Where Casemiro and Erling Haaland rank for best Premier League debut seasons ever
After going to opposing sides of Manchester last summer, Casemiro and Erling Haaland have succeeded in the Premier League.
Casemiro and Erling Haaland moved to separate sides of the same city last year, but both have had similar levels of success in the Premier League during their time in England. The former was signed by Manchester United near the end of the summer transfer window and has become one of their most important players under Ten Hag, while Haaland has already scored 37 goals in all competitions for Manchester City and looks set to break Andy Cole’s Premier League record of 34 in a single season.
These players have had two of the most spectacular debut seasons in England’s top division, but how do they stack up against the other contenders? Express Sport examines some of the choices…
Leicester City (2015/16) N’Golo Kante
Leicester City’s signing of N’Golo Kante went unnoticed in the summer of 2015, but the Foxes would soon reap the benefits of having the small Frenchman in their ranks, thanks to his part in defining the club’s historic Premier League title win at the end of his first season. Kante was recruited from Caen for roughly £5.6 million but quickly established himself as one of the division’s greatest midfielders, appearing in all but one of Leicester’s league games on their road to domestic success.
They only managed to keep Kante for one season, with Chelsea rushing in to get him for £32 million in 2016 before he went on to win the World Cup two years later and the Champions League with the Blues in 2021.
Swansea City – Michu (2012/13)
Michu joined Swansea from Rayo Vallecano in 2012 and went on to become one of the Premier League’s greatest one-season wonders, scoring 18 league goals in his rookie season. During his first year at the Swans, things did not go so well for the Spaniard, but his free-scoring heroics for the club will live on in the memory of their fans for decades to come.
During his dominant first year at Swansea, he also managed to inspire the future generation of footballers, with Haaland previously saying that Michu is one of his favorite players.
Torres, Fernando – Liverpool (2007/08)
Fernando Torres’ transfer from Atletico Madrid to Liverpool in 2007 sparked a lot of enthusiasm among Reds fans, and for good reason: the forward was simply unplayable at times during his first year on Merseyside. He also broke a number of milestones, becoming the first Liverpool player since Robbie Fowler to score 20 goals in a league season, and the first to score a hat-trick in consecutive home matches since 1946.
Torres did not win any titles while at Anfield, but his emergence as probably the Premier League’s most potent striker provided the Reds supporters with a new hero to rival Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United.
Manchester City (2011/12) – Sergio Aguero
Sergio Aguero established himself as a remarkable player for Manchester City after just one game, when he tore Swansea apart at the Etihad Stadium in their Premier League opening in 2011. He went on to take English football by the scruff of the neck in the months that followed, scoring against practically every team in the league and even scoring in his first Manchester derby against United.
Aguero’s Premier League tally of 23 goals included his astonishing final-day strike against Queens Park Rangers, which has subsequently gone down in history as City’s finest-ever moment.
Mohamed Salah plays for Liverpool in 2017/18.
Mohamed Salah came to the Premier League in the summer of 2017 with a point to prove after a disappointing experience at Chelsea, where he failed to make an impact before turning a turnaround with Roma. The Egyptian wizard quickly silenced his detractors with an extraordinary total of 32 goals in a 38-game season, setting a new top-flight record.
Salah was placed in an odd role in which he was neither a genuine winger nor a center-forward, but he was still able to score every type of goal possible and even received the Puskas Award for his amazing solo effort against Everton at Anfield.