Liverpool. The Italian, who’s known as ‘White Feather’ due to his hair colour, was one of the league’s leading scorers, but his 17 goals could not stop his team getting

relegated and dropping down a division and the star moved on.

The other player who was overshadowed by Ravanelli‘s effort, was Derby’s Dean Sturridge, an ex-player who is now better known in most circles as Chelsea striker, Daniel Sturridge’s uncle. Dean, who went on to build a legacy with the Rams, managed to score a double against Leeds, but like the Italian, his side could only manage a 3-3 draw.

1999/00 – Last of the century

The last player in the twentieth century to score a double on their Premiership debut was a young Irishman by the name of Robbie Keane. He started the season with Wolves, but after scoring two in three games he joined Coventry for £6 million, which was then a British record for a teenager.

In his first game wearing sky blue, he scored twice in a 2-0 win at home to Derby. The Dublin born striker managed 12 goals that season, which was enough to earn himself a move to Inter Milan. Their talented striker scored an impressive 123 Premiership goals, many of which showed what a skillful striker he had been over the years.

2000/01 – Changing times

With the start of the new century, there was an increase in players coming from abroad. Talented Croatian midfield player, Mario Stanic joined Chelsea from Parma for £5.6 million and immediately made an impact as he scored twice against West Ham in a 4-2 win.  He went on to make 49 league appearances for the Blues, but sadly had to retire when he was 32-years-old after injuring his knee.

At the same time, another Croatian came to England. Alen Boksic arrived at Middlesbrough from Lazio for £2.5 million having just won the league and cup double in Italy – this was a move that came as a surprise to the footballing world.

His debut saw him score twice and finish on the winning side, as Boro beat Coventry 3-1. In the back of the fans’ minds, they must have thought back to Ravenelli’s opening day debut hat-trick when everything looked positive only to end up getting relegated.

Fortunately, the team from Teesside faired better this time round, and whilst Boksic only scored 12 goals, the team finished 14th. The Croatian played for another season and a half after that before retiring. He scored 22 goals in 68 games during a time when Middleborough found stability.

2001/02 – Bolton’s arrival

A year later, it was Kevin Nolan in Bolton’s return to the top flight. They could not have asked for a better start when they travelled to Filbert Street to take on Leicester. The Foxes were still recovering from Martin O’Neill’s departure the year before. Peter Taylor had come in and were struggling to live up to the expectation that the charismatic Irishman had built at City.

The season did not start well for Taylor as Nolan and his Bolton team-mates hammered Leicester 5-0. Nolan scored twice, as did ex-Blackburn midfielder, Per Frandsen while Michael Ricketts got the other. The new boys finished the season a safe 16th, whilst the Foxes finished bottom under the latter guidance of Dave Bassett.

A day after that 5-0 drubbing for Leicester, we saw the long awaited debut of Ruud van Nistelrooy, who had joined Manchester United from PSV Eindhoven for £19 million. This transfer should have happened a season earlier, but injury complications had been delayed the move. In his first league game wearing the Red Devils’ shirt, the Dutchman scored twice in two minutes. They came when his team were losing 2-1 to recently promoted Fulham. It was clear that he was going to score a lot of goals in England and that he did. By the time he left for Real Madrid, he had an excellent scoring record of 95 goals in just 137 league starts.

It was thought that Van Nistelrooy fell out with Sir Alex after he was left on the substitute’s bench for League Cup final against Wigan Athletic. Whilst nothing was confirmed, he then started the next six consecutive league matches on the bench as well.

He finally returned to the starting line-up, when he scored match-winners against West Ham United and Bolton Wanderers, but once again he found himself left out of the team, this time it was against Charlton Athletic in the last game of the season.

Van Nistelrooy was a hit in Spain, He managed to score a hat-trick against Levante in which was only his second league appearance for the club, and then he scored all four goals as his new club beat Osasuna 4-1.

The rest

In August 2002, Milan Baros grabbed a double for Liverpool against Bolton in a 3-2 win for the Reds. Baros clearly enjoyed playing in England. He went on to play for Aston Villa and then whilst playing for Lyon in France. He later came back to England on loan to Portsmouth, which saw him be part of their FA Cup winning team.

Gary O’Neil joined the list in November 2003, after he scored twice for Portsmouth in a 6-1 demolition of Leeds at Fratton Park. He had been at the club since a trainee and after a loan move with Walsall, he was given the opportunity to play in the Premiership.

Egyptian striker, Mido, joined Spurs from Roma on loan at the end of the January ’05 transfer window. On his debut, he scored twice against Portsmouth in a 3-1 win at White Hart Lane.

They were his only two league goals during the four-month loan spell, but it was enough for the club to bring him back in August ’05 for another spell, before finally signing permanently the following year for £4.5 million.

The latest

When Argentine Aguero made hade his entrance to the Premier League on Monday 15th August 2011, the rest of the league sat back and watched his dazzling talents. There is no doubt that there is a new star at Eastlands or as it now known, the Etihad Stadium following the controversial renaming.

He is nicknamed ‘Kun,’ which comes from his favourite childhood television show, Rozen Maiden; the name has stuck since it was given to him from his grandparents after they saw similarities with the character, Kun-Kun.

Kun came on to a standing ovation in the 59th minute, and within 9 minutes he had scored. Just two minutes later his persistence paid off as he chased what looked like a lost cause and managed to loop the ball back across the goal for David Silva to score. Aguero was not finished, a minute into injury-time he picked the ball up outside the penalty box, looked around, but opted to take one step forward before driving the ball into back of the net with an excellent strike from 25 yards.

It will be interesting to see how this young player does in the Premier League, but one thing is for sure, Diego Maradona’s son-in-law is something special.

Scott Balaam

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