Kalidou Koulibaly made a strong impression on the Stamford Bridge faithful on Sunday when he became the latest player to score on his Premier League home debut for the Blues.
While he may have been signed from Napoli for his defensive prowess, the Senegal international showcased his finishing ability at the other end of the pitch when he lashed home a well-taken volley to give us the lead against Tottenham Hotspur.
The 31-year-old’s scintillating strike against our arch-rivals from the north of the capital continued a fine recent record of players scoring in their first Chelsea league games at the Bridge, a trend which has now been extended to six consecutive seasons.
Academy product Trevoh Chalobah left his mark last season when he made his Premier League debut against Crystal Palace just days after his first senior game in our Super Cup victory over Villarreal. While the 22-year-old was solid in defence against the Eagles, his performance that day is best remembered for his long-range stunner in the second half which sealed a 3-0 victory.
Palace were also our opponents in 2020/21 when Ben Chilwell made his Chelsea league debut after sitting out our first three games of the campaign with an injury. The left-back certainly made up for lost time as he broke the deadlock by slamming in a loose ball from close range early in the second half before crossing for Kurt Zouma to head home our second in an emphatic 4-0 win.
A year earlier, it was Mason Mount who had delighted the home fans when he found the net just seven minutes into his first senior appearance at the Bridge against Leicester City. The 20-year-old, who had played his way through our youth system from the age of six, caught Wilfred Ndidi in possession on the edge of the box and slotted the ball past Kasper Schmeichel before marking his special moment with the first of many knee slide celebrations in front of the Shed End.
While Gonzalo Higuain never quite found his best form during his loan spell with the Blues in the second half of the 2018/19 season, the Argentinian did enjoy his home league debut as he netted two stunning goals against Huddersfield Town. After opening the scoring against the Terriers with a fine finish at the near post following an excellent through ball by N’Golo Kante, Higuain netted our fourth after the interval with a sensational right-footed effort from 25 yards as we ran out 5-0 winners.
The recent trend began in 2017/18 when Alvaro Morata came off the bench to score against Burnley in our season opener. It proved to be a disappointing day as we lost 3-2 after being reduced to 10 men for much of the game following Gary Cahill’s unfortunate early red card, but Morata made his mark when he glanced in a cross by Willian 11 minutes after he had replaced Michy Batshuayi.
Several other players have made a quick impression on Chelsea fans by scoring on their home league debuts for the Blues in the Premier League era.
In 2014/15, Diego Costa got off the mark at the Bridge by opening the scoring in our 2-0 win over Leicester as he plundered nine goals in his first seven Premier League matches.
Loic Remy wasn’t nearly as prolific as the Brazilian but the French striker found the net eight minutes after coming on as a substitute in our 4-2 win over Swansea in September 2014.
And two-time Chelsea Player of the Year Juan Mata also scored after making his debut as a substitute when he sealed a 3-1 win over Norwich City in August 2011.
Other players who have scored for the Blues on their league debuts at the Bridge since the turn of the millennium include George Weah (Tottenham Hotspur, January 2000), Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Mario Stanic (both against West Ham, August 2000), Boudewijn Zenden (Newcastle 2001), Adrian Mutu (Leicester, August 2003), Claudio Pizzaro, Florent Malouda (both against Birmingham City, August 2007) and Deco (Portsmouth, August 2008).