The streak of weeks featuring at least one goal from a Chelsea loanee is up to six after Juan Cuadrado, Mario Pašalić and Dominic Solanke weighed in with efforts this past weekend. We begin with the latter and the upwardly-mobile Arnhem contingent.
Vitesse were looking to bounce back from a disappointing home defeat to Ajax last time out and were handed something of a ‘get well’ fixture away to Excelsior in which to do so. Solanke’s early penalty – his fourth strike of the season, making him the club’s leading goalscorer – got them on their way before second half efforts from Kevin Diks and Milot Rashica ensured a 3-0 win keeps the Gelderlanders solidly in fifth place.
Solanke had a pretty quiet game aside from his goal, putting in the hard graft and allowing everyone to flourish around him. He was withdrawn with ten minutes to go in order for Izzy Brown to make a playing comeback from a recent injury, whilst Lewis Baker played the full match in midfield. The England Under-21 international, who sits third in the Eredivisie’s ‘chances created’ table, struck the crossbar with a spectacular thirty-yard effort in stoppage time.
Nathan came off the bench for a 25-minute cameo and Danilo Pantic was an unused substitute.
Over in Italy, Juventus and Torino met in the Derby della Mole on Saturday and the hosts clinched the points in stoppage time for the second year in succession. Whereas last year it was Andrea Pirlo’s scorching hit earning victory, it fell to Colombian winger Cuadrado to bundle the ball over the line at the death this time around.
— BT Sport Football (@btsportfootball) November 1, 2015
Cuadrado has established himself as a key player for Juventus already this season, playing ninety minutes in midweek away to Sassuolo before coming off the bench just ten minutes into the Turin derby following an injury to Sami Khedira.
On Sunday, Pašalić marked a start against Ligue Une surprise package Angers with his fourth goal of the season, an opportune finish from a set-piece to score the only goal in Monaco’s 1-0 win.
Nathan Aké led the way in Premier League action this week, producing an all-action display at home to Victor Moses’ West Ham on Saturday. He was firmly involved in much of the Hornets’ attacking play and claimed an assist when robbing Andy Carroll of the ball before squaring for Odion Ighalo to score.
The Dutchman can claim to have won his personal duel with Moses too; the latter was withdrawn at half time on the way to a 2-0 win for Watford.
Patrick Bamford was part of a disappointing Crystal Palace effort at Manchester City in midweek League Cup action; the forward played 77 minutes of their 5-1 defeat and was then not involved against City’s neighbours United in the Premier League on Saturday. Manager Alan Pardew explained why:
“I spoke to him when he first came to the football club. I said: ‘You have to understand that although Middlesbrough is a high level, coming into the Premier League with this team is an even higher level. So you’re going to have to work hard at it.’ And he is working hard at it and I have to say I have been very pleased with his attitude, his application and he is definitely physically and mentally gotten stronger through this process.
“Hopefully when he hits the ground at some point, whether it’s for us, Chelsea or somebody else, he’s going to feel the benefit of it. He is, in my opinion, a possible England player at some stage but he has got some learning to do.
“Like all young players, they sometimes have to add something to their game to get over that final hurdle. We’re a good side – we’ve proved that. OK, our last results in the last three haven’t been what we wanted but the performance level has been there, apart from the Man City game. It’s a tough team for him to get in to.”
Christian Atsu’s continued absence for Bournemouth this season was finally given some coverage this week as manager Eddie Howe revealed that the Ghanaian winger has been suffering from a stress fracture in his back and has been back at Chelsea receiving treatment. There is no immediate timescale for a potential return but it’s another unfortunate setback for a player who hasn’t had a great deal of luck in the last year or so.
Marco van Ginkel was ineligible to play against his parent club in the League Cup on Wednesday whilst only playing a minute of their stalemate against Newcastle on Saturday. After a promising start he’s taken something of a back seat in the last three or four weeks and has to pick things up to get back in favour under Mark Hughes.
