Welcome to stars of the week, where we highlight five premier league stars – four players and one manager – who have given the greatest performance in their respective positions. Although Matchweek one was actually two games short of the usual ten, there were still plenty of standout performers on the league’s opening weekend.
Stars in Premier League – Round 1
1. Goalkeeper: Vicente Guaita
Few commentators expected Crystal Palace to do anything noteworthy on opening day, suggesting that a win for Southampton might already be a forgone conclusion; the reason it wasn’t was largely down to Palace keeper Vicente Guaita. His five saves not only won the game for the Eagles but also gained him a bit of personal glory with a man of the match award. Impressive stuff.
2. Defender: Timothy Castagne
It’s rare that a player slots into a system and performs almost perfectly on their debut, particularly when arriving from another league, but new Leicester fullback Timothy Catagne clearly took no notice of that memo. Despite primarily being a right back, the Belgian looked so assured on the left hand side in the void left by the departed Ben Chilwell and even opened the scoring for his new side in their 3-0 victory.
3. Midfielder: Jeff Hendrick
It’s no secret that when Newcastle picked up Jeff Hendrick on a free transfer last month there were a few eyebrows raised from Magpies supporters and neutral onlookers alike, being seen as a typical, cheap transfer from unpopular owner Mike Ashley. However, the centre midfielder looked right at home on his Newcastle debut, and even chipped in with a goal and assist as the club from the north beat West Ham comfortably at the London Stadium. An excellent start for Hendrick.
4. Forward: Mohamed Salah
Opening day hat-tricks are a thing of great rarity, so it’s no surprise that our star forward is Mohamed Salah. The Liverpool winger despatched two penalties and scored an absolute thunderbolt from the edge of the box in the Reds’ opening game. Salah was ultimately the difference maker in what became an instant Premier League classic, a thrilling 4-3 win over newly promoted Leeds United.
5. Manager: Mikel Arteta
This is a tough decision between Steve Bruce and Mikel Arteta, but I’ve gone with Arteta, who enjoyed an excellent opening day when his Arsenal side overcame newly promoted Fulham 3-0. Aside from an early wobble, it was a near perfect day for Arteta. His new signings Willian and Gabriel impressed, his defenders kept a clean sheet and both of his strikers found themselves amongst the goals. His challenge now will be to maintain that level of performance.