Romelu Lukaku and George Saville share the headlines in this week’s edition of the Loan Report as the English-based pair took us up to 95 goals from Chelsea’s now-combined 31 loanees (more on the latest to join the ranks later), and ensured that the run of consecutive weeks in which any one of them has scored a goal ticks over into a 29th unbroken, covering the entirety of the 2013-14 season.
Lukaku’s goal came away to Arsenal in the FA Cup Quarter Finals, but unfortunately for him and for Everton it was eventually nothing more than a consolation as the Toffees found themselves rather hammered, losing 4-1 at the Emirates Stadium.
Saville meanwhile put the seal on Brentford’s 2-0 win over Bradford, a result which marked the end of two without victory and put them firmly back into the promotion picture, trailing Leyton Orient by just one point whilst having two games in hand. The midfielder’s third goal of the season (not fourth, as some outlets have reported) was a bobbling effort with his weaker foot, but they all count.
In reference to the 95 goals scored by Blues loanees, here’s how they break down by each contributor as we close in on the century mark:
[table class=”table table-striped”]
Patrick van Aanholt,5
Victor Moses and Ryan Bertrand both had a weekend off with the FA Cup breaking up the regular Premier League slate, but there was a near-full Championship slate alongside the country’s banner knockout competition. It was in the cup that Josh McEachran made only a second start for Wigan Athletic. It was a big opportunity too, coming away to Manchester City, and he did well enough in his 65 minutes on the pitch.
He made one mistake that almost led to a goal but otherwise did his job well as part of a strong team effort that saw Wigan upset City once again and book a Semi Final place against Arsenal.
Up at Middlesbrough – one of McEachran’s former clubs – Nathaniel Chalobah and Kenneth Omeruo both finally tasted victory as Aitor Karanka’s men broke a seven-match goalless streak by beating Ipswich Town 2-0 on Saturday. The duo have certainly helped Boro become a resolute outfit at the back, with Omeruo in particular impressing with each passing match, and should feature regularly for the rest of the season.
Sam Hutchinson continued in his unusual midfield role for Sheffield Wednesday and did well again away to Yeovil Town, but his afternoon unfortunately ended prematurely (albeit in the 89th minute) as he received his marching orders for a pair of yellow cards. His 28-day stay at Hillsborough is due to expire at the end of this coming week, meaning it might have been his last match for the Owls, but the club have expressed an interest in extending his stay. Expect news on that front to develop in the coming days.
Todd Kane was an unused substitute for Blackburn Rovers in their local derby at home to Burnley and at this stage he will likely remain a backup option until the end of the season as manager Gary Bowyer appears intent on giving club-developed prospect Adam Henley more playing time.
Patrick Bamford played 90 minutes for Derby and missed one or two decent chances in a rare defeat for the Rams at home to Millwall. Curiously, despite Chris Martin serving a one-match ban, he wasn’t afforded the central striker’s role, with that instead going to Connor Sammon.
In League One, Milan Lalkovic couldn’t help Walsall to a derby-day victory against Wolves as the Saddlers felt the full might of the visitors’ promotion aspirations in their third straight 3-0 win. The Slovakian was replaced midway through the second half having played 80 minutes of their midweek defeat at Coventry City.
Way down in the Isthmian League, England’s seventh tier, Kingstonian have taken Daniel Pappoe on a month-long deal primarily designed to get the Ghanaian defender a degree of match fitness after yet another season hit by injury. He played 90 minutes – apparently in midfield – on debut in a 2-1 win away to Margate.
Vitesse beat NAC Breda on Saturday night to make it three wins in a row after five without one, and following results elsewhere in the Eredivisie are back into second place ahead of a big clash at home to PSV next weekend. Once again, they got the job done with minimal involvement from their quartet of Chelsea loanees with Christian Atsu the lone starter for a third successive fixture. The Ghanaian made good on his recent fine form by laying on another goal for Mike Havenaar and going close to adding one himself once again.
He was replaced after an hour as Lucas Piazon got another chance to recapture his best form, but there was no involvement for Bertrand Traore nor Patrick van Aanholt, who returned from suspension unable to unseat Rochdi Achenteh from his left-back spot. Manager Peter Bosz has shown himself to be a safety-first minded manager this season, preferring not to unsettle a winning team, and therefore despite their brilliance in beating PSV 6-2 in the reverse fixture earlier this season, both Piazon and Van Aanholt may once again be on the bench at the Gelredome next Saturday evening.
Stipe Perica started the match on the bench for NAC as usual, but came on midway through the first half after an injury to Rydell Poepon. He did little to threaten Vitesse.
Cristian Cuevas played 80 minutes for second division FC Eindhoven on Friday night as their form continued to plummet, losing 2-1 to Jong PSV.
Thibaut Courtois’ 100th Atlético Madrid match saw him keep a 48th clean sheet as they beat Celta Vigo 2-0 on Saturday to stay very much in the La Liga title picture. A one-in-two shutout ratio is as impressive a statistic as any amongst Chelsea loanees over the last three seasons and whilst Atléti’s defence is arguably the best in Europe, it is so in a large part because of their goalkeeper.
Marko Marin was a substitute for Sevilla away to Almeria, getting ten minutes in their 3-1 win. Oriol Romeu, of course, is still working towards full fitness after recent knee surgery.
Uli Dávila played twenty minutes for Córdoba in a 1-0 defeat against Las Palmas, and Jhon Pírez continues to miss time for Leganés as he was not involved in a goalless draw away to Real Sociedad B.
Thorgan Hazard played the duration of Zulte Waregem’s 1-1 draw with Club Brugge and had a fantastic chance to win the game in stoppage time, but as the highlights will show, he skied it over the crossbar with just the goalkeeper to beat.
Billy Clifford was an unused substitute for Royal Antwerp against RWDM Brussels and approaching six weeks into his move, he has less than half an hour of action to his name, raising questions as to why exactly the move came about in the first place.
Gael Kakuta made his Serie A debut for Lazio more than a month after arriving at the club, but the three minutes he got at the end of their defeat to Atalanta will barely have given him the chance to impress Edy Reja.
They were at least three more minutes than Wallace played for Inter, of course.
Kurt Zouma was relegated to Saint Etienne’s bench with only a minute or two of action at the death for a third successive match, which is as curious and as frustrating as any recent loanee development. For a player who was such a regular feature before agreeing to move to Chelsea to suddenly find himself out of favour makes little sense, and brings about suggestions that with ASSE about to lose the services of their home-grown defender, they may be looking out for themselves and beginning to prepare for life without him.
Les Verts lost the match in stoppage time.
Mario Pašalić played ninety minutes and was booked in Hajduk’s 1-1 draw with NK Istra.
Matej Delac started for FK Sarajevo in their 1-1 draw with Olimpik Sarajevo. After an uncertain debut against Čelik, he bounced back with a good game in his second appearance for his new club.