Three Premier League debutants make our Team of the Week.
Wayne Hennessey (Crystal Palace)
Vicente Guaita’s arrival at Palace has put pressure on Hennessey, but he proved he prepared to fight as he kept a clean sheet at Fulham. He made six saves in total, including a smart stop to deny Aleksandar Mitrovic in the first half. After two disappointing seasons at Selhurst Park this could be spark he needs.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Crystal Palace)
The young Eagles defender ended last season with six starts in Palace’s final ten matches and found himself in the line-up at Fulham. The 20-year-old won four tackles and made an unsurpassed four interceptions in the game and completed his tireless display with an assist for Wilfried Zaha. Another promising performance.
James Tarkowski (Burnley)
Tarkowski’s performances last season nearly earned him a place in England’s World Cup squad and, on the evidence of his display against Southampton, it won’t be long until he is part of Gareth Southgate’s plans. He made 15 clearances against the Saints, as many as the rest of the Burnley defence managed between them. The result: a typical clean sheet for the Clarets.
Jannik Vestergaard (Southampton)
At almost two metres tall, it’s hard not to notice Southampton’s new centre back, but it was his performance on his Premier League debut that stood out at St. Mary’s. The Danish defender made 12 clearances during the game and, considering that the Saints only managed three clean sheets at home last season, things are certainly looking up.
Benjamin Mendy (Manchester City)
The champions are up and running after a goal in each half saw them overcome Arsenal. Mendy reminded fans that he is not only a star on social media as he set up both goals, whilst he used his pace to good effect to nullify any threat from Hector Bellerin. After injury cost him last season, it seems his time has come.
Ruben Neves (Wolves)
It wasn’t to be for Wolves in their first game back in the Premier League, but it is immediately clear that Ruben Neves looks at home in the top flight. He levelled the scores against Everton with a fine free kick, before supplying the cross for Raul Jimenez to equalise again late on. Not a bad start!
Naby Keita (Liverpool)
After a year’s wait Liverpool finally have their man, and he did not disappoint in the Reds’ opening win over West Ham. Having created his new side’s opening goal with a surging run, the Guinean looked comfortable in attack once Roberto Firmino had been withdrawn. At present he looks to be the first pick for Jurgen Klopp’s midfield.
Sadio Mane (Liverpool)
Mane was at the double against West Ham with two instinctive finishes. First he stretched to convert James Milner’s cutback just seconds before half time, and then fired in his second after the break (although replays confirmed he was offside). He has now scored in the Reds’ opening game in all of his three seasons at the club.
Bernardo Silva (Manchester City)
The Portuguese midfielder scored at the Emirates for the second season in a row to seal the points for City. He only made 15 league starts in 2017/18 but, with a Ligue 1 medal in 2016/17 with AS Monaco, who would bet against him winning a league title for a third straight season?
It has been another summer of upheaval at Everton and eyebrows were raised when Richarlison joined for a fee in the region of £40m. However, his brace earned the Toffees a point at Wolves and, if he continues in a similar vein, his transfer will soon seem like a bargain.
Roberto Pereyra (Watford)
Watford are yet to lose on the opening weekend since their return to the Premier League in 2015 and they made light work of Brighton this time around. Pereyra was the man of the match thanks to two brilliant strikes, meaning that he has five goals in the Hornets’ past five home games.