A look at the scintillating performances of the PL’s new No.9s
From Harry Wilson’s absolute stunner of a free-kick against Man City, Moussa Djenepo’s cracker of a finish in Southampton’s victory over Brighton to Harvey Barnes’ net-bursting half-volley, Round 3 of the 2018-19 season of the Premier League witnessed some magical moments of pure individual brilliance.
However, it was a weekend highlighted by some special performances from the new No.9s in the division, all of whom hit the ground running and played a key role in the victories of their respective teams, albeit a few were unfortunate to end up on the losing side.
Some of the big-money arrivals in the summer transfer window this term, including Sebastien Haller, Oliver McBurnie, Wesley Moraes and Joelinton, were prolific strikers from other leagues and to witness almost all of them coming to life for the first time in the Premier League was certainly a matter of uncanny coincidence.
While the more established centre-forwards like Jamie Vardy and Sergio Aguero continued to score for fun, let us take a look at how some of the new No.9s in the Premier League hit the ground running in Round 3.
1. Tammy Abraham
Abraham doesn’t fall in the bracket of a big-money signing but he definitely deserves a place in this list, given that the 21-year-old is a complete newcomer to the Premier League.
The academy graduate from Chelsea opened his account for the Blues in the top-flight with a brace in the 3-2 victory over Norwich City, thus playing a key role to hand Frank Lampard his first win as a manager in the Premier League.
Abraham’s first goal reflected his crisp technical finishing and subtle movement inside the box, while he reminded with his second goal that he is more than capable of beating defenders and finding the net from distance.
2. Oliver McBurnie
The 23-year-old Scottish international, who joined Sheffield United from Swansea City for a club-record £20million earlier in August, is yet to start a game for the Blades in the Premier League this term but he managed to find the net in the top-flight in his third consecutive cameo from the bench.
McBurnie, who came on as a second-half substitute against Leicester City on Saturday, outjumped the Foxes defenders inside the box and scored with a fine header off Chris Basham’s cross from the right to cancel out Vardy’s opener.
That, however, wasn’t enough, as Barnes’ electric strike later on in the second-half handed Brendan Rodgers’ side a 2-1 victory.
3. Wesley Moraes
The £22million signing from Club Brugge failed to deliver the goods in his first couple of games against Spurs and Bournemouth but he finally managed to hit the ground running in the Premier League this weekend, starring in the club’s 2-0 victory over Everton at home.
The 22-year-old pounced on a delightful through ball from Jota and kept his composure to make it 1-0 in the first half, although he contributed a lot more to that victory, including his work rate, hold-up play and slick link-up with the wide players.
Indeed, Wesley has arrived with a lot of expectations on his shoulders and the Villa fans will be hoping that he can make it a habit of finding the net on a regular basis this season.
4. Sebastien Haller
West Ham’s record £45million signing was pretty much quiet in the first couple of games but he came to life at just the right time for the Hammers, as the East Londoners registered their first three points of the Premier League this term with a 3-1 victory over Watford.
Mark Noble’s early penalty was cancelled out by Andre Gray’s strike but it was in the second half that Haller weaved his magic with some help from Felipe Anderson.
The Frenchman was at the right place and at the right time to put away Anderson’s inch-perfect cross from the left to restore West Ham’s lead before he pulled off an amazing spectacle – a brilliant overhead kick off a corner to make it 3-1 in favour of Manuel Pellegrini’s side.
The fans, though, will be hoping for that brace to be the beginning of many more to come from the talisman.
The Brazilian missed a relatively simple chance to score with his head in the defeat against Norwich City but he couldn’t have announced himself in the Premier League at a better time.
Newcastle’s record £40million signing scored the solitary goal in a 1-0 victory over Spurs, thus guiding the Magpies to their first-ever win against a big-six opposition since their return to the Premier League a couple of years ago.
Joelinton brought down Christian Atsu’s wonderful lobbed pass with an intricate touch and showed the composure to find a perfect finish past Hugo Lloris between the sticks, as Steve Bruce’s side got off the mark in the Premier League this term after defeats against Arsenal and Norwich.