Stat's a Fact - Edi's dazzling debut




Any player would be forgiven for not producing their best performance on their full Premier League debut.

When that player is a 20-year-old central midfielder asked to fill in at left wing-back on just your fourth appearance for your new club, in a new country, you might even expect him to freeze on the big occasion.

Not Edimilson Fernandes.

The Switzerland U21 star was outstanding on his first full Premier League appearance for West Ham United.

Athletic and dynamic, calm and composed, resilient and determined, the former Sion player looked like he had graced England’s top flight for many years, rather than just the 20 minutes he had played before Saturday’s visit of Sunderland.

Replacing the suspended Aaron Cresswell, Fernandes was among the stars of the show.

Despite being naturally right-footed, the 6’2 youngster provided width and balance to Slaven Bilic’s team down the left flank.

When it looked like the Hammers were running out of ideas as the goalless game entered its final stages, it was Fernandes who was among those who drove the team forward.


Statistically, the £5.5 million summer signing was just as impressive.

With West Ham dominating possession and territory against an ultra-defensive Sunderland, Fernandes touched the ball 74 times – a figure bettered only by Dimitri Payet, Mark Noble, Cheikhou Kouyate and Pedro Obiang.

Fernandes turned those 74 touches into 45 passes, completing 43 of them for a staggering 95.6% pass-completion rate!

As those figures also suggest, the full debutant was also adept at taking multiple touches each time he collected the ball, embarking on three dribbles.

As a wing-back, Fernandes carried an attacking threat that many fans may have felt would disappear with Cresswell’s enforced absence.

While centre forward Simone Zaza led the way with five goal attempts, the wing-back was just behind him with four – one more than Payet and two more than match-winner Winston Reid.

Defensively, Fernandes was also heavily involved, making four clearances and three tackles as Sunderland threatened on the counter-attack.

He may have shown his inexperience on occasion by committing three fouls, including one dangerous challenge on Javier Manquillo that earned him a booking on 32 minutes.

However, it was a mark of his maturity that Fernandes was able to safely play out the remainder of the game without further punishment.

In short, both to the eye and on paper, Edimilson Fernandes produced an extremely encouraging full Premier League debut.