The three players that were subjects of intense Arsenal transfer speculations in the off season all acquitted themselves extremely well as Obafemi Martins scored a brace against Bolton, including a highlight bicycle kick. Martins was the subject of a reported transfer between Bolton and Arsenal after Arsene Wenger expressed his admiration for the Nigerian and former Inter striker. Nicholas Anelka, who was himself linked to an Arsenal return scored the only goal for Bolton.
Ryan Babel began his Premiership debut dishing of a nifty pass for a Gerrard strike at goal and himself volleying a blistering shot at Taylor who just managed to fend it off. Babel's introduction at the expense of Pennant enhanced Liverpools' game against Aston Villa. Babel had in the past expressed his admiration of Wenger and his desire to play for Arsenal. He was touted as a possible cog in widening Arsenal's game.
Florent Malouda was also in the hunt as Chelsea. Liverpool, and Arsenal showed an interest in the Lyons winger who earned the Ligue's POY award in the 2006 season. Malouda scored his first Premiership goal in Chelsea's win against Birmingham City.