Under the microscope: Rating the Premier League’s big bucks debuts

If your team splashed the cash over the summer than this one’s for you…


The Premier League will self-endorse as ‘the most exciting league in the world’. Imagine the audacity of a division that’s accommodated Glenn Whelan for years saying that.

It’s the same stuff every year, but they occasionally bring in some overly expensive spice.

Like when your socially awkward uncle discovers Tinder. But, where do these guys fit on the classic 1-10 scale?

So, let’s see who is getting swiped right with only one week gone in England’s top tier.

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Alexandre Lacazette

The Gunners kicked us off in typical Arsenal fashion last Friday. They were dominant, had all the ball and still managed to require last minute heroics to avoid absolute embarrassment. One positive though, is Alexandre Lacazette.

His opener and general link-up was noteworthy. The problem however, is that the (gorgeous) striker they already had saved the day. That’s peak Arsene!

Even when your brand new star striker that you finally spent actual Wenger dollars on nets a goal, he’s overshadowed by someone deemed not good enough to start. Never disrespect big, beautiful Olivier.

Power Rating: 7

Alvaro Morata

On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, Alvaro Morata didn’t take the field at 3pm for Chelsea. That bloke who stared for European champions Real Madrid, remember?

Yep, he didn’t start, against Burnley. Against Sean Dyche’s Clarets. If you can find the net for the twelve-time winners of the Champions League, you could probably score a hat-trick against Burnley blindfolded, while solving a rubik’s cube and listening to Rosetta Stone’s How to Speak English.

But no, Mr. Conte. At least he didn’t come on and show himself to be far above any player on the pitch.  At least he didn’t single-handedly drag Chelsea back into the game and score on his debut – oh wait…

Even Diego Costa’s having a go at Chelsea boss for bad personality traits. Diego Costa, the man who’d headbutt a wall for staring at him.

Morata looks like he’ll fit in just fine. Antonio Conte isn’t just suffering second season syndrome, he’s going to be quarantined soon.

Power Rating: 8

Mohamed Salah

Ah, Liverpool. To be fair, Mohamed Salah is a good player and looks a shrewd addition.

He fits Klopp’s system well, but unless he can play centre half he’ll just be an A4 poster boy on a Titanic-sized canvass of Luis Suarez. Now, it was by no means a disaster and I’m sure Marco Silva’s charges will be a good outfit this year.

But the fact remains – while Salah might enhance Liverpool going forward, he’ll need to score a hat-trick most weeks ensure a point.

But look, Kopites, three-all draws away from Anfield aren’t all bad. You can always mention that Champions League title you won in Istanbul. Or maybe, that Palace comeback a few years ago – flip a coin.

Power Rating: 6.5

Nemanja Matic

The weekend belonged to Manchester United though. The Stretford End witnessed to the divorce of Paul Pogba and defensive duties. Nemanja Matic – Mourinho’s new enforcer – makes Pogba the best signing of the year, as he clearly wasn’t a footballer in 2016-17.

Matic though – throwing back the years to exhibit Michael Carrick-like traits – electrified seventy thousand people at Old Trafford.

His early display of brutality makes United very strong contenders for the Premier League title. Because everyone knows the key to winning a league in England is GBH – isn’t that right, Mr. Costa?

Power Rating: 9

Romelu Lukaku

Last but not least – Romelu Lukaku. Clearly inspired by an Irish paper’s cock-up where they portrayed him as Stormzy.

The Belgian embraced the grime roots, even he didn’t know he had and spat out phat lyrics all over West Ham.

Stepping up to the plate, declaring he was no backup dancer (shut up), Lukaku wasted no time in showing that United won’t be missing Zlatan. His goals may prove the decisive factor in resurrecting an otherwise mundane Manchester franchise.

An opening day brace may even pave the way for the United faithful to love him as much as they should have loved Denis Irwin.

Just remember folks, for every goal-fest we’re grateful to receive, a ‘Super Sunday’ of Bournemouth v Stoke is probably around the corner. But, it’s good to be back.

Power Rating: 8

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What do you think?