The flurry of Transfer Deadline Day activity cast plenty of players into new clubs, but the majority of European league’s went dark for the international break before we could do anything other than spy introductory photos on the Internet.
[ REFRESHER: Done deals from Deadline Day ]
Yet that makes this weekend all the more fun, as many players could make their debuts for clubs in the Premier League and outside England as well. Let’s take a look at the matches we’ll be watching closely:
1. Manchester United vs. Queens Park Rangers, Sunday
Daley Blind, Radamel Falcao and Marcos Rojo could all see debuts for Manchester United, and it’s not like Angel Di Maria and Luke Shaw have been around for more than a single appearance as well (and certainly wasn’t nearly as electrifying as he was in Argentina’s 4-2 win over Germany last week). In addition to Louis van Gaal properly working out his side, QPR’s Harry Redknapp could hand debuts to new boys Sandro and Eduardo Vargas. Could be a fun affair as players get used to each other.
2. Arsenal vs. Manchester City, Saturday
Danny Welbeck takes his bow for Arsenal against his longtime cross-Manchester rivals. The Gunners have needed that central striker for a spell, and Welbeck just provided a brace for England in the Three Lions 2-0 win over Switzerland earlier this week. What a way to start the weekend.
3. Parma vs. AC Milan, Saturday
Look out, Italy: Fernando Torres may make the most of his breath of fresh air at AC Milan. Unable to keep hold on his place at Chelsea, and always under scrutiny after his big money switch from Liverpool, it’s easy to forget Torres posted a good strike rate of 11 goals in 19 matches for Spain since 2012 (while struggling at Stamford Bridge).
4. Hull City vs. West Ham United, Monday
Pity Sam Allardyce, as the West Ham manager has to attempt to figure out what Steve Bruce and an already-decent Tigers unit will bring to the table on Monday. For one, there’s record-signing Abel Hernandez. Then the loan signings of Gaston Ramirez and Hatem Ben Arfa. Oh, and Mohamed Diame as well. At least Allardyce will have the benefit of relative consistency on his side.
5. Hannover vs. Hamburg, Sunday
Both Julian Green and Lewis Holtby could be patrolling the pitch for the visitors this Sunday, as two high-profile moves make their way to Hamburg.
Honorable mention: Southampton debuts for Sadio Mane and Toby Alderweireld, Chicharito on the bench for Real Madrid, Micah Richards at Fiorentina.