Arsenal: Ranking Gunners' best debuts after Thomas Partey masterclass

Thomas Partey Arsenal

Arsenal’s nervy win over Rapid Wien may not have been the most entertaining of affairs but the performance of Thomas Partey on his full debut for the Gunners had plenty of people waxing lyrical.

BT Sport pundit Owen Hargreaves described the Ghanian’s impressive showing as one of ‘one the best I’ve ever seen’ while his outing even dragged Piers Morgan away from promoting his new book.

Winning five tackles (no player in the game won more) and boasting a 90.2% pass completion rate, the £45m man is certainly in good company when it comes to making an instant impact.

Indeed, some of the biggest names in the club’s recent history have done the same and, while it’d be too rash to suggest Partey will go on to achieve what some of these men did, the signs are certainly promising.

With that in mind, GiveMeSport will rank some of the best Arsenal debuts of all-time.

8) Alexis Sanchez

Alexis Sanchez

Though Alexis Sanchez did ultimately fail to get on the scoresheet when making his Premier League bow for Arsenal against Crystal Palace in 2014, he did ensure the Gunners came away with all three points.

Before the seemingly endless summers away at the Copa America and a hugely ill-fated move to Manchester United, the Chilean was an attacking Duracell bunny and his cross allowed Laurent Koscielny to restore parity before they pushed on for the win.

7) Mesut Ozil

300 days since he last played for the club, Mesut Ozil’s career in North London looks all but over after being left out of their 25-man Premier League squad.

A situation with more baggage than is possible to mention within the confines of a small sub-section, things did actually start reasonably well for the German following his 2013 arrival from Real Madrid.

After just 11 minutes away at Sunderland, he registered his first assist for the club as he set-up Oliver Giroud in what turned out to be a 3-1 win.

6) Cesc Fabregas


A host of players made their Arsenal debuts as Rotherham visited Highbury in 2003 for League Cup third-round tie but Cesc Fabregas was the standout.

Breaking the record for the club’s youngest ever player aged 16 years and 177 days, the Spaniard looked composed in the middle of the park against physical opposition and went some way to proving this La Masia graduate could cut it in England.

5) Alexandre Lacazette

There’s always something special about a Friday night fixture to kick the Premier League season off and Leicester City’s visit to the Emirates was a wonderful start.

Scoring just 54 seconds into his debut after his first shot wearing the famous red kit, Alexandre Lacazette got off the mark after his big-money move from Lyon over the course of the summer.

4) Gilberto Silva

Gilberto Silva

Fresh from winning the World Cup with Brazil, Gilberto Silva was able to mark his Arsenal debut with some silverware.

While the midfielder has since said he had no idea why his teammates were celebrating so much after what he thought was just a regular pre-season win, it was his goal against Liverpool in the Community Shield that sparked such jubilation.

3) Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Arsene Wenger's parting gift to Arsenal, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was able to give onlookers a sign of what was to come with a goal against Everton on his maiden voyage for the club.

One of the deadliest strikers in Europe, the £55m January signing from Borussia Dortmund latched onto an Ozil through ball (those were the days) to dispatch with ease.

2) Patrick Vieria


Brought on for an injured Ray Parlour away at Sheffield Wednesday, Patrick Vieira’s debut for Arsenal had Dennis Bergkamp in disbelief.

Even the cool, calm and collected Dutchman said he was rubbing his eyes and questioned what he’d just seen as the stunning ability of his new French teammate showed itself for the first time on these shores.

One goal behind upon his entrance, the Gunners ended up winning 4-1 and Vieria was able to assist the man we’re about to mention. Indeed, the club’s midfield would never be the same again.

1) Ian Wright

Another fearsome Arsenal striker and a man who only trials Thierry Henry in the goalscoring stakes is Ian Wright.

A legend of the club, Wright took to life on the big stage with ease after his club-record move from Crystal Palace in 1991 by scoring a hat-trick against Southampton in his first league game. 

The rest, as they say, is history. 

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