The Loan Report: February 27 – March 4

Gael Kakuta has been front and centre in The Loan Report for much of 2012 and the young Frenchman continued his fine spell at Dijon this week with another goal.

Kakuta’s fourth strike of his brief stay in Burgundy had threatened to cause a major upset as the hosts led table-topping Montpellier, but a late equaliser deprived Patrice Carteron’s side of all three points.

The game offered little to write home about until a quarter of an hour from time when Kakuta followed in a shot and was on hand to tap in the rebound after the ball had come back off the post.

You can see the strike HERE.

Kakuta buzzed around in his usual number ten role as Carteron gives him the freedom to find the ball in the attacking third and look to make things happen. He had a hand in all that was good about Dijon and has, now, firmly entrenched himself as a starter it would seem.

Elsewhere, at home and abroad, it was another mixed bag. Kevin de Bruyne continued a good run of personal form with another assist for Genk but his team lost 3-2 to Kortrijk in a defeat which seriously dents their aspirations of making the playoffs for the top half of the league.

De Bruyne provided a goal for Jelle Vossen late in the game with a well-played ball in behind the home defence, catching a number of opponents looking the other way. You can see it HERE. Moments later the winger went close to scoring from well out on the flank but was denied by an impressive save.

In Spain, Thibaut Courtois and Atlético Madrid earned a good point away to resurgent Sevilla and the Belgian was his typical authoritative self, and could do little about Baba Diawara’s equaliser.

Atlético have this past week all but confirmed their intention to ask Chelsea for his services again next season, and the plan has long since been to do just that. However, Andre Villas-Boas’ departure from the managerial post at Stamford Bridge might shake things up depending on the eventual long-term successor.

Both players had been selected in Belgium’s squad for their recent friendly against Greece but neither played during the 1-1 draw in Iraklis, with Chelsea’s only representation coming in the form of a second half runout for Romelu Lukaku.

Jeffrey Bruma was not involved for Hamburg as they lost 4-0 at home to Stuttgart, with manager Thorsten Fink opting not to risk the Dutchman after a few weeks out with a hamstring problem. After such a result, he is more than likely to return to their team next time out.

Earlier in the week Bruma was on the bench at Wembley as the Netherlands beat England, but he was not able to get onto the pitch for any playing time.

Over in the Eredivie however, there was a first chance for a look at Nigerian defender Kenneth Omeruo, who debuted for ADO Den Haag in a goalless draw against Heerenveen on Saturday night.

Having finally received clearance to begin his Chelsea career in Den Haag, Omeruo put in an outstanding performance, with at least one match report claiming him to have been the best player on the pitch and having opponents Rajiv van la Parra and Oussama Assaidi ‘in his pocket’.

It was a very positive start for him, and he should be joined next weekend by Milan Lalkovic, who is making good progress in recovering from a hamstring problem and will return to Den Haag this week for training.

In fact, it was a case of good news all round in the Dutch league as Patrick van Aanholt and Tomas Kalas returned from Under-21 duty during the week to both play ninety minutes for Vitesse, who beat De Graafschap 2-0 at the Gelredome.

Kalas picked up a booking but both players did well, particularly Van Aanholt after a recent inconsistent patch. Mexican winger Ulises Dávila was not involved in the matchday squad but did travel to Morocco earlier in the week to play for Vitesse’s non-international players against a Moroccan Under-23 team.

In Scotland, Kilmarnock ended their run of consecutive defeats but are still looking for a win after being held to a goalless draw at home to St. Johnstone on Saturday. As per usual, Ben Gordon played 90 minutes at left back but was unremarkable in a largely uneventful affair.

Swansea won 2-0 at Wigan with a pair of goals for Gylfi Sigurdsson, which was not good news for Josh McEachran. He remained an unused substitute and watched as a key rival for his position had an outstanding game.

McEachran did play for England’s Under-21s on Wednesday though, and did well as part of an impressive midfield unit which helped put Belgium to the sword in a 4-0 win at the Riverside Stadium.

In League One, Sam Walker and Yeovil bounced back from defeat at Carlisle last weekend to beat Brentford 2-1 at Huish Park. The big stopper was beaten by a deflected free kick in the first half but made some important saves, even if questions remain about his command of the penalty area.

Down in League Two, Rhys Taylor returned from an arm injury to keep goal for Rotherham and earn a point in a 1-1 draw away to Barnet. In reclaiming his starting spot from veteran Andy Warrington, it’s almost certain that Rhys is manager Andy Scott’s man when fit.

As usual, we finish off by checking on Matej Delac. He can be found in his regular place on the Ceske Budejovice sub’s bench, this week taking in a 1-1 draw against FK Jablonec.