Six of the Best: New signings making an immediate impact



Julian Draxler - WhoScored.com rating 7.49
It’s fair to say things turned sour for Julian Draxler at Wolfsburg, with the Germany international facing jeers from his own fans having expressed a desire to leave on numerous occasions. Strongly linked with the likes of Arsenal and Juventus in recent years, the 23-year old made the switch to PSG last month and has hit the ground running in the French capital.
Having failed to score from 29 shots in the Bundesliga prior to his departure, VfL fans will have been even more frustrated to see the playmaker score on both his competitive and league debuts for Unai Emery’s side. He then netted a brace in a Coupe de France victory over Rennes last week and has averaged 2.3 dribbles per game in the league for his new club, for a rating of 7.49 across four Ligue 1 appearances.
Kyriakos Papadopoulos - WhoScored.com rating 7.52
After an unsuccessful spell with RB Leipzig, giant centre-back Papadopoulos is hoping to kickstart a career disrupted by serious injuries on loan at Hamburg. The Greece international had emerged as one of the top young centre-backs on the continent as a teenager with Schalke but hasn’t started more than ten league games in a season since a superb 2011/12 campaign.
The 24-year old has started all three league games since moving to HSV though, and scored the only goal of the game against parent club Bayer Leverkusen to help Markus Gisdol’s men climb out of the automatic relegation places. With an average of 5.7 aerial duels won and 9 clearances per game at his new temporary home, Papadopoulos could be crucial if Hamburg are to beat the drop yet again.
Gabriel Jesus - WhoScored.com rating 7.54
Three goals and one assist in 188 minutes is not a bad way to start your Premier League career, and Jesus has already admitted to adapting to English football faster than he had imagined. A last minute winner was enough to spare Manchester City’s blushes at home to Swansea having put the team ahead early in the first half and the Brazilian’s form has even led Sergio Aguero to be dropped.
Were it not for a late cameo against Tottenham, in which he saw a goal correctly disallowed for offside, the 19-year old would be higher up this leaderboard but he’s shown exceptional promise regardless. With 2.7 shots, 1.3 key passes per game and a statistically calculated strength of defensive contribution from his time in Brazil, it’s clear why Pep has put his faith in Jesus so quickly. The question now is whether he can forge a pairing with Aguero or will continue to provide stiff competition for the Argentine hit man.
Cheick Diabate - WhoScored.com rating 7.56
When Metz secured the services of target man Cheick Diabate on loan from Osmanlispor it promised to be a shrewd acquisition. With the newly promoted outfit embroiled in an incredibly tight relegation battle, the arrival of a proven goalscorer is a huge boost, particularly for a side whose top scorer has just 6 goals thus far. The Malian striker scored over 50 league goals in 5 seasons for Bordeaux despite never really nailing down a regular starting berth and will surely receive more playing time to showcase his impressive strike rate at Metz.
With a match-winning brace on his debut against Montpellier, Diabate has already proven a real handful and offers an excellent out ball when his team is under pressure. While it may only be from three appearances so far, an average of 7.7 aerial duels won per game is the second most in Ligue 1.
Roberto Gagliardini - WhoScored.com rating 7.68
Inter were clearly desperate to land their man, forking out over €20m to beat any prospective rivals to the signature of Gagliardini, and though it’s early days it already looks like money well spent. The 22-year old was by no means a regular for high-flying Atalanta in the first half of the season but impressed in his 13 appearances for Gasperini’s men and has looked even better since a move to Milan.
While he may have ended on the losing side for the first time in five matches for the Nerazzurri following a narrow Derby d’Italia defeat to Juventus, the midfielder has added real energy and steel to the team. A modern day midfielder that can contribute at both ends, the youngster has averaged 3 tackles per game in four league outings for his new club, as well as 1.8 shots, 1.5 key passes and 1.5 dribbles per game, while completing 86.3% of his passes for a rating of 7.67.
M’Baye Niang - WhoScored.com rating 7.69
When Watford announced the loan signing of M’Baye Niang, with a view to a permanent deal, it’s fair to say a few eyebrows were raised. While the forward had a disappointing first half to the season with Milan, he promised to be an important player for the club moving forwards last season, as they strive to develop an athletic young side. The 22-year old has shown flashes of brilliance in his short career, and has all the tools to be a real asset to the Hornets, as his latest showing against Burnley highlighted.
Operating from the right of a front three, Niang provided a sumptuous cross for Troy Deeney to open the scoring before netting a superb header in first half stoppage time to ensure back-to-back victories for Mazzarri’s men. That followed an understated but still memorable debut for the club as Watford won at the Emirates and if the youngster can maintain his strong form he could prove a perfect foyle for Deeney and a more than adequate replacement for Ighalo
Source: All Football

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