It’s been as productive a week of loanwatch football as there has been in some time, as numerous Chelsea youngsters hit the headlines for the right reasons. With plenty to talk about, let’s dive right in.
So many made the headlines that this section will dominate much of the report, but it does so deservedly. We begin with Middlesbrough’s midweek trip to Liverpool in the League Cup; the fixture saw Jamal Blackman make his senior debut in professional football with Kenneth Omeruo ahead of him in defence, whilst Patrick Bamford was amongst the substitutes.
It was a quite remarkable fixture that saw an unfortunate mistake by Blackman give Liverpool an early lead, but Boro responded well and forced extra time. They trailed again late in the game but Bamford was able to then come from the bench to spark a revival; winning and converting a 120th minute penalty which meant penalties would be required to separate the teams.
Cue madness. Liverpool prevailed 14-13 after thirty penalties were taken. Bamford missed his first effort before scoring again on the go-around – his third effort of the night – whilst Omeruo and Blackman also found the net from twelve yards. Blackman denied Raheem Sterling and went the right way for a number of other attempts but Boro were just about edged out of it on a night of high drama.
Blackman was back on the bench for the weekend trip to Charlton, a match in which Omeruo once again contributed to a clean sheet (he went off injured but is said to be alright) and Bamford was lively in attack.
Staying in England and on Saturday Ryan Bertrand scored his first goal in a Southampton shirt – a rare one too, just the fourth of his career – as the Saints beat Queens Park Rangers 2-1 at St Mary’s. Bertrand had been a late sub in midweek League Cup action as manager Ronald Koeman rested some of his regulars but he was restored to the full-strength team and finished well when finding himself clear inside the box.
Overseas it was also a productive week in the Netherlands. Vitesse beat amateur team VVSB in midweek cup action with Bertrand Traore grabbing the opener and Josh McEachran completing his first ninety minutes in a yellow and black shirt.
He was back on the bench for the weekend trip to Dordrecht but Vitesse nonetheless handed out a resounding 6-2 thrashing with Traore lively for 75 minutes and laying on an assist for fellow loanee Wallace, who thumped in the fourth goal with a strike typical of Brazilian full-backs.
Not to be outdone, Stipe Perica added his second and third goals of the season in NAC Breda’s heavy home defeat to Ajax. The big Croatian had been afforded a rest for their midweek cup tie and came back in looking a real handful; his first was a goal almost stereotypical of him as he contorted his body to head home from a free kick, but his second showcased skill and patience as he beat three men before rifling low past Jasper Cillessen.
In Germany on Sunday, Lucas Piazon – who saw an hour of midweek action against Mainz – came off the bench to win all three points for Eintracht Frankfurt at Hamburg with a stupendously good free kick.
And, in Italy, Fernando Torres headed his first goal in Milan colours as the Rossoneri drew 2-2 at Empoli. Marco van Ginkel also started but was forced off with an ankle ligament problem which will sideline him for a month. Torres also played 70 minutes without scoring against Cesena on Sunday.
Christian Atsu played ninety minutes as Everton were knocked out of the Capital One Cup by Swansea on Tuesday, and the Ghanaian was then not involved in Saturday’s 1-1 Merseyside derby draw at Liverpool.
Victor Moses was a late substitute as Stoke won at Sunderland in the same competition and is likely to start against Newcastle tomorrow night. Details of his involvement will be added here in due course and you can keep up with the action live by following @chelseayouth.
Nathaniel Chalobah was a substitute for Burnley at West Brom on Sunday but came on at half time to make his Premier League debut. He was booked almost immediately and Burnley lost 4-0.
John Swift scored twice for Rotherham’s Under-21 team in midweek which proved enough for him to be included in Steve Evans’ senior match day squad for the first time in September but he watched from the bench as they lost 2-0 at Ipswich.
There was a double-header of Bundesliga action this week but involvement for Chelsea’s loanees remained pretty much the same as it’s been all season.
Thorgan Hazard was handed a first start for Gladbach against Hamburg, playing 71 minutes of their 1-0 win, but he was back on the bench and remained unused at the weekend as they won 2-1 at Paderborn.
Oriol Romeu celebrated his birthday by playing well in Stuttgart’s 2-2 draw at Dortmund and continued in his regular defensive midfield berth on Saturday in a 1-0 win over Hannover.
Tomas Kalas, however, is still awaiting his first minutes in a Köln shirt but he was at least back on the bench as they lost at home to Bayern Munich on Saturday.
The double-header week extended to Spain, where Gael Kakuta was a constant menace as Rayo beat Athletic Bilbao in midweek. He was slightly less effective in their 2-0 win at Levante at the weekend and looked tired as he was replaced after an hour but he’s been a very big part of their fine start to the season and figures to be so for the immediate future at the very least.
Mario Pašalić hasn’t quite had the same fortune at Elche and he had a bit of a week to forget. He came off the bench in their 5-1 drubbing at the hands of Real Madrid only to concede a penalty for stumbling into Cristiano Ronaldo having tripped over his own feet, and he was then not involved in their Friday night reverse at the hands of Celta Vigo.
Uli Dávila played the last ten minutes of Tenerife’s 2-1 win over Las Palmas, the team he scored a 94th minute winner against in the final game of last season to ensure Córdoba were promoted from La Segunda.
Joao Rodriguez was an unused sub as a Bastia team struggling for goals drew 0-0 with Nantes and lost 1-0 to Lille.
Matej Delač shipped three goals as Arles-Avignon lost to Laval in midweek and was then on the wrong side of a 2-1 defeat at Auxerre.
Marko Marin remains injured and did not feature for Fiorentina this week.
Islam Feruz did not feature for OFI Crete in their away fixture at PAOK Thessaloniki and has thus far only played on his debut away to Olympiacos.
The Chilean league returned after a fortnight’s absence but Cristian Cuevas did not play for Universidad de Chile as they won 3-2 at Franco di Santo’s old club, Audax Italiano.