Mohamed Salah & 7 Other Stars Who Enjoyed Incredible Debut Seasons

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah took his sensational debut season with the Reds to new levels at the weekend when he scored four in one game against Watford.

The Egyptian could hardy have dreamed for a better first campaign after the disappointment of his previous spell in England with Chelsea.

Salah is not alone in hitting the ground running in year one, with these others star arrivals in recent seasons joining him…

8. Alexis Sanchez – Arsenal (2014/15)

With Barcelona in the process of signing Luis Suarez, Alexis Sanchez left Camp Nou to join Arsenal in the summer of 2014 after a seriously impressive World Cup with Chile and needed little time to bed into his new surroundings in England.

Sanchez predominantly played as a winger in 2014/15 but still finished with 25 goals in all competition, including one in a victorious FA Cup final. His tally saw him become the first Arsenal player to reach that milestone in their debut season since Thierry Henry in 1999/00.

7. Gianluigi Donnarumma – AC Milan (2015/16)

A debut season in a different sense, 16-year-old Gianluigi Donnarumma was promoted to AC Milan’s first-team in the summer of 2015 and was chosen ahead of the vastly experience Diego Lopez for his Serie A debut just three months later.

He was the youngest goalkeeper to start in Serie A in 73 years and the second youngest of all time. What’s more, the teenager immediately established himself as the new number one and finished the campaign with 30 league appearances.

6. Diego Costa – Chelsea (2014/15)

Chelsea shipped out Fernando Torres, Demba Ba and Samuel Eto’o in the summer of 2014 after bringing in Diego Costa to lead a new look attack as manager Jose Mourinho targeted his third Premier League with the club.

Costa, a title winner himself with Atletico Madrid the previous season, showed no signs of needing time to settle and began with a run of nine goals in his first seven league games. He ultimately finished with 20 in 26 as Chelsea lifted the Premier League trophy.

5. Radamel Falcao – Atletico Madrid (2011/12)

Radamel Falcao suffered nightmare spells with Manchester United and Chelsea that didn’t get beyond debut seasons, while his maiden campaign with Monaco was ended prematurely after suffering a serious knee injury.

But back in 2011/12, Falcao had hit the ground running at Atletico Madrid after a big money move from Porto. His 36 goals in all competitions that season proved he could perform at the highest level and established him as arguably the best ‘number nine’ in the world at that time.

4. Robin van Persie – Man Utd (2012/13)

Manchester United fans would have been disappointed had Robin van Persie not had a sensational season in 2012/13 after joining the club for £24m from Arsenal. But given his previous record with injuries, his arrival was no surefire guarantee for success.

As it was, Van Persie actually had no trouble replicating the form that had seen him land a Premier League Golden Boot in his final year in north London. He finished on 26 league goals, with a hat-trick against Aston Villa a fitting way to wrap up the title he had been bought to win.

3. Arjen Robben – Bayern Munich (2009/10)

After fizzling out at both Chelsea and Real Madrid, Bayern Munich offered an injury prone Arjen Robben arguably his last chance to prove himself as an elite star after making the move to Bavarian club in the summer of 2009.

Fortunately for Robben, he was able to take it. The 2009/10 campaign remains the winger’s best goalscoring campaign to date with 23 in all competitions as he helped Bayern reclaim the Bundesliga title from Wolfsburg and reach a first Champions League final since 2001.

2. N’Golo Kante – Chelsea (2016/17)

N’Golo Kante’s first season in English football was truly spectacular as he helped Leicester win the Premier League title against all odds, but his debut year with Chelsea was arguably even better after he raised his game further still and proved it hadn’t simply been a fluke.

Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez had taken most of the plaudits at Leicester, but after winning the title at Chelsea the following season, Kante was recognised with the clean sweep of individual honours – the PFA, FWA and Premier League Player of the Year awards.

1. Mohamed Salah – Liverpool (2017/18)

Once a Chelsea flop, Mohamed Salah had a lot to prove when Liverpool brought him back to the Premier League for a fee of around £35m last summer. But, such has been his prolific goal return, it looks as though the Reds actually snagged a genuine bargain.

Salah is leading the way in both the Premier League Golden Boot and European Golden Shoe stakes, despite not even being an out-and-out striker. And, with 38 goals to his name in all competitions, he is well on course to become the first Liverpool player to net 40 times in a single season since Ian Rush way back in 1986/87.

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