Opinion: The top five best ever Tottenham Hotspur debuts

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Image: SpursWeb

If you want to make your mark at your new club, then making a good impression on your debut is a good start. The first match at a new club does not necessarily determine the future of a player, but making a strong debut is a good way to get the fans onside.

Take Danny Rose for example. Scoring a belter from 35 yards out on debut against Arsenal is surely enough to instantly become a fan favourite.

But Rose isn’t the only Spurs’ player to make an impression on debut. There have been many players who wasted no time in making their name at Tottenham Hotspur.

Therefore, we list our top five player debuts for Spurs.

  1. Jose Dominguez

Perhaps a name lost among Tottenham folk law, but Jose Dominguez was one who made a strong impression on debut for Spurs.

Dominguez joined Spurs in August 1997 – a return to English football after spending two years at Sporting CP following a season at Birmingham City in 1994/95.

Just weeks after signing for the club, Dominguez made his debut against Derby County.

Dominguez was deployed as a substitute off the bench and made his impact swiftly. His ball usage and dribbling were second to none.

Later, he would go on to win a penalty in what turned out to be a strong debut performance off the bench.

Fun fact: At 5’5 (165cm), Dominguez is one of the shortest players to play in the Premier League.

  1. Jermain Defoe

Jermain Defoe will always go down as one of the fan favourites at Tottenham Hotspur.

Defoe was a special player that always brought White Hart Lane to its feet.

It was evident from his debut that Spurs had a talent in Defoe.

Spurs caretaker manager at the time David Pleat said Defoe’s achievements at a young age were ‘exceptional’.

“I can’t think of a British striker at his age who has achieved as much in such a short space of time. His goal record for a 21-year-old is quite exceptional. I hope he will have a fine career at Tottenham.” Pleat said.

The Englishman made his debut against Portsmouth in February 2004. It took him just 13 minutes to find the back of the net in what was a 4-3 victory at White Hart Lane.

Defoe showed poise and confidence in attack and did not lack creativity.

Traits that Defoe showed on his debut would be carried out for the rest of his tenure in north London.

  1. Eric Dier

In football, other than lifting cups, there’s no sweeter feeling than scoring against your rivals in a derby match.

Just ask Eric Dier – a man who not only has scored in derbies but scored in a derby on his debut for Spurs.

Dier made his debut for Tottenham in 2014 against West Ham United at Upton Park.

In the 29th minute, Spurs went down to ten men after Kyle Naughton was red-carded.

The match remained goalless until the 90th minute, until Eric Dier was played in behind, stepped around the keeper and tapped it into the back of the net.

The goal was scored in front of the away supporters’ end as Spurs claimed a 0-1 victory on the day.

  1. Danny Rose

For the most part, Danny Rose’s debut is known best for one thing – his outrageous goal.

The first match for a new club always puts immense pressure on the debutant. For Rose, however, the pressure was stepped up a notch.

Rose made his first-ever league appearance for Spurs in the North London Derby on April 2010.

After just 10 minutes, Rose opened the scoring from over 30 yards out.

The ball had been sent into the box via a corner but was punched away by the Arsenal keeper.

However, the ball fell towards Rose, who took a volley without a touch that rocketed into the top half of the net.

Rose became a cult hero at Spurs that day and remains a fan favourite.

  1. Jurgen Klinsmann

The story of Jurgen Klinsmann at Spurs is one that will be told for years to come. His legacy will continue to live on in Spurs fans hearts despite only spending a single season at White Hart Lane.

It was Klinsmann’s debut that set the tone for the rest of the season.

Klinsmann scored a late goal on debut against Sheffield Wednesday in a 4-3 victory in August 1994.

The goal was great, but the celebration was greater. His diving celebration that mocked past criticism captured the hearts of all Spurs fans who were already in awe of his presence at the club.

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