After a few weeks of handing things over to the supporting cast, Chelsea’s top two loan performers of the season return to centre stage in this week’s Loan Report. Patrick Bamford and Bertrand Traore have stood out for their all-round performances as much as their goalscoring antics and the left-footed duo were both on target this past weekend.
Bamford was held off the scoresheet last time out against Brentford (but did win the decisive penalty) having scored in each of his previous two matches but it took him just six minutes to open the scoring in Middlesbrough’s 3-1 win over Charlton Athletic. His glancing header to meet Grant Leadbitter’s corner was his eleventh goal of the season and kept Boro firmly in the promotion hunt.
Later on Saturday over in the Netherlands, Traore made it 8 in 21 appearances this term by showing sharpness and accuracy in front of goal to pounce on an error by a NAC Breda defender and secure a 1-0 victory for Vitesse.
He had started their 2-0 midweek win at Cambuur too, a match in which Josh McEachran came off the bench to play the last quarter of an hour. The former England Under-21 international was unused against Breda, but Wallace, who didn’t feature against Cambuur, did get a few minutes on the pitch in relief of Traore.
Victor Moses played all ninety minutes of Stoke’s 1-1 draw at Newcastle. Nathaniel Chalobah played an hour for Reading in their win at Wolves in an otherwise quiet week in the Championship. Kenneth Omeruo continued to deputise for the suspended Dani Ayala at the heart of the Middlesbrough defence whilst Tomas Kalas was fit enough to return to the substitute’s bench, where he remained unused, but neither Lewis Baker (Sheffield Wednesday), Todd Kane (Nottingham Forest) or Islam Feruz (Blackpool) featured in the matchday squads of their respective teams, and there was no explanation for their absences offered up by their managers.
John Swift shone for Swindon in League One as he made one goal and won the penalty for another against Barnsley, for whom Alex Kiwomya came on as a late second half substitute.
Alex Davey was an unused substitute for Scunthorpe.
Thorgan Hazard played the last ten minutes of Borussia Mönchengladbach’s 1-0 win over Freiburg on Tuesday and was then included from the start as they took on an injury-hit Schalke on Friday. His inconsistent display was matched by his team-mates as they went down to Roberto Di Matteo’s side by a single goal.
Oriol Romeu got a full outing for Stuttgart against Köln, helping them keep a clean sheet in their goalless draw, before playing only 58 minutes of their 2-0 weekend defeat at home to Bayern Munich.
Lucas Piazon was an unused substitute for Eintracht Frankfurt against Wolfsburg in midweek and then played half an hour on Sunday to help them to a 2-2 draw at Augsburg.
All eyes will be on Elche vs Rayo Vallecano on Monday night as Mario Pašalić and Gael Kakuta go head-to-head. You can keep abreast of how they fare on Twitter by following @chelseayouth.
Mohamed Salah made his Fiorentina debut on Sunday having joined I Viola on transfer deadline day. The Egyptian international played 25 minutes as Vincenzo Montella’s side beat Atalanta 3-2.
Stipe Perica made his Udinese debut as a 79th minute replacement, but could do little about their 3-1 loss to Napoli.
Marco van Ginkel was an unused substitute as AC Milan lost 3-1 at Juventus.
Uli Dávila made his first start for Vitória Setúbal in their 3-0 midweek victory over Boavista in the cup, playing an hour before being replaced by Paulo Tavares. He was however not involved in their weekend league clash with Académica.
Dávila will soon be joined in Setúbal by Colombian Under-20 international forward Joao Rodriguez, who saw his stay at Bastia terminated in early January. He’s currently featuring in the South American Under-20 Championships, where this past weekend he did this to Brazil:
Marko Marin started for Anderlecht away to Cercle Brugge and played 67 minutes as they won 2-0.
Arles-Avignon chose once again to utilise the services of a goalkeeper not named Matej Delač. They didn’t win and remain bottom of Ligue 2.