How every new signing fared on their debut in the SPFL Premiership

Craig Fowler gives his take on the performances by every summer signing in the Ladbrokes Premiership this past weekend.

Celtic's Olivier Ntcham impressed against Hearts. Picture: SNS

Please note this are only players making their full debuts. Of those making debuts from the bench, some made a bigger impact - notably Michael O’Halloran - though it would be harsh to make a judgement on others who only got five minutes at the end.

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Kari Arnason - 4

Not a great debut for the returning Icelandic international. He looked shaky throughout his 60 minutes at the heart of Aberdeen’s defence and was deservedly hooked for Mark Reynolds. Hopefully this is just a case of him needing time to get up to speed.

Greg Tansey - 7

Promising showing from the former ICT midfielder who crossed for Anthony O’Connor to open the scoring. He kept things neat and tidy and was willing to work hard for the side. Still to click with Graeme Shinnie and Kenny McLean, but that should come with time.

Nicky Maynard - 6

Very hot and cold performance from the striker. Poor in the first-half with some sloppy touches and wayward movement, he improved as the game went on and had an encouraging performance after the break. Should have scored with a gilt-edged chance and could have had an assist after setting up Scott Wright for another good opportunity.


Olivier Ntcham - 8

The £4.5million summer signing strolled through the 90 minutes against Hearts, moving the ball efficiently from left to right and getting forward to support the forward players. He’s got both size and technical ability and should be a big player for Celtic this campaign.


Glen Kamara - 6

The defensive midfielder retained possession well and got stuck into a few tackles, but his positioning was off and there seemed to be a lack of understanding with partner Mark O’Hara.

Scott Allan - 8

Not everything came off for the Celtic loanee and he’ll need a little time to develop a rapport with the attacking players in front of him. Having said that, he was easily Dundee’s best player on the day and one of few who looked capable of making something happen in attack. Notched a first assist of the campaign with a corner for Jack Hendry’s goal.

Roarie Deacon - 7

Was guilty on a couple of occasions of trying to do too much, but there is definitely something about the former Stevenage player. His directness caused problems for the County rearguard and he went close with a couple of shots, one in each half.

Randy Wolters - 4

Contributed very little other than stumbling over the ball when he did get into a promising position in the final third. Hooked for Paul McGowan.

Sofien Moussa - 4

The striker seems to have been brought in as an upgrade on last season’s leading striker Marcus Haber, but there was little evidence of that on his debut. He struggled with his touch and the physicality of Ross County’s defenders before being forced from the action with an injury.


Xavier Tomas - 4

Not one for the Frenchman to remember after he was sent off on his debut for two bookable offences which arrived in the space of six second half minutes. His second card was particularly poor, as a lackadaisical touch when he was the last defender forced him into hauling back Ryan Christie.


Christophe Berra - 6

Bailed his side out on a couple of occasions and wasn’t particularly at fault for any of Celtic’s four goals. The centre-back should be a big player for Hearts this season. It’s easy to see him being a one-man defensive wall against sides without as much firepower as the champions.

Michael Smith - 6

Played on the right of midfield in an effort to keep Kieran Tierney quiet, which is exactly what he did. His ability to play on either flank and in defence or midfield will be very useful for Hearts as the season goes on.

Rafał Grzelak - 4

Though committed to the cause and willing to get forward from deep, his poor positioning ultimately hindered Hearts as he was at least partially at fault for three of Celtic’s goals. Was hooked after picking up a daft booking.

Kyle Lafferty - 5

Tough debut for the Northern Irish striker. He clearly wanted to make an immediate impact at Celtic Park, but was hamstrung by a lack of support or service. Tried his best to hassle the opposing defenders but kept picking up fouls and was ultimately substituted before he was sent off.


Steven Whittaker - 7

Playing at right-back, the experienced defender got up and down the wing well to support and really grew into the match following a difficult opening 20 minutes or so. Put Hibs in the lead for good with a smart finish.

Danny Swanson - 7

Showed his quality in and around the box with a great assist for Whittaker to put Hibs in front. Was guilty of surrendering possession a little too easily at times.

Simon Murray - 9

Excellent league debut from the striker who worked himself into the ground in the lone striker role. The ex-Dundee United man never gave the opposing defence a moment’s peace, and was unlucky not to find the back of the net from open play before scoring from the penalty spot.


