How every new signing fared on their SPFL Premiership debut

CRAIG Fowler runs the rule over the new signings that started the opening weekend of the Scottish Premiership.

Joey Barton's Premiership debut didn't quite live up to its billing. Picture: Getty
Joey Barton's Premiership debut didn't quite live up to its billing. Picture: Getty

ABERDEEN

Joe Lewis - 8

Made a couple of reactionary stops from Graham Cummins and pulled off a tremendous stop to deny Danny Swanson scoring close to half-time. Aside from the midweek hiccup in Europe, which could be justifiably excused by a rotten pitch, Dons fans have been very impressed by the new goalkeeper.

Wes Burns - 5

Burns worked hard and made himself an option on the right during the first half, but his crossing left a bit to be desired, which is perhaps unsurprising as he’s a natural forward. Faded from the game and deservedly hooked on the hour.

Miles Storey - 6

Put in a couple of tantalising balls in early before his crossing game suffered. Had more of a free role than Burns, his team-mate on the opposite flank, but he had a similarly minimal impact on proceedings.

Anthony O’Connor - 7

Twice he wasn’t quite in the right position, almost allowing Cummins to score. Apart from that he looked solid in the centre beside Mark Reynolds and will give manager Derek McInnes food for thought when Ash Taylor’s makes his next error.

CELTIC

Kolo Toure - 8

Lost Tony Watt for what looked certain to be the equalising goal before the ex-Celtic attacker somehow nodded his header wide. Toure was a rock at the back for his new club otherwise, constantly interrupting Hearts attacks.

Moussa Dembele - 6

Failed to build on the winner he netted against Astana in midweek with a fairly quiet performance. He did have one burst, getting around John Souttar and had his shot at an angle saved by Jack Hamilton.

DUNDEE

Michael Duffy - 8

The Celtic loanee provided pace and width on the right-hand side, characteristics lacking from the Dundee first team last year, and a terrific pass for Dundee’s third.

Mark O’Hara - 9

A revelation. The former Kilmarnock right back was placed in the No.10 role by Paul Hartley and produced a man-of-the-match performance. He bossed the game, chasing everything down and providing a high energy, high tempo, physical presence that Dundee have lacked.

James Vincent - 7

Another player who adds a physical dimension to Dundee’s play. He effectively shut off the service to Liam Boyce, who was acting as the link between County’s midfield and attack.

Danny Williams - 6

A fairly quiet game for Williams, but his value came in the cover he provided Kevin Holt on the left flank, which wasn’t always there last season, and in his ability to stretch the game. Replaced by El Bakhtaoui after seeing yellow.

HAMILTON

Remi Matthews - 7

Made a couple of smart stops from distance but will feel he could have done more to prevent Martyn Waghorn equalising as the ball squirmed under his body.

Georgios Sarris - 8

Terrific performance from the big defender in only his second game (in any capacity) for the club. Strong as an ox and showed good positioning throughout the contest as Rangers found it hard to breakdown Accies.

HEARTS

Faycal Rherras - 5

Celtic continually exploited space in behind the full back who was too eager to step out. He was burned twice by James Forrest, including at the opening goal, when he over-committed in his attempts at pressing, thereby making it easier for his opponent to get around him.

Conor Sammon - 7

Made a terrific start to the match with his powerful running, causing the Celtic rearguard a number of problems. Should have done better when running through on goal in the second half as a poor touch took him away from goal. Was subbed later as he tired.

Tony Watt - 7

Missed a complete sitter and sometimes failed to get his head up when running at the Celtic attack. However, he continually found areas of space in the final third and threatened whenever he got the ball.

INVERNESS CT

Kevin McNaughton - 7

He’ll be one of the shortest centre backs to play the position all season, but the veteran did a solid job at the heart of the defence. His reading of the game was excellent, though he could do a bit better with his passing from the back.

Jake Mulraney - 5

Really quiet afternoon as Steven Lawless’s tracking back for Partick Thistle essentially marked him out of the game. Unsurprisingly, he was substituted midway through the second half.

Billy King - 6

Drifted inside from the left continuously and looked like the Inverness CT attacker most capable of breaking through the Thistle defence. Fell out of the game in the second half.

