Premier League Wrap: Encouraging Signs from Transfer Deadline Day Attackers
The first matches post-transfer deadline day took place on Saturday in the Premier League. Managers were able to field some of their newly-purchased—or loaned—stars for the first time.
While not all of new recruits managed to help their sides to three points, there were several who put in impressive performances to suggest that their respective managers made the right call in bringing them in.
In the day's early game, Andy Carroll took all of 40 seconds to have an impact for his loan club, West Ham United, flicking on a long pass which led to Kevin Nolan's goal after less than one minute against Fulham.
Carroll was a constant threat for the Hammers who sought to utilise his aerial prowess and strength in the box.
Later in the first half he got on the end of another deep cross, heading back across the penalty area towards the onrushing Momo Diame—only for the midfielder's volley to crash over off the crossbar.
The on-loan Liverpool forward was involved for the third West Ham goal too, forcing defender Brede Hangeland into an awkward header which was smacked into the net by Matty Taylor. Carroll played just over an hour before being substituted due to a hamstring injury, which put something of a spoiler on an otherwise encouraging performance.
Opposite to Carroll was former Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov. The newly-signed Fulham striker was on the bench from the start but entered the game at halftime to try and help his side back into the game.
Berbatov was unable to have a goalscoring impact and his team was already 3-0 down, making even salvaging a point an unlikely scenario. But he showed enough in 45 minutes to suggest he can be a big part of Fulham's season.
The Bulgarian forward linked up well with Hugo Rodallega several times and provides a real alternative for Martin Jol than Mladen Petric in the forward line.
There were two other new signings who made goal-scoring debuts for their new clubs.
Steven Fletcher had a memorable first game for Sunderland, bagging a brace against Swansea City in a 2-2 draw.
A fine-curling left-footed shot for his first goal was followed up by a far scrappier second at the far post after a free kick. Fletcher will need to score plenty of both to live up to his hefty price tag.
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Finally, for Spurs, new boy Moussa Dembele came off the bench to score a fine debut goal, arrowing a shot into the bottom corner against Norwich City after an excellent turn on the edge of the box.
Dembele played a central midfield role after coming on in the second half. If he continues to show the drive and creativity that he did on his first appearance, he will certainly be in the starting XI sooner rather than later.
All in all it was a quick introduction to the qualities of those four new signings who are looking to make themselves firm fan favourites at their new teams.
The coming months will be more indicative of the truly successful purchases versus the last-minute panic buys borne more of hope than of expectancy.
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