Another week, another Patrick Bamford goal. The England Under-21 striker netted for the fifth time in six matches as Middlesbrough roared towards the top end of the Championship and the young Chelsea loanee continued to hit the headlines. We begin with him before checking in on a landmark day in the Bundesliga for Thorgan Hazard.
Bamford has earned the complete trust of manager Aitor Karanka over the last half a dozen games and, named in the starting line-up for the trip to Millwall on Saturday, scored another goal whilst adding an assist in an emphatic 5-1 victory.
He now sits on 15 goals in 38 appearances at that level of football, and it’s important to note that many of those matches were not ninety-minute appearances nor were they in his preferred centre-forward role. His stay on Teesside is highly likely to be extended beyond the current January limit but if he is to ever genuinely contribute for Chelsea, they will likely want to see how he fares in the top flight, and at the age of 21 they might like to see that happen sooner rather than later.
Young Hazard, meanwhile, was handed just a second league start for Borussia Mönchengladbach as they hosted Salomon Kalou’s Hertha Berlin on Saturday. Such opportunities have to be grasped with both hands and the Belgian playmaker stepped up to the mark. Like Bamford, he scored one and made one to lead his team to a victory as Borussia triumphed 3-2.
It was a quiet week of double-header action in the Premier League with scant involvement all round. Victor Moses remains sidelined through injury at Stoke but neither Nathaniel Chalobah nor Christian Atsu could get any playing time whatsoever this week for Burnley or Everton respectively.
Ryan Bertrand and Southampton lost 1-0 at Arsenal in midweek and host Manchester United on Monday night and you can keep up to date with his involvement on Twitter @chelseayouth.
Kenneth Omeruo played in Middlesbrough’s 5-1 win at Millwall, providing a long-ball assist for Jelle Vossen to open the scoring. Jamal Blackman was not in the matchday squad.
Todd Kane was given his first start for Bristol City and completed ninety minutes in their FA Cup win over non-league Telford. He did take a nasty-looking whack to the upper body late in the game but it appears to be a shoulder injury which the coaching staff aren’t dramatically concerned about at this stage.
Alex Davey also saw FA Cup action for Scunthorpe against a non-league foe; he completed a 1-1 draw against Worcester City at centre-back.
Oriol Romeu played the second half as a substitute for Stuttgart, who continued their rotten season with a 4-0 thumping at home against Schalke.
Lucas Piazon was a substitute for Eintracht Frankfurt versus Werder Bremen and they won 5-2 without needing to call upon his services. Tomas Kalas was absent again for Köln and is counting down the days until he can leave his Bundesliga hell.
Mario Pašalić played an hour of Elche’s 2-0 defeat at home to defending champions Atlético Madrid. The Croatian admitted this week that he hasn’t yet played as well as he can but is looking forward to making more of an impression as the season goes on.
Gael Kakuta has been making an impression for Rayo Vallecano, scoring three goals to date, but was kept off the scoresheet on Sunday as the Madrid outfit lost 1-0 to Sevilla.
Uli Dávila returned to the Tenerife starting eleven against Racing Santander after serving a two-match suspension and played 78 minutes before being substituted.
Fernando Torres and Marco van Ginkel were not involved as Milan lost to Genoa whilst Marko Marin was not involved for Fiorentina in a goalless draw versus Juventus.
Wallace continued as Vitesse’s regular right-back in their home fixture against FC Twente whilst Bertrand Traore and Josh McEachran were amongst the substitutes, and it was the latter who would actually end up playing the most significant portion of football in his stay in the Netherlands to date. With the score at 2-2 and midfielder Davy Pröpper having just been sent off, manager Peter Bosz called for McEachran to shore up the midfield for the final half an hour and he duly helped them secure a point.
Traore remained unused, largely as a consequence of the red card, whilst elsewhere Stipe Perica missed NAC Breda’s win at Cambuur with a hamstring injury.
Matej Delač was rested as Arles-Avignon picked up a rare victory; it came in the French Cup against amateur outfit Lyon Duchère.
Bastia had two Ligue 1 matches this week but Joao Rodriguez kept up his 100% record of not playing under new manager Ghislain Printant.
OFI Crete played against Ergotelis and Levadiakos this week; Islam Feruz did not.