Scott Boden - 5

The striker struggled in the lone striker role. Partly to do with a lack of service, partly down to failing to make the ball stick. He may lack the attributes necessary to shine in the position on his lonesome and may require a fellow attacker alongside him if Caley are to succeed.

KILMARNOCK

Will Boyle - 5

One half of a centre back partnership that struggled to deal with the physical play of Scott McDonald, which is a concern since McDonald is nearly half their size in height. Boyle’s pairing with Miles Addison also appears to lack pace.

Callum McFadzean - 5

Didn’t do much going forward and was rather conservative in his play for a wide player. Kilmarnock had greater impetus in attack when Jordan Jones came on instead.

Souleymane Coulibaly - 6

Showed plenty of endeavour but tried a little too hard to impress at times. Wasn’t helped by his manager’s decision to place him up front on his own. Coulibaly is a diminutive player who was easily knocked off the ball at times by the Motherwell centre backs.

MOTHERWELL

Richard Tait - 7

After years of playing with a centre back, midfielder or, in the case of Josh Law, an attacker at right back, Motherwell finally seem to have found themselves a natural fit at the position. Tait was solid against Kilmarnock, holding firm defensively while also getting forward to support the attack.

Ben Heneghan - 9

The centre back put in a commanding performance alongside Stephen McManus at the heart of the Motherwell back four. He seemed to head away almost every cross into the penalty area and looks the type of dependable replacement the club have been crying out for since Shaun Hutchinson left.

Carl McHugh - 7

Did a good job of keeping possession ticking over in the middle of the park for Motherwell and battled hard for the football. He was forced to leave the action after receiving a nasty gash on his head which required stitches.

Craig Clay - 6

Was McHugh’s partner in the double pivot at the base of the midfielder behind the more advanced Chris Cadden. Similar to his partner, someone who kept it simple on the ball and worked hard defensively.

PARTICK THISTLE

Ziggy Gordon - 8

Showed his tenacity with a couple of crunching tackles and never put a foot wrong on the defensive side.

Danny Devine - 7

Looked a little suspect early on but grew into the match as it went on and seemed to develop a quick understanding with new centre back partner Liam Lindsay.

Chris Erskine - 9

A tremendous performance from the prodigal son returning for his third spell at the club. He brought energy and work rate to the No.10 position while still remaining one of the team’s biggest threats in attack. Netted a league debut goal with a superb finish to put Thistle in the driving seat.

RANGERS

Clint Hill - 5

The veteran centre back failed to fully clear a cross from the left, which enabled Ali Crawford to receive possession and ultimately put Hamilton a goal to the good. The improvement in organisation among the defence that was supposed to come from Hill’s presence didn’t materialise against Accies, as Rangers still looked suspect at the back.

Joey Barton - 7

The midfielder showed an excellent range of passing and was tenacious without the football. However, his play was hampered by that of his midfield partners, who were ineffective, and his league debut was immortalised by a widely circulated video of him being nutmegged by Ali Crawford.

Niko Kranjcar - 4

The midfielder couldn’t handle the pressing of the Accies midfielder as he was caught in possession far too often and was deservedly hooked at the hour. What made matters worse for the former Tottenham star was his replacement, Harry Forrester, immediately creating the equalising goal.

ROSS COUNTY

Jay McEveley - 4

The former Scotland international looked comfortable and composed in possession, but he was found wanting defensively on a couple of occasions and gave away a penalty. Manager Jim McIntyre’s insistence on using three centre backs lacking in pace is doing nobody any favours.

Christopher Routis - 7

The sitting midfielder looked comfortable on the ball and did his defensive responsibilities reasonably well as the deepest midfielder in the centre of the park.

Kenny van der Weg - 4

The Dutchman struggled to influence the game in the key role as wing-back in County’s 3-4-3 system. In his defence, he was often doubled up by the opposing full back and winger, denying him any room to move with the ball.

ST JOHNSTONE

Blair Alston - 5

Struggled to make any sort of impact on the right of the midfield four and was as culpable as the rest of the narrow unit for allowing Aberdeen to have so much possession. Hooked for David Wotherspoon around the hour.

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