With the new EPL season nearly upon us, fans and pundits across the globe are already sharing their insightful football tips and predictions for 2019/20.
There will be a familiar mix of the old and the new this season, from EPL stalwarts like David Silva (who has announced that he’ll be leaving Manchester City next summer) to newcomers like the talented Welsh winger Daniel James.
With a slew of exciting players likely to make their Premier League debuts in 2019/20, we look back at five of the best debut seasons in EPL history.
- Diego Costa, Chelsea (2014/15)
We start with Diego Costa, who enjoyed a brief but impactful spell at Chelsea just a few years ago.
The talented but temperamental Brazilian striker was signed by Jose Mourinho ahead of the 2014/15 season, and he hit the ground running by scoring seven times in his first four EPL matches. He subsequently netted 20 times in his first season, helping the Blues to win the Premier League and the League Cup in the process.
His combative nature ultimately alienated new manager Antonio Conte, however, forcing Costa to re-join Atletico Madrid after scoring 52 goals in 89 Chelsea appearances.
- Fernando Torres, Liverpool (2007/08)
In his later Premier League years, Fernando Torres became a figure of fun amongst some fans, following an indifferent spell at Chelsea and THAT miss at Old Trafford in 2011.
However, he was considered to be the best striker in Europe following his debut season at Anfield in 2007/08, in which he plundered 24 goals in just 29 Premier League starts. This broke Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record for the most goals scored by a foreign player in their first EPL season, although this has since been surpassed by Mohammed Salah.
Torres was truly electric during this time on Merseyside, whilst his combination play with Steven Gerrard almost fired Liverpool to the EPL tile during his second season.
- Ruud van Nistelrooy, Manchester United (2001/02)
And now for the aforementioned van Nistelrooy, who exploded on the EPL stage after signing for Manchester United from PSV Eindhoven for £19 million in 2001.
After netting twice on his league debut against Fulham, the Dutch hitman continued to terrorise EPL defenders and finished the season with 23 league goals and a staggering 36 in all competitions.
This included 10 Champions League goals, as United reached the semi-finals before being knocked out by Bayer Leverkusen.
- Kevin Phillips, Sunderland (1999/00)
We thought about including Mohammed Salah here, but Kevin Phillips achievements in the 1999/00 season put the brilliant Egyptian firmly in the shade.
Although the forward has scored 60 goals in two seasons as Sunderland gained promotion back to the Premier League in 1999, nobody expected him to be quite so prolific in the EPL.
However, he plundered an astonishing 30 top-flight strikes as Sunderland secured an impressive seventh-place finish, whilst Phillips himself remains the only Englishman to have won Europe’s coveted Golden Shoe since its inception in 1967.
- N’Golo Kante, Leicester City (2015/16)
We close with N’Golo Kante, whose debut EPL season in 2015/16 read like something out of a fairy-tale.
The little-known French midfielder signed for the Foxes from Ligue 1 side Caen in the summer of 2015, with Leicester City paying just £5.5 million for his services. Just nine months later, Kante was established as one of the world’s best defensive midfielders and Leicester had defied odds of 5,000/1 to win their inaugural EPL title.
It should come as no surprise that Kante earned a place in that season’s PFA Team of the Year, whilst he subsequently earned a £32 million move to Chelsea less than a year after arriving in England.