For the second week in succession the Loan Report is kicked off by an English prospect who has spent the majority of his formative years at Chelsea and gone on to score his maiden professional goal in England’s third tier. John Swift, it’s over to you.
Swift spent the first half of this season on loan at Rotherham in the Championship but, after manager Steve Evans showed a distaste for playing him, Chelsea recalled the gifted attacking schemer and found a new home for him at Swindon Town in League One. The Wiltshire side are challenging for promotion but have found themselves without two key players for January as both Massimo Luongo and Yaser Kasim are away at the Asian Cup, and so they’ve turned to Swift to help them out.
He’s fitted in seamlessly and this weekend at home to Chesterfield scored his first goal for the club, turning well and firing home from close range. He later added an assist for good measure to keep Mark Cooper’s side top of the table ahead of Bristol City, who have a game in hand.
Ryan Bertrand and Southampton remain very much in contention for Champions League qualification following a 2-1 win at Newcastle on Saturday evening. The 25 year-old full-back also played in the Saints’ FA Cup win at Ipswich in midweek and featured as a left-sided centre-back in a 3-5-2 formation, adding an extra string to an already-impressive bow.
Victor Moses returned to the Stoke starting line-up after nearly two months out through injury and played 86 solid minutes in a 1-0 win away to Leicester City.
Christian Atsu is away with Ghana for the African Cup of Nations and will not feature for Everton until February.
Patrick Bamford and Tomas Kalas retained their starting berths for Middlesbrough’s 2-0 win over Huddersfield; Kalas again doing very well at right-back whilst Bamford worked hard for little reward in his 70-odd minutes in attack. Kenneth Omeruo was an unused substitute.
Todd Kane produced a typically hard-working and dogged ninety minutes for Nottingham Forest as they upset the form book away to fierce rivals Derby County, running out 2-1 winners courtesy of a last-minute Ben Osborn strike.
Lewis Baker saw ten minutes from the bench again as Sheffield Wednesday lost 2-1 at home to Bolton. Former Chelsea defender Sam Hutchinson was sent off late in the game.
Islam Feruz this week joined Blackpool until the end of the season and made his debut as an 81st minute substitute during their 2-0 defeat to Wolves.
Alex Kiwomya played ninety minutes for Barnsley in their narrow 1-0 defeat to Doncaster in League One whilst Alex Davey was an unused substitute for Scunthorpe as they lost 2-0 to Bristol City in a fixture in which they lost both goalkeepers to broken arms.
SpainMario Pašalić and Elche experienced another hammering at the hands of Barcelona, going down 4-0 at home in the second leg of their Copa del Rey clash to lose 9-0 over the course of the two matches. On Sunday against Levante he played another 80 minutes and is proving a useful asset in a variety of midfield roles.
Gael Kakuta played another solid match for Rayo Vallecano as they triumphed 1-0 away to David Moyes’ Real Sociedad.
Uli Dávila has officially left Segunda club Tenerife and is believed to be headed to the Portuguese League, where he will link up with Vitória SC.
The Eredivisie returned this weekend and with it came Vitesse’s first home league defeat of the season. They lost 1-0 to top of the table PSV and did so despite enjoying nearly 30 shots at goal in a performance that deserved some reward. Wallace played 90 minutes at full-back whilst Josh McEachran did well for an hour in central midfield. Bertrand Traore was absent playing for Burkina Faso in the African Cup of Nations and his presence was definitely missed; he finished 2014 with five goals in three appearances and Peter Bosz’s side lacked his goal threat on a frustrating night in the Gelredome.
Stipe Perica was an unused substitute for NAC Breda as they lost 4-1 to third-placed PEC Zwolle and his lack of involvement may add support to a story emerging on Friday that Udinese and Chelsea have held talks regarding the Italian club taking over his loan with a view to buying him outright for €4.5m in the summer.
Matej Delač was left on the bench by Arles-Avignon on Friday but the rock bottom Ligue 2 club still lost with Thomas Bosmel in goal.
Nothing changed in Serie A, where both Marko Marin (Fiorentina) and Marco van Ginkel (Milan) were unused substitutes this weekend. Van Ginkel couldn’t even get a kick in Milan’s Coppa Italia win over Sassuolo, begging the question as to why he’s even still at the club.
The Bundesliga is still a fortnight away from returning to action so Oriol Romeu, Lucas Piazon and Thorgan Hazard remain on a winter hiatus.