A mere handful of matches remain in the 2011-12 season, but for a few of Chelsea’s loanees, the campaign ended this weekend, and not in ideal circumstances.
After a recent patch of sensational form, Kevin De Bruyne suffered a broken toe on Saturday night and will play no further part in the playoffs for Genk, ending his career in Belgium.
The injury totally changed the match, with Genk eventually falling to a 4-0 home defeat against Anderlecht. De Bruyne will recuperate at home before talking to Chelsea about his future and next season. He has previously spoken about going on the pre-season tour to the United States, but has been the subject of loan interest for next season from the likes of Lille and Atlético Madrid.
In the Netherlands, a wild weekend for Kenneth Omeruo at ADO Den Haag will rule him out of at least one of the club’s two remaining games as the Nigerian found the back of the net at both ends and was dismissed for a pair of yellow cards.
One of the surprises of the loan season so far, Omeruo has been impressive at right-back for Den Haag but moved to centre-back this weekend as they travelled to VVV Venlo.
An early goal have the hosts a lead but ADO levelled when the Chelsea man stooped to nod in a corner from six yards out. It was his second goal since joining in January, having netted against Groningen earlier this month.
Three minutes later though, he headed a harmless free kick past team-mate Gino Coutinho to give VVV what would be a decisive lead. A wild night was capped when he received his second caution for a rash challenge and was duly dismissed.
You can see the highlights of that match HERE.
At the same time over in Arnhem, Tomas Kalas put in another good shift as Vitesse turned a 2-0 deficit at home to Excelsior into a 3-2 win with a last minute winner from Marco van Ginkel.
The Czech defender had a slow start to the game, as did many of the Vitesse players, but he picked his game up as he went on and they deserved their three points. Patrick van Aanholt and Ulises Dávila watched on as unused substitutes, but Dávila did feature for Jong Vitesse earlier in the week against Jong Utrecht.
Staying on the continent, Jeffrey Bruma’s penultimate game of the season with HSV saw a clean sheet and a point earned against Mainz which ensured Bundesliga survival. The Dutch international may only be filling in due to injuries but he has been part of a collective effort in recent weeks to grind out the results needed and the experience will certainly serve him well later in his career.
One player who certainly has a few more games left on the slate this season is Thibaut Courtois. The Belgian stopper will play in the Europa League Final after helping Atlético Madrid past Valencia, keeping a clean sheet at the Mestalla on Thursday night to ensure safe passage.
He made one or two excellent stops in a confident outing, but unfortunately followed it up against Betis on Sunday with a late error which cost his team a goal and with it two points that leave them as firm outsiders for the last Champions League spot in La Liga.
It was a rare mistake in an otherwise spectacular season and it appears that he will be returning to the Vicente Calderón stadium next season as Marca reported a deal has been struck between all parties for a relationship which has thus far been highly successful.
In France, Dijon and Gael Kakuta have four games remaining but despite the attacking midfielder being restored to the starting eleven this week, the Burgundy club lost again to keep them firmly in the relegation mire.
For Matej Delac, it really doesn’t matter how many games Ceske Budejovice have left, as he’s still the backup goalkeeper. They lost 4-0 to Slovan Liberec this week.
In Scotland, Ben Gordon and Kilmarnock were involved in a wild seven goal thriller against Inverness Caledonian Thistle but ended up on the winning team. Gordon was booked but otherwise played just as he has since returning to Rugby Park; entirely dependable and energetic from start to finish.
Josh McEachran wasn’t involved for Swansea in their absurd 4-4 draw with Wolves, despite the club being safe and having one final substitution unused. It appears unlikely that the midfielder will see any meaningful time before going on his summer holidays.
Sam Walker’s last game for Yeovil at Huish Park ended in victory as the Glovers beat Chesterfield 3-2 and condemned them to relegation. Walker’s final appearance for this season will come next weekend at Huddersfield, and he should get a decent send-off from the club’s supporters.
Rhys Taylor probably will as well, if he’s given the opportunity to. New Rotherham manager Steve Evans continued with Andy Warrington over the Welshman this weekend away to Aldershot, but Millers fans have generally taken well to the young Welsh ‘keeper, who has been one of their best players since the turn of the year.