Football Features

The 10 most exciting post-transfer window debuts to look out for this weekend

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 12:21, 9 September 2021

After a manic final few days of the transfer window, we can now look forward to the debuts of those players that made dramatic late moves.

Some outstanding talent changed clubs in the last few days of the window and, thanks to the international break, have not yet had the chance to play for their new side. We looked at all the players and refined it to a final list of 10 of the hottest names that we could see making their debut this weekend.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Age: 36
New club: Manchester United
Transfer fee: £17m
Opponent: Newcastle (home)

We’ve already seen Cristiano Ronaldo debut for Manchester United, but he was 18 years old at the time. Now 36, he’s returned to Old Trafford an all-conquering powerhouse. Ronaldo should slot in at the head of the United attack against Newcastle and if his last appearance for Portugal, where he scored twice in injury time to break the all-time men’s international scoring record, is anything to go by it’s going to be absolutely box office stuff at 3pm on Saturday afternoon.

Antoine Griezmann

Age: 30
New club: Atlético Madrid
Transfer fee: Loan
Opponent: Espanyol (away)

Antoine Griezmann was inexplicably one of the biggest flops of all-time at Barcelona, but now he’s back at Atlético Madrid he will want to re-find his top form and you’d be hard-pressed to doubt he will do just that. A superb brace for France and a brand new haircut has put him in perfect position to slot into the Atleti attack and really give them a touch of extra class that they (and he) have been lacking since his move to Barcelona in 2019. Their opponent this weekend is Espanyol at the Cornella, and that’s a fixture Atleti haven’t won since 2017 when Griezmann himself scored the only goal in a 1-0 win. Could history repeat itself?

Espanyol vs Atletico Madrid live stream:

Sunday’s game is on Bet365’s live-stream schedule for readers with an account. Those without a bet365 account who are over 18 and Gamble Aware need only follow three simple steps to watch Espanyol v Atletico Madrid online*:

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Age: 26
New club: Chelsea
Transfer fee: Loan
Opponent: Aston Villa (home)

Saul was one of the hottest midfield prospects in 2016, but has struggled to keep up that high level over the years as he grew disillusioned with Diego Simeone’s system. He was linked with several moves away this summer before securing one at the end to Chelsea, which is an almost perfect landing spot for the Spaniard. Saul should thrive playing an all-action role in central midfield for Thomas Tuchel, and with N’Golo Kanté a fitness doubt, Saul could get the chance to strut his stuff at Stamford Bridge sooner rather than later.

Eduardo Camavinga

Age: 18
New club: Real Madrid
Transfer fee: £26.6m
Opponent: Celta Vigo (home)

Real Madrid tried to sign Kylian Mbappé late in the window but were unsuccessful, so they moved on to his compatriot Eduardo Camavinga. The teenage sensation in a dynamo in the duels, excelling in tackling, interceptions and dribbling. Adding that kind of vibrance to the ageing Real Madrid midfield could be absolutely thrilling to watch, and the chance he debuts at home against Celta should have everyone tuning in.

Sunday’s game between Real Madrid and Celta Vigo is available to watch on bet365.

Radamel Falcao

Age: 35
New club: Rayo Vallecano
Transfer fee: Free
Opponent: Levante (away)

Radamel Falcao is an absolute legend of a striker. The last time he was in La Liga he scored 70 goals in 91 games for Atlético Madrid. Now, it’s unlikely he’ll repeat that feat at 35 years of age but it will be an absolute thrill to see what he can do at the head of this exciting Rayo Vallecano side. El Tigre roars again!

Gianluigi Donnarumma

Age: 22
New club: PSG
Transfer fee: Free
Opponent: Clermont (home)

Gianluigi Donnarumma actually signed for PSG a while before deadline day, but due to a late return from holiday he didn’t actually play for the Parisians before the international break as Keylor Navas held onto the starting job he earned through pre-season. But now he’s played 270 minutes for Italy he will be good and warmed up, so we can expect to see the giant Gigio take his place between the sticks.

Saturday’s game between Paris Saint-Germain and Clermont Foot is available to watch on bet365.

Emerson Royal

Age: 22
New club: Spurs
Transfer fee: £25.7m
Opponent: Crystal Palace (away)

One of the surprises of the transfer window was Barcelona selling Emerson, a player they only signed earlier in the summer and who seemed to be part of Ronald Koeman’s plans. Such is their financial state that they had to move him on though, and Spurs have pounced to sign a really promising attacking right-back. Someone with pace, skill and the ambition to make himself a potent force on the flank. Watching him attack Crystal Palace’s defence should be quite interesting.

Hector Bellerin

Age: 26
New club: Real Betis
Transfer fee: Loan
Opponent: Granada (away)

The sauciest man in the Premier League, the purveyor of foul throws and a man of outstanding moral character. There seems to be no real reason why Arsenal, a side overwhelmingly lacking in character, got rid of him. But now North London’s sauciest man has moved back to Andalusia to play for his father’s favourite team: Real Betis. A footballing romantic playing for one of the game’s most romantic sides; that Bellerin-Joaquin right-flank should be a delight to watch against Granada and basically everyone.

Monday’s game between Granada and Real Betis is available to watch on bet365.

Odsonne Edouard

Age: 23
New club: Crystal Palace
Transfer fee: £14m
Opponent: Spurs (home)

Odsonne Edouard scored 77 goals in 150 games for Celtic, winning three straight Scottish Premierships. He’s a natural born finisher and a player who was just begging for a bigger stage. Crystal Palace probably isn’t that stage but the chance to strut his stuff in the Premier League cannot be understated. Similarly, as they seek to rebuild themselves post-Roy-Hodgson, Palace having someone as dynamic as Edouard to compliment Wilfried Zaha is going to be so important as they look to take down top of the table Tottenham.

Daniel James

Age: 23
New club: Leeds
Transfer fee: £24m
Opponent: Liverpool (home)

Daniel James has bundles of pace, masses of stamina and a never-ending motor inside him that isn’t phased by the biggest occasions. Alright, tactically he needs some pointers and his execution on the ball can be spotty, but that’s why his move to Leeds is so exciting. Almost all of James’ flaws can be corrected with an intense and structured system of play and a brilliant coach, neither of which were at Manchester United but both of which will be present at Leeds.

Marcelo Bielsa tried to sign James before his move to United, and now he’s gone back in to bag his man. It’s clear he sees something in James, and hopefully we get to see that vision come to life this season for Leeds. The potential for James to thrive as some sort of “Welsh Pedro” (if you recall Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona) is high enough that watching James and Bielsa attempt to take down the mighty Liverpool is going to be a real thrill. There’s always space behind Trent Alexander-Arnold and James has the pace to exploit it.