It’s an abridged version of the Loan Report this week with plenty of players enjoying Christmas at home and, unfortunately, we lead with two red cards.
The first of those went to Nathan Aké who, having been restored to the Watford team to face Tottenham Hotspur on Monday after being ineligible to face Chelsea, was shown a straight red just after the hour. It was for a high challenge on Erik Lamela and, whilst from some angles it can be argued as contentious, there was at least a case for showing it. In any event it meants a three-match ban at an untimely moment for a player in the best form of his career.
A little while later down at Reading, Michael Hector was dismissed late in the game against Brentford for a pair of yellow cards, the second for what referee Keith Stroud adjudged to have been simulation. He’ll serve just a one-match suspension.
Patrick Bamford played the most significant football of his brief Crystal Palace career on Monday and then promptly announced his departure from Selhurst Park. The England Under-21 forward, who missed out on Boxing Day at Bournemouth, came on as a half-time substitute two days later at home to Swansea and spurned a big chance to break the deadlock before confirming to reporters at full time that he would be returning to Chelsea when the January transfer window opens.
Palace manager Alan Pardew indicated that was news to him but it would certainly not come as a surprise and he’ll look for a move elsewhere in the second half of the season. Middlesbrough have predictably been linked with him and manager Aitor Karanka has been effusive in his public praise, although he has stopped short of admitting a firm interest in a return to the Riverside Stadium for a player who so nearly shot them to promotion last term.
Marco van Ginkel came off the bench twice to help Stoke to a pair of impressive Christmas victories; 45 minutes against Manchester United and just three at Everton on Monday helping secure the points.
Victor Moses wasn’t quite fit enough to play a part for West Ham in their festive programme and Christian Atsu is still a little bit away from being able to get his Bournemouth career underway.
John Swift impressed twice for Brentford in a draw with Brighton and a win at Reading, starting both matches and playing all bar twelve minutes of the latter. The next step for him is to extend his stay at Griffin Park, be it until the end of the season or a more permanent arrangement. Expect news on that to develop over the next week.
Lucas Piazon played 70 minutes head-to-head against Swift having been an unused substitute at Wolves on Boxing Day, whilst Tomas Kalas helped Middlesbrough go top of the league with a fifteen-minute performance from the bench to see out a 1-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday.
Gillingham beat Swindon and Colchester without naming Jordan Houghton in their matchday squad on either occasion. With his loan spell due to end next weekend, you can add his name to the list of players looking to take their talents elsewhere in January.
With Victorien Angban and Joao Rodriguez still sidelined with injury, Cristian Cuevas was the only Chelsea loanee at Sint-Truiden to feature against OH Leuven on Saturday. Playing once again in an advanced role on the left, the Chilean completed ninety minutes in a 2-2 draw.
Cristian Manea made his long-awaited league debut for Mouscron at Standard Liege twenty-four hours later, playing the full match and splitting his time between right-back and left-back. He was however on the wrong end of a 3-0 defeat to a Standard team that have had Jamal Blackman on trial this week with a view to a loan move.
There was a clash of Chelsea loanees on Boxing Day as Kenneth Omeruo’s Kasimpasa hosted Marko Marin’s Trabzonspor. The Nigerian played the full match whilst Marin came off the bench for a little over ten minutes; the points were shared and neither player made too much of a mark on the contest.
Islam Feruz was an unused substitute in Hibs’ 4-2 defeat to Rangers on Monday.
Germany, France, Netherlands, Italy
The various loanees littered around Central Europe are enjoying an extended winter break and will return to action in the new year. One amongst those, Wallace, will be doing so in different colours and on a different continent, having returned to Brazil to finalise a year-long (January-December for the Brazilian calendar) loan to Gremio.
Finally, there have been 36 goals in the Loan Report so far this season; here for your enjoyment once again are each and every one of them.