The past seven days have seen the number of Chelsea loanees increase to somewhere near what we would expect at this stage of the season, but circumstance has prevented a great deal of action.
Let’s dive in.
Gael Kakuta and Patrick van Aanholt embarked on new adventures for the remainder of the current campaign with moves to Fulham and Leicester City respectively, but neither has made an appearance in a change of colours so far.
Kakuta’s move to Fulham came too late for involvement away to Liverpool in midweek, and he was precluded from playing against Tottenham in the FA Cup today because he featured for the Blues against Ipswich in the previous round, rendering him cup-tied.
Van Aanholt, meanwhile, will make his debut early next week as Leicester spent the weekend without a fixture due to being eliminated from cup competition.
Furthermore, Jacob Mellis’ proposed spell with Barnsley has been delayed briefly due to his required involvement in a much thinner first team squad for Saturday’s trip to Everton. That deal should be tied up in the coming days.
Michael Mancienne and Ben Gordon are both still sidelined through injury, with the former remaining at Cobham for treatment on a knee problem which has kept him out for two months. The latter is yet to finalise his loan to Scunthorpe United, but will do so when he has recovered from a hamstring strain. That is believed to be close to happening.
Rhys Taylor, meanwhile, lost his appeal against a red card harshly given against him at Aldershot last weekend, and missed his first match of the season in midweek as Crewe beat Bradford at Gresty Road.
The Welshman was due to return to the line-up for Saturday’s hosting of Accrington Stanley, but the match fell foul of the weather and was a late postponement.
Daniel Philliskirk’s involvement anywhere near the Sheffield United first team continues to be minimal.
When all else fails, you can turn to Jack Cork, a reliable presence in Burnley’s midfield all season. A pair of completed ninety minutes came away to Portsmouth and at home to Burton Albion this week, with a booking picked up against the South Coast side.
The England Under-21 midfielder has been an accomplished presence for the Clarets and has quickly earned the trust of new manager Eddie Howe. He was involved in one of Chris Eagles’ two goals on Saturday which saw the Turf Moor side safely into Round Five, creating the opening with an impudent backheel.
In Holland, there was something of a turn-up for the books. Vitesse Arnhem achieved a much-needed win and did so in style, laying Roda JC to the sword in the form of a 5-2 thrashing.
The match was notable for Nemanja Matic’s first goal for the club. It came in the sixteenth minute as the Serbian curled a low free kick past a stranded Przemyslaw Tyton.
You can watch the goal here.
Matic, who has been heavily linked with a move to Benfica as part of a transfer bid for David Luiz, was also a key part in Haruna Babangida’s second half goal, laying on a cut-back cross for the Nigerian to slam in the fourth of five home goals.
Captain Slobodan Rajkovic played the full match at centre-back, whilst Matej Delac once again served as backup to Eloy Room.