New players are exciting. No matter what preconceived notions you have about them, they can never be fulfilled until that player puts on the shirt and plays a match. Some players that have impressive debuts are putting on a show of things to come. Some fail to live up to their first appearance. No matter what the case winds up being in the end, a good debut will always make you feel good.
Q: Despite the loss, Adama Traoré impressed in his debut against Crystal Palace. What other debuts got you excited?
Oh man. Oh man oh man. This doesn't mean "got me excited and then I got to see it pay off" right?
Because one man comes to mind: Tony. Moon.
Anotnio Luna scoring the third goal in a 1-3 opening day thumping of Arsenal two years ago boded so well for the season to come. Finally! We had a left back. Finally! Villa looked ready to play. Finally! Everything was wonderful.
We all know what happened thereafter. But man, that day was wonderful.
Marc Albrighton. His Premier League debut was absolutely stunning. It was actually the first game after Martin O'Neill ditched us (and Milner's farewell game), with Kevin MacDonald in temporary charge. We smashed West Ham 3-0. Marc was at the heart of everything we did and claimed 2 assists. With Andi Weimann and Barry Bannan also making their debuts late in the game, it seemed like we might have an exciting new dawn. Obviously that wasn't to be - though Albrighton is currently doing great at Leicester.
Remember Karim El Ahmadi? While it was his second game of the season, the game against Everton was technically El Ahmadi's home debut, so I believe I'm within the rules here. He scored a cracker, briefly cheering up a clearly disheartened Robert. He was a glimmer of hope during an awful start, but unfortunately it never really happened for him at Villa.
Man, I'd be damned if I said I wasn't excited to see Wayne Routledge play. He was on the subs bench for nearly a year and disappointed when he actually played. Villa with an in form Routledge would have been deadly. Damn.
How about another recent one besides Adama Traore...RUUUUDDDDYYYY! Rudy Gestede's late winning goal at Bournemouth was a great way to start this season and was just as good if not better than any header Christian Benteke had at Aston Villa. While his debut got me excited that he could be the striker Villa need to replace Benteke, obviously Rudy has a long way to go to match that level of quality and consistency. But there's still hope!
Being a fairly recent fan with roughly 5-6 years of following the team, that narrows things down quite a bit. I'm generally a person that hates going with the conventional wisdom answer, but I have to here. I remember the April 7th game against QPR vividly. Given the time difference, I was at work but I had wifi and my MacBook. Prior to the match I stepped outside to get something from my car and bumped into my studio neighbor. He's a Man U fan. A really good guy, but a Man U fan. He went on about whatever van Gaal was doing and after a while it came around to Villa. I mentioned how frustrated I was that Jack Grealish hadn't seen time in a league game and then went back up to the studio. The game kicked off, Grealish was in, and despite the draw and despite trying to multitask with listening/watching the game and working, it was pretty great.
As 7500 to Holte's resident Emile Heskey apologist/#1 fan, I have to pick his debut. Emile scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over Portsmouth that moved Villa into third in the Premier League. I know he wasn't actually that good for us, but my love for Heskey is mostly genuine and only like half in jest. While that goal and that win didn't actually end up meaning much in Villa's race towards the Champions League, it did mark the arrival of a great man and one of my favorite Villans ever. No, you shut up.
Those are our answers and now we want to hear from you. Let us know what your favorite Villa debuts are!