Thorgan Hazard and Patrick Bamford continued a fine run of form for Chelsea’s young loanees thus far this season and ensured the continuation of a goal featuring in each edition the Loan Report thus far season. We begin with Bamford’s fine outing at Sunderland.
MK Dons’ trip to the Stadium of Light in the League Cup represented Bamford’s first crack at playing against top-flight opposition and he seized the opportunity with both hands, scoring a cracker of a goal early in the first half.
Despite leading 2-0 for long spells of the game, the Dons ultimately fell apart late on and lost 4-2, but they rebounded well on Saturday and beat Sheffield United 1-0 at Bramall Lane, where Bamford played 90 minutes once again. He’s started the season in superb nick and has three goals to his name, leading the Republic of Ireland – whom he has represented at Under-18 level – to initiate the process of trying to get his commitment for international football over England, where he has been an Under-19 international.
Hazard, meanwhile, began his week by on the goal which saw Zulte Waregem qualify for the Europa League groups at the expense of APOEL Nicosia (who would later earn a reprieve as a lucky loser). Hazard and company were drawn against Wigan Athletic, amongst other teams, meaning a chance to showcase his wares in England later this season.
Sunday’s task was a considerably tougher one as Essevee faced off against an Anderlecht team which denied them the title last season, but in a year where he’s going to have to step up and become one of the Jupiler League’s true standout players, he was from and centre, scoring, missing a penalty and laying on assists for three goals in an all-action display.
Having scored Zulte’s first, the younger Hazard proceeded to provided three set-piece assists for the remainder of his team’s goals, capping the performance with a stoppage time delivery for Franck Berrier to clinch all three points.
It was also another good week for Todd Kane at Blackburn Rovers. Following his goal and pair of assists against Barnsley last weekend, he was at it again as Rovers took Bolton Wanderers apart to extend their fine recent run. Kane made an excellent goal-line clearance early in the second half before claiming a third assist in two games as he closed down David Wheater high up the pitch, pounced on the loose ball and squared for the deadly Jordan Rhodes to do the rest.
Elsewhere in League One, Sam Walker and Colchester United lost 2-1 to unbeaten Leyton Orient, but at least after conceding a couple of questionable recent goals, Walker can claim to have had no chance with either of Orient’s strikes. Daniel Pappoe, meanwhile, has returned to Chelsea for treatment on a shoulder injury and will miss most of September as he rehabilitates.
Milan Lalkovic was absent from Walsall’s Capital One Cup elimination at the hands of Stoke City as the Saddlers took the sensible decision of resting the Slovakian’s problematic hamstring, instead using him at home to Preston on Saturday. His was a typical hard-working display but with little reward over the 90 minutes as the visitors ran out 3-0 victors.
George Saville was also rested for midweek Cup action as Brentford crashed out 5-0 at Derby County, but having been restored to the starting selection at home to Carlisle at the weekend, he put in another dependable showing – complete with customary card – before being replaced with fifteen minutes of the goalless draw remaining.
Now rivalling England as the most prolific of destinations for Chelsea youngsters, Vitesse Arnhem picked up a fifth Blue this week as Ghanaian international winger Christian Atsu completed his move from FC Porto and joined up with his new colleagues in Arnhem. He watched on as Patrick van Aanholt and Lucas Piazon started for Peter Bosz’ boys in a 1-1 draw away to AZ Alkmaar. Van Aanholt was arguably at fault for the AZ goal but otherwise played well, whilst Piazon was lively and involved before being replaced late on.
Gael Kakuta continues to miss time through injury, with no timetable for his return, whilst Chilean winger Cristian Cuevas was an unused substitute.
Remarkably, it could become half a dozen calling the Gelredome home this term as Sam Hutchinson was seen taking in a training session over in Arnhem this past week and could be set for a deadline day switch.
Croatian forward Stipe Perica, who has been loaned to NAC Breda largely due to their Serbian and Bosnian coaching staff, is still awaiting the required clearance to make his debut in the Eredivisie.
For the second successive week, Wallace was named as a substitute for Inter, but this time he actually got on the pitch to make his debut, featuring for the last few minutes of a comfortable victory away to Catania.
Thibaut Courtois this week became part of a select group of players to keep a clean sheet as a visiting goalkeeper to the Nou Camp, but Atlético Madrid’s goalless draw saw them surrender the Spanish Super Cup to Barcelona by virtue of away goals. Lionel Messi, evidently troubled from the penalty spot against Chelsea goalkeepers, failed to convert from twelve yards during the course of the second leg.
On Sunday, he was central to Atléti remaining unbeaten and coming away from Real Sociedad with a 2-1 win after making two fabulous saves late on, the first of which will be amongst the best you’ll see all season. Moving to the left following a fiercely-struck cross, he shifted back to his right to keep out the eventual shot.
Marko Marin was rested for Sevilla’s Europa League demolition of Slask Wroclaw, having scored twice in a first leg hammering to all but ensure their place in the group stage, and was absent from their squad on Sunday, meaning he played no part against Málaga.
Oriol Romeu is still awaiting his Valencia debut, once again watching on as an unused substitute as his new team-mates took on his former friends at Barcelona.
Jhon Pírez, fresh off the back of an opening day goal last weekend, started for Leganés against SD Amorebieta and saw 65 minutes of action before being replaced. The match finished 0-0.
After such an impressive start to his career at FK Vojvodina, the fates conspired against Matej Delac this week as an unfortunate howler against FC Sheriff contributed to their elimination from the Europa League.
He bounced back well in keeping another clean sheet away to Čukarički on Sunday, the match finishing without a goal for either side.