Chelsea’s Loan Army is on course to set new records for total appearances, total minutes played, and clean sheets this season and, although they’re likely to fall short of last season’s 126-goal extravaganza, they are in with a solid chance of reaching the century mark for just the third time. Four more were added to the total this week, lifting us to 84, and they came from far and wide.
Danilo Pantic contributed the first of them in a 5-0 win for Partizan Belgrade in midweek. The Serbian has had something of a career renaissance back at his old club this season, featuring in 35 matches in all competitions, and his third goal of the campaign was a beauty of an effort.
Partizan have the option to make his stay permanent for not a lot of money at all and it would be surprising if they didn’t exercise their option to do so.
On Saturday, Tammy Abraham claimed his first official goal for Swansea City since October when he scored a powerful header to earn a point away to West Brom. Having had an effort against Brighton taken away from him by the dubious goals panel in January, this one was definitely his, and lifted him to eight for the season.
— amadí (@amadoit__) April 7, 2018
A few hours later, Marco van Ginkel scored his 16th in 31 games as PSV mounted a remarkable comeback against AZ Alkmaar to move within potentially one result of the title. Once again, he netted from the penalty spot – his ninth successful spot kick of the season – and PSV can now clinch the title with a win over Ajax next Sunday.
Then, on Sunday, Michy Batshuayi’s ninth goal for Dortmund helped them to a 3-0 win over Stuttgart. The Belgian forward admitted this week that he resorted to futsal in his private time, despite it being forbidden, to keep his competitive juices flowing in a frustrating first half of the season, but he’s thriving with regular playing time in the Bundesliga.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek started his first match of 2018 for Crystal Palace as something of an auxiliary striker in their 2-2 draw at Bournemouth. Flanked by Andros Townsend and Wilfried Zaha, the England international completed 90 minutes and will be looking for a strong finish to the season to improve his chances of sneaking into Gareth Southgate’s England World Cup squad.
Kenedy played 64 minutes for Newcastle in their 2-1 win at Leicester whilst Kurt Zouma played a few minutes of stoppage time at the end of Stoke’s defeat at home to Tottenham.
Hull, with Ola Aina, Fikayo Tomori and Michael Hector all in from the start (and playing ninety minutes) for the first time in almost two months, held runaway leaders Wolves to a midweek 2-2 draw to ease their relegation concerns. They followed that up with a 4-0 triumph over QPR in which Aina and Hector once again played from start to finish, with Tomori dropping out.
Jeremie Boga sat out Birmingham’s midweek win at Bolton but played all of their 1-1 draw against Burton four days later, claiming an assist for their late equaliser.
Kasey Palmer played twenty minutes for Derby as they beat Bolton 3-0, whilst Jake Clarke-Salter was an unused substitute for Sunderland upon his return from a two-man ban.
Fulham beat Leeds 2-0 in midweek and Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 on Saturday without calling upon Lucas Piazon at all, and only using Tomas Kalas for the last two minutes of the former fixture.
Jamal Blackman continued to serve his three-match ban for violent conduct and missed Sheffield United’s defeat to Barnsley, whilst Lewis Baker was absent entirely for Middlesbrough after getting an hour under his belt for their Under-23 team in midweek.
Todd Kane played the duration of Oxford’s goalless draw at home to Oldham whilst Iké Ugbo played nine minutes from the bench as Milton Keynes were beaten 5-1 at Wigan.
Jordan Houghton was absent from Doncaster’s stalemate at Gillingham after picking up a knee injury in training on Friday, whilst Jay Dasilva missed Charlton’s draw at Bristol Rovers likely as a precaution after a recent six-week layoff, with Tuesday’s trip to Wimbledon also in mind.
Brad Collins and Forest Green Rovers lost 1-0 to Barnet, who now sit directly below them in the table, to ensure they still have work to do to avoid relegation with just five matches left.
Nathan Baxter helped Woking to an important point away to Dagenham & Redbridge as they too battle against relegation from the National League, whilst Jared Thompson and Chippenham Town aren’t quite mathematically safe yet after losing 3-1 at Hemel Hempstead.
Vitesse’s stubborn refusal to remove Henk Fraser from his post as manager before the end of the season could end up costing them a chance of Europa League football next season. Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at NAC Breda was another woefully insipid display that saw them tumble down to seventh place, the final spot in the Eredivisie that allows for participation in the European playoffs.
Mason Mount and Matt Miazga played a nondescript ninety minutes, with Fankaty Dabo an unused substitute.
