The first Loan Report of the post-international window will read much like those that preceded it. Patrick Bamford scored again for Middlesbrough whilst everybody else ranged from involved without being spectacular to being completely anonymous as per usual.
At least we can hang our hat on Bamford, for the time being at least. He was left on the bench for their trip to Wigan but was introduced to the action ten minutes after half time and made his presence felt by netting with near-enough his first touch. It was a well-placed finish to take him to five for the season and three in his last four Boro outings.
Christian Atsu was a late second-half substitute for Everton as they beat West Ham 2-1 whilst Victor Moses courted yet more controversy as he was once again accused of diving as Stoke lost 2-1 to a Burnley team missing Nathaniel Chalobah through an injury picked up playing for England’s Under-21s.
Ryan Bertrand and Southampton will seek to take full advantage of another weekend of Premier League ineptitude by beating Aston Villa to consolidate second place on Monday night.
In The Championship, only Bamford featured for Middlesbrough as Kenneth Omeruo was a late return back from Nigeria duty whilst Jamal Blackman, as third-choice goalkeeper, was not in the match day selection.
John Swift has been released from his Rotherham United loan and is now back at Chelsea but another young English prospect has gone out since the last Report. Todd Kane has hooked up with Bristol City until mid-January and made his debut this weekend as a 70th minute substitute in the Robins’ 0-1 defeat at home to Preston North End.
Thorgan Hazard and Lucas Piazon both came off the bench to feature as Borussia Mönchengladbach were upset 3-1 at home by Eintracht Frankfurt. The Belgian played 25 minutes whilst Piazon played a few seconds at the end as neither player seems able to muscle their way into their respective team’s Bundeliga line-up.
Nonetheless, Gladbach have spoken highly of Hazard and are keen to extend his stay into next season, either by extending his loan agreement or by signing him outright.
Oriol Romeu played for Stuttgart vs Augsburg and was booked as his team went down to a 1-0 home defeat.
Tomas Kalas was not involved for Köln as usual and has openly admitted that he’ll be seeking an alternative arrangement in January. It can’t come too soon.
Gael Kakuta, one of Chelsea’s most productive loanees so far this term, was in lively form as Rayo Vallecano continued their upwardly mobile campaign with a 1-0 win to defeat Celta Vigo on Sunday lunchtime.
Mario Pašalić played 67 minutes of Elche’s 2-2 draw with Córdoba.
In the second division, Uli Dávila’s red card last weekend left him suspended from Tenerife action this week.
Fernando Torres started in his first Milan derby as AC hosted Inter, whilst Marco van Ginkel was amongst the substitutes. Torres did little in his 73 minutes; Van Ginkel did less as he was an unused substitute yet again.
Marko Marin did not feature for Fiorentina at Verona.
Vitesse Arnhem returned from the international interlude with a tough assignment away to AZ Alkmaar and despite the return of Wallace from a broken hand, they went down 1-0 away from home. The Brazilian played the full match, as did fellow Blues youngster Bertrand Traore, but Josh McEachran was not selected and his stay in Arnhem has been a tremendous failure so far.
Over at NAC Breda, Stipe Perica was a 72nd minute substitute in their 2-0 reverse at Go Ahead Eagles.
Bastia’s change of manager has not suited Joao Rodriguez as for the second league match in succession the Colombian was left out of the match day squad. He’s another who could be switching locations in the new year.
Matej Delač has at least claimed back the starting role at Arles-Avignon but a 3-1 defeat at Clermont this past Friday has left them bottom of the second division.
Islam Feruz hasn’t been playing for OFI Crete but the entire professional league structure is currently on hiatus as a referees strike leaves fixtures unable to be fulfilled.