18-year-old Marcus Rashford stole the headlines last weekend with a brace to down Arsenal on his first Premier League appearance. He’s not the first player to hit the ground running on his debut so let’s take a look at some more memorable first impressions.
Ruud van Nistelrooy (Man Utd v Fulham, 2001)
The Dutch goal machine took English football by storm with an impressive brace on his debut against Fulham. Van Nistlerooy scored two goals in two minutes to help Man Utd beat Fulham 3-2 and went on to score 95 goals in 150 appearances under Sir Alex Ferguson’s stewardship.
Wayne Rooney (Man Utd v Fenerbache, 2004)
Rooney went one better than Van Nistelrooy and scored a hat-trick that will live long in the memory of all United fans. After picking up an injury during Euro 2004 the England striker was made to wait but hit the ground running in his first taste of Champions League football. The then 18-year-old Rooney claimed his hat-trick with a 20-yard free kick as Man Utd ran out 6-2 winners over the Turkish side.
Sergio Aguero (Man City v Swansea City, 2011)
Swansea were the first club to suffer Aguero’s lightening quick feet and rocket shot. The Argentinian climbed off the bench to score two goals and assist another, helping Roberto Mancini’s men to a 4-0 victory. He’s gone on to score a few more since then.
Alan Shearer (Southampton v Arsenal, 1988)
A 17-year-old Alan Shearer stunned Arsenal with an emphatic hat-trick at The Dell. His impressive debut proved to be no flash in the pan either. The England legend went on to be all-time top goal scorer in the Premier League with 260 goals, a record that won’t be broken anytime soon.
Alan Smith (Leeds v Liverpool, 1998)
Smith’s start to life at Elland Road couldn’t have gone any better. The Rothwell-born striker scored with his first touch of the match as Leeds defeated Liverpool 3-1.
Robbie Fowler (Liverpool v Fulham, 1993)
‘God’ arrived on the scene in devastating fashion, dumping Fulham out of the League Cup over two legs almost on his own. The first leg took place at Anfield where Fowler made his debut and scored to help Liverpool take a 3-1 aggregate lead. The return fixture saw Fowler rip Fulham apart at Craven Cottage as the then 18-year-old scored all five of Liverpool’s goals in a 5-0 victory.