For the first time in a month we aren’t able to bring you a Patrick Bamford goal to enjoy in the Loan Report. Instead, Christmas cheer is provided by Bertrand Traore, who leads the way with four goals this week. Let’s dive in.
Traore had something of a November to forget as he lost his place in Vitesse Arnhem’s starting eleven after an indifferent run of form since September. He was however restored to things last weekend at Groningen and grabbed a goal before outright exploding in the seven days thereafter.
Vitesse travelled to Ajax in the Dutch Cup on Thursday night wary of receiving a similar hiding to the 4-1 dished out on the first day of the Eredivisie season. Ajax rested a couple of their more recognisable faces but few will have expected Vitesse to run out 4-0 winners in the ArenA. Traore – playing as a centre forward – scored twice to help them on their way.
In undoubtedly good form, he kept his place as the spearhead of Peter Bosz’s attack for Sunday’s home match against Heracles and netted twice before half time to settle a 3-0 contest nice and early. Again, they were two tidy finishes:
He now departs for international duty and will miss January as he represents Burkina Faso at the African Cup of Nations and based on his recent explosion, Vitesse will miss him.
Wallace suffered a facial injury early in the Ajax match and was forced off before missing the Heracles clash, whilst Josh McEachran saw time as a second half substitute in both fixtures.
Ryan Bertrand returned to a familiar left-wing role this past midweek as a reshuffled Southampton team lost 1-0 at Sheffield United in the League Cup Quarter Finals. He then returned to his usual left-back berth on Saturday as Ronald Koeman’s team got back to winning ways in the league courtesy of a 3-0 win over Everton.
Nathaniel Chalobah was an unused substitute for Burnley at Tottenham whilst Victor Moses and Christian Atsu remain injury absentees and are both back at Chelsea receiving treatment.
In The Championship, Middlesbrough’s fine recent form came to a halt as they lost 2-0 to a hard-working and extremely under-rated Ipswich Town team on Saturday. Patrick Bamford and Kenneth Omeruo started with Jamal Blackman not in the squad as usual but Boro didn’t come up to standard in what manager Aitor Karanka described as their poorest performance of the season.
Alex Davey’s week began in dramatic fashion as he was involved in Scunthorpe’s FA Cup replay at Worcester City. Playing in an unfamiliar right-back role, Davey completed 120 minutes despite cramping throughout extra time and was then called upon to take a penalty in a mammoth shoot-out that saw Scunny prevail 14-13.
Davey scored his spot kick and was then rested as an unused sub in their 1-1 draw at Bradford at the weekend.
Todd Kane, fit again after a shoulder problem, was also an unused substitute for Bristol City in their 1-0 defeat to Crewe Alexandra.
Thorgan Hazard earned a third consecutive Bundesliga start for Borussia Mönchengladbach on Saturday but despite taking an early lead, his team lost 2-1 at Augsbury for a rare defeat. He had previously played some thirty minutes from the bench in their midweek victory at home to Werder Bremen.
Stuttgart picked up a much-needed three points away to Hamburg on Tuesday and it came with Oriol Romeu back in the team for a complete ninety minutes. He got another full shift at the weekend in another clean sheet as Stuttgart shared a 0-0 draw with Paderborn.
Tomas Kalas made a rare appearance in a Köln matchday squad in their 0-0 draw with Mainz but stayed on the bench throughout. He wasn’t afforded the same opportunity in their weekend defeat at Wolfsburg though, watching from the stands.
Lucas Piazon played the final ten minutes of Eintracht Frankfurt’s wild 4-4 draw with Hertha Berlin as his team hauled themselves back from two goals down in stoppage time to claim a point. The Brazilian then got to start at Leverkusen on Saturday and helped contribute to a positive 1-1 draw.
Gael Kakuta was rested for Rayo Vallecano’s 4-4 Copa de Rey draw at Valencia in midweek but was restored to continue his ever-present league run on Saturday as Rayo lost 3-1 at home to Espanyol.
Mario Pašalić and Elche took on Málaga on Sunday and the Croatian midfielder did well in his 90 minutes, having a goal disallowed in their 2-1 defeat.
Uli Dávila played half an hour as a substitute as his current club Tenerife beat his former club Sabadell 1-0.
Fernando Torres returned to the Milan squad from a bout of flu but didn’t play a part in their 0-0 draw at Roma. Marco van Ginkel remains absent with an ankle injury.
Fiorentina drew 1-1 with Empoli and Marko Marin, as per usual in Serie A, did not feature.
Stipe Perica came on at half time in midweek as his NAC Breda team found themselves trailing 2-0 to Excelsior in the Dutch Cup. Excelsior wound up winning 6-0.
The Croatian was restored to the starting eleven on Sunday and played the full match as they lost again, albeit by a single goal to Feyenoord this time.
Matej Delač shipped four goals as Arles-Avignon remain rooted to the foot of the French Second Division, losing 4-0 to Troyes.
Bastia still refuse to pick Joao Rodriguez.
Islam Feruz did not play for OFI Crete against fellow islanders FC Platanias this weekend. Former Chelsea academy forward Walter Figueira was an unused substitute for the opposition.