Patrick Bamford’s third goal in four matches and definitive proof that Marko Marin not only exists but is actually contributing in a meaningful fashion for Fiorentina are this week’s Loan Report lead stories, with everything elsewhere remaining much the same as you’re used to.
Bamford took a little while to settle at Boro and has a host of very handy strikers to compete with but it was something he needed at this point in his career. Any aspirations of becoming a regular top-flight feature – at Chelsea or elsewhere – meant he’d need to assert himself as the best option of a number of capable performers at a top-quality club for that level of football.
Over the past six weeks or so he’s shown plenty of positive signs towards doing just that and against Blackburn on Saturday he was head and shoulders above anyone else on the pitch. Time and again he was denied by stand-in Rovers goalkeeper Simon Eastwood but he did get his reward late in the day with an emphatic finish to make it six goals for the season.
It should’ve been enough for three more Middlesbrough points but a dreadful Mark Clattenburg mistake provided Blackburn with a 97th minute equaliser.
Kenneth Omeruo returned to the team and played at centre-back whilst Jamal Blackman was not in the matchday squad.
Marin, meanwhile, has had to wait even longer to begin making his mark in 2014-15 after a series of injuries but the Europa League has thus far allowed him a friendlier introduction to Fiorentina and on Thursday, he marked his first start of the season with a goal.
I Viola won 2-1 away to Guingamp with the German tucking away an opportunistic opener early in the first half.
He was back on the bench in Serie A action Sunday though and wasn’t used away to Cagliari.
Ryan Bertrand continued in his regular berth at left-back for Southampton in arguably their biggest test of the season at home to Manchester City. The result didn’t go quite as well as the hosts would have liked though, as City ran out comfortable 3-0 winners.
Christian Atsu saw a few minutes of clean-up duty for Everton away to Wolfsburg in midweek European action whilst on Sunday at Everton he wasn’t involved.
Nathaniel Chalobah remains sidelined through injury at Burnley whilst Victor Moses will be out until the new year for Stoke after suffering a thigh problem. He’s back at Chelsea for treatment on the issue.
Todd Kane played a few seconds of Bristol City’s 3-0 win at Peterborough on Friday night and, also in League One, Alex Davey made his professional debut on loan at Scunthorpe United. The 20 year-old defender completed the full match as they won 2-1 at Barnsley.
Thorgan Hazard got his usual ninety minutes of Europa League football in a 2-2 draw with Villarreal before returning to the bench for Sunday’s trip to Wolfsburg. He got twenty minutes to make something happen but couldn’t as Gladbach lost 1-0.
Lucas Piazon was again a substitute for Eintracht Frankfurt versus Dortmund and stayed there as Dortmund lost again, this time by a 2-0 scoreline.
Oriol Romeu missed out on Stuttgart’s win at Freiburg through suspension for accumulation of yellow cards whilst Tomas Kalas, of course, did not play for Köln.
Mario Pašalić was an unused substitute for Elche in their defeat to David Moyes’ Real Sociedad on Friday, whilst Gael Kakuta and Rayo Vallecano play on Monday night. You can keep up to date with how the lively French forward fares on Twitter @chelseayouth.
Uli Dávila was unavailable for Tenerife’s trip to Lugo through suspension, although club officials this week reportedly spoke about the chances of signing him permanently in January.
Marco van Ginkel returned to the Milan starting eleven for the first time since suffering an injury in September and played well in a 2-0 win. Fernando Torres was an unused substitute.
Vitesse Arnhem’s shaky period of form continued with a relatively unimpressive 2-2 draw at home to Go Ahead Eagles. The result was all the more frustrating as they had held a 2-0 lead during the second half but, as they have done a number of times this season, let the points slip.
Wallace played the full match at right-back but Bertrand Traore was dropped after a spell of ineffectiveness, only coming off the bench with a quarter of an hour to go. Josh McEachran was an unused substitute.
NAC Breda were hammered 5-1 at home by Utrecht with Stipe Perica only acquiring a yellow card to show for his evening’s work.
Bastia lost 2-1 at Reims with Joao Rodriguez nowhere to be seen, whilst Matej Delač and Arles-Avignon remain rooted to the bottom of Ligue 2 following a 2-0 defeat at home to Dijon.
Islam Feruz did not play for OFI Crete at Pas Giannina.