Gordon Greer - 8

It was quite a coup for Kilmarnock to get the experienced defender to return to Rugby Park and he showed why with a composed performance. The Scottish international looked a cut above, strolling through the game with confidence and poise.

Kirk Broadfoot - 6

The ex-Rangers man was at fault for the opening goal as his body shape allowed David Wotherspoon to attack the centre of the penalty area, where he fired into the roof of the net. Other than that, though, he was fairly solid alongside Greer at the heart of the defence.

Dom Thomas - 8

The ex-Motherwell youngster has been excellent since swapping South Lanarkshire for Ayrshire this summer and he continued his form with a star showing against St Johnstone. The winger went at the Saints rearguard from the off and fans weren’t too pleased to see him being substituted with five minutes remaining and the game still tied at one apiece.

Chris Burke - 5

Kilmarnock were outfought in the middle of the park as the lightweight trio of Burke, Adam Frizzell and Rory McKenzie failed to stand up to their St Johnstone counterparts. Burke was the player to make way, departing for Lee Erwin in the 56th minute.


Trevor Carson - 6

Couldn’t do anything to stop either goal and wasn’t called upon to make many other saves. Rangers either missed the target or scored, with only one exception, in 15 attempts at goal.

Cedric Kipre - 7

Impressive league debut from the ex-Leciester City youngster. Not only a physical specimen, Kipre also showed a keen sense for danger the ability to snuff it out with minimal fuss.

Charles Dunne - 6

Had his pocket picked on a couple of occasions by Daniel Candeias and was sloppy with his passing. Looked more comfortable as the left-sided centre-back in the first half than he did at left-back in the second.

Andy Rose - 6

Give the side plenty of endeavour in the engine room alongside McHugh and Cadden in the team’s 3-5-2 set-up, but didn’t show the quality required to impact the game in the final third.

Craig Tanner - 7

Arguably Motherwell’s best player, the attacker moved intelligently around the final third and linked superbly with Moult and the advancing midfielders. His cross for the goal was exquisite, though he did blot his copybook late on with a baffling refusal to use the extra bodies in support as Motherwell had a three-on-one counter.


The only “new” signing to start the game was Niall Keown, who was with the club last season.


Fabio Cardoso - 8

Bumped up a point from yesterday’s player ratings. His perfectly timed tackle to stop a three-on-one in the 89th minute saved Rangers as Motherwell burst forward. Perhaps should have taken more responsibility at the Motherwell goal, where he followed his man instead of breaking off to try and clear the ball.

Bruno Alves - 7

Aside from one blip where he went steaming into a challenge he had little chance of winning, leaving Cardoso exposed, he was a picture of composure throughout.

Daniel Candeias - 7

The winger impressed as the game went on, twice robbing Charles Dunne before picking out team-mates in the penalty box. Unfortunately for the player and Rangers, Kenny Miller and James Tavernier both lifted their respective efforts over the bar.

Graham Dorrans - 8

Helped Rangers dominate the midfield area in the opening 20 minutes despite the fact they were playing with a man disadvantage in the area, and would net both goals in his side’s victory, including the winner from the penalty spot.

Ryan Jack - 6

Had a tough role in the middle of the park against the Motherwell three in the first-half. Showed his typical composure on the ball and the ability to position himself in the right areas.

Eduardo Herrera - 6

He showed a couple of flashes of what he could bring to the side, holding off defenders and making clever touches around the corner, but largely he was kept quiet.

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Motherwell 1 - 2 Rangers: How the players rated on each side


Sean Kelly - 7

The ex-St Mirren man was solid enough in defence and helped double his side’s advantage in the 2-1 victory with a swinging corner which Christopher Routis headed home.

Jamie Lindsay - 7

Scored his first league goal of his career with an excellent first-time strike from the edge of the penalty area. In midfield he battled throughout the 90 minutes and, along with his team-mates, aided County to throw Dundee off their stride.


Stefan Scougall - 6

The young midfielder had a bright opening but fell out of the game thereafter. Starting on the left wing, he was well shackled by Killie’s Iain Wilson, though he still showed off his passing and technical abilities to link with team-mates.