We’re usually pretty blessed with activity in the Loan Report with the majority of weeks full of goalscoring action from across Europe. This week…not so much. In the absence of any true headliners, we’ll dive straight into the country-by-country looks.
Nathan Aké continues to lead the way with Premier League minutes, continuing in his role as Watford’s starting left-back with their trip to Leicester City. Up against Riyad Mahrez and Marc Albrighton, he did a decent enough job and has played his way into contention for a continued regular berth when the Hornets’ alternative options are available again.
Aké was also named on the Tuttosport European Golden Boy ‘shortlist’ of 40 this week, alongside fellow Chelsea youngsters Mario Pašalić and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
Victor Moses played the entirety of West Ham’s 1-1 draw at home to Everton, but Patrick Bamford didn’t see any action for Crystal Palace at Liverpool. Marco van Ginkel was ineligible to play for Stoke against parent club Chelsea, and Christian Atsu is continuing his rehab from a back injury at Cobham.
In The Championship, John Swift continued to make an impact at Brentford by claiming an assist in their 1-1 draw at Blackburn; his dissecting through ball releasing Lasse Vibe to claim a share of the spoils for the Bees.
Tomas Kalas played at centre-back for Middlesbrough in a midweek 1-0 win over Rotherham before returning to right-back for the much trickier weekend assignment away to Hull; Boro went down 3-0 in a forgettable afternoon. Lucas Piazon played the first half of Reading’s 2-2 draw against Huddersfield and was not involved at all for Saturday’s trip to Cardiff, whilst Michael Hector did come back into the team having missed the former of the two fixtures. He captained the Royals too, but a 2-0 defeat left the taste of disappointment.
Jordan Houghton played an hour of Gillingham’s FA Cup defeat at Stevenage whilst Alex Davey wasn’t involved for Peterborough as they won by that same scoreline away to Burton.
Vitesse hosted AZ Alkmaar on Sunday looking to build on their largely strong recent run of form but things didn’t quite go to plan this time out. A first-half red card for midfielder Marvelous Nakamba left the Gelderlanders with an uphill struggle and they succumbed to two late goals and a 0-2 defeat.
Dominic Solanke ploughed a lonely furrow up front for the full ninety minutes, working hard to get the ball and hold it up but, a man down, he was often isolated. Lewis Baker was withdrawn at half time as manager Peter Bosz changed things up whilst there were second-half appearances from the bench for Izzy Brown and Nathan to little or no avail. Danilo Pantic remained unused on this occasion.
Todd Kane, linked with Feyenoord and PSV this week, fared somewhat better, getting his customary ninety minutes and another clean sheet as NEC beat De Graafschap 2-0 to finish the weekend level on points with Vitesse.
Jeremie Boga saw twenty minutes of substitute action on Friday night as Rennes ended their poor run with a 2-0 win away to Angers. The young playmaker went close with a late free kick and had another chance of goal ruined when Kamil Grosicki took too long to play a pass that would’ve left him with a tap-in.
Mario Pašalić put in a workmanlike hour for Monaco at Qarabag in the Europa League on Thursday and got 75 more on Sunday in a 3-1 defeat to Bordeaux.
Andreas Christensen goes from strength to strength and was at the heart of back to back strong showings for Borussia Mönchengladbach this week. A pair of against Juventus (1-1) and Ingolstadt (0-0) solidified their turnaround in form and helped highlight the sterling work the young Dane is doing as he grows into an indisputable first choice at the Borussia-Park. Denmark manager Morten Olsen elaborated:
“I also watched the game against Dortmund. From day one he has shown in Gladbach what kind of player he is.”
“He has great foresight for a 19-year-old. He sizes up to his opponents, has courage, has pace and is a good header of the ball, so there is no doubt his talent. We see him as someone who will definitely push on in the next few years, maybe even in other positions. Time will tell.”
Victorien Angban played ninety minutes and Cristian Cuevas 67 as Sint-Truidense rescued a 1-1 draw at Lokeren courtesy of a stoppage-time equaliser from goalkeeper William Dutoit. Joao Rodriguez was not in the squad, but Angban did receive another call-up to the senior Ivory Coast squad this week and will hopefully make his debut in the next round of international fixtures.
Cristian Manea, unused sub vs Zulte-Waregen, etc etc.
Juan Cuadrado was part of the Juventus side frustrated by Christensen and co. in the Champions League, coming off the bench just after the hour in an effort to find a winner that would never arrive. He played 68 minutes from the start on Sunday as Juve won 3-1 at Empoli.
Napoli played Udinese with Stipe Perica and Nathaniel Chalobah each on the bench – an improvement for Chalobah, who wasn’t in Napoli’s Europa League eighteen three days earlier. Neither player saw any playing time.
Wallace played fifteen minutes for Carpi at Sassuolo but did little in their 1-0 defeat.
Uli Dávila got ten minutes for Vitória Setúbal at Porto.
Hibs won 4-1 at St Mirren with Islam Feruz getting a touch under ten minutes from the bench.
Neither Kenneth Omeruo nor Marko Marin played for their loan clubs this weekend as they suffered the lingering effects of injury.