Cristian Cuevas featured for 83 minutes as FC Twente lost 3-1 at home to Feyenoord and his team are now just two matches away from having their relegation confirmed.
Victorien Angban played all ninety minutes in defeat for Waasland-Beveren versus Zulte Waregem.
Baba Rahman is still not fit to play for Schalke and it looks unlikely that he will do so before the season’s end.
Josimar Quintero played six minutes as Betis Deportivo drew 0-0 at home to Las Palmas B.
Nathan’s goal against Porto last week earned him another start as Belenenses travalled to Chaves, but the Brazilian couldn’t repeat the trick, and was substituted after an hour of their 1-1 draw.
Charly Musonda played four minutes as a substitute in Celtic’s 2-1 win at Hamilton after being an unused substitute at home to Dundee in midweek.
Mario Pašalić’s return to the Spartak Moscow starting eleven coincided with him getting ninety minutes and his team running out 4-1 winners away to Anzhi Makhachkala.
Kenneth Omeruo got ninety minutes, a yellow card, and a clean sheet in Kasimpasa’s 1-0 win at Bursaspor; a result that lifts the team into the top half of the table.
Joao Rodriguez’s stay with Tampico Madero officially ends in June, but with the culmination of the Liga Ascenso’s Clausura stage last weekend, his playing time is now over. After proving to be a revelation in their Apertura promotion push, injuries curtailed the second half of his campaign, but he will have plenty of options for 2018-19.
Mitchell Beeney was an unused substitute as Sligo lost 2-0 to Derry on Saturday.
Started: July 15th
Finished: May 26th
|Player||Club||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe/Cont||Other||Mins|
|Tammy Abraham||Swansea City||30||5||3||2||3||1||0||0||0||0||1971||37||8|
|Ola Aina||Hull City||44||0||2||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||4003||47||1|
|Jeremie Boga||Birmingham City||30||2||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2190||33||2|
|Charlie Colkett||Vitesse Arnhem||6||0||1||0||0||0||3||0||1||0||293||11||0|
|Cristian Cuevas||FC Twente||24||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1968||24||0|
|Fankaty Dabo||Vitesse Arnhem||27||0||1||0||0||0||4||0||1||0||2625||33||0|
|Jay Dasilva||Charlton Athletic||39||0||2||0||1||0||0||0||1||0||3483||43||0|
|Marco van Ginkel||PSV||28||14||2||2||0||0||0||0||2||0||2874||33||16|
|Michael Hector||Hull City||36||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||3054||37||1|
|Jordan Houghton||Doncaster Rovers||37||0||2||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||3170||39||1|
|Todd Kane||Oxford United||17||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1530||17||3|
|Ruben Loftus-Cheek||Crystal Palace||24||2||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||1965||25||2|
|Matt Miazga||Vitesse Arnhem||36||4||1||0||0||0||6||0||0||0||3659||43||4|
|Mason Mount||Vitesse Arnhem||32||14||1||0||0||0||6||0||0||0||2915||39||14|
|Kasey Palmer||Huddersfield Town||4||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||243||5||0|
|Kasey Palmer||Derby County||16||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||473||16||2|
|Danilo Pantic||Partizan Belgrade||31||4||4||1||0||0||11||0||0||0||3146||46||5|
|Mario Pašalić||Spartak Moscow||21||4||2||1||0||0||7||0||0||0||1656||30||5|
|Josimar Quintero||FC Rostov||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||23||1||0|
|Josimar Quintero||Real Betis B||5||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||63||5||0|
|Joao Rodriguez||Tampico Madero||21||7||2||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||1727||23||8|
|Fikayo Tomori||Hull City||25||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2152||26||0|
|Iké Ugbo||Milton Keynes||16||2||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1161||17||2|
|Kurt Zouma||Stoke City||33||1||1||0||2||0||0||0||0||0||3038||34||1|
|Player||Club||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||Other||Mins|
|Apps||Cln Sht||Apps||Cln Sht||Apps||Cln Sht||Apps||Cln Sht||Apps||Cln Sht||Apps||Cln Sht|
|Mitchell Beeney||Sligo Rovers||11||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||990||11||2|
|Jamal Blackman||Sheffield United||30||8||2||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||2727||32||9|
|Brad Collins||Forest Green Rovers||40||7||0||0||0||0||0||0||3||1||3839||43||8|
|Jared Thompson||Chippenham Town||40||9||1||0||0||0||0||0||3||1||3960||44||11|