In the Championship, Lucas Piazon found his name in the media for unwanted reasons this week and that was perhaps reflected by him being left on the bench for Reading’s draw against league leaders Brighton. He got fifteen minutes at the end of the match whilst Michael Hector completed another solid ninety at centre-back.
Tomas Kalas had a very enjoyable week as he was involved in a sensational Middlesbrough effort to knock Manchester United out of the League Cup. He played all 120 minutes at Old Trafford, keeping a clean sheet before a penalty shootout win, and quite understandably was then given a rest on Saturday as Charlton were humbled 3-0 at the Riverside Stadium.
John Swift extended his stay at Brentford until January this week and celebrated with a terrific midfield display in Friday night’s 1-0 West London derby victory over Queens Park Rangers.
Jordan Houghton was an unused substitute for Gillingham away to Walsall, as was Alex Davey for Peterborough at Coventry. Davey has signed a new deal at Chelsea this week, extending his stay beyond the end of this season presumably (but not confirmed) for another year.
Andreas Christensen and Borussia Mönchengladbach continue to go from strength to strength, piecing together six Bundesliga wins in a row whilst knocking Schalke out of the German Cup along the way. The latter was achieved on Wednesday, meaning two wins over the same team in a matter of four days, with a clean sheet thrown in for good measure (particularly pleasing for Christensen, who had scored an own goal in the first meeting).
The 4-1 win at Hertha Berlin on Saturday meant their resurgent form has taken them to fifth in the league and back firmly in Champions League contention; they welcome Juventus to the Borussia-Park this week with the Dane and company looking very good.
Jeremie Boga played his first ninety minutes in a Rennes shirt in a midweek cup triumph away to Bastia. The playmaker was lively and involved throughout in a generally forgettable match and caught the eye enough to get ten minutes late at home to PSG on Friday, although he wasn’t able to help his side avoid a 1-0 defeat.
Serie A provided two scoops of action this week but involvement away from Cuadrado was scarce. Stipe Perica was handed a rare start for Udinese at Roma, where he scored last season, but was quiet in his 70 minutes and was once again in 23 minutes from the bench in Sunday’s 0-0 against Sassuolo.
Wallace played the last twenty minutes of Carpi’s 2-1 defeat to Frosinone before remaining unused against Verona, and Nathaniel Chalobah’s stay at Napoli continues to be almost entirely fruitless as he stayed on the bench all week long.
Todd Kane helped NEC Nijmegen into the next round of the Dutch Cup in midweek as they hammered Sparta Rotterdam 4-0, and then they went to AZ Alkmaar on Sunday and won 4-2 in a win that leaves them just one place and three points behind local rivals Vitesse.
Injury deprived STVV of Victorien Angban’s services this week and it told as they were given a 4-0 pasting away to Zulte-Waregem in midweek. The Ivorian was fit to return on Sunday at home to Standard Liege however and his presence told in a very impressive 1-0 win that leaves them just outside of the European Play-Off places.
Cristian Cuevas started both matches, asserting himself as a regular in the first-choice eleven these days, and played 45 and 70 minutes respectively, whilst Joao Rodriguez saw clean-up time late on each occasion.
Cristian Manea is being made to wait for his Mouscron debut however, being left on the bench against Westerlo and Anderlecht this week.
Kenneth Omeruo made his comeback from injury in Kasimpasa’s six-goal thriller away to Besiktas, playing his part in helping to earn a 3-3 draw.
Marko Marin started for Trabzonspor against Gaziantepspor but in the least-surprising development of the season so far, he was forced off through injury after just 22 minutes and is now a doubt for their next match.
Islam Feruz played the last five minutes of Hibernian’s 2-1 win over Rangers on Sunday but touched the ball fewer than five times in those five minutes.
Uli Dávila was once again an unused substitute as Vitória Setúbal drew 0-0 versus Arouca.
Matej Delač underwent surgery on his torn anterior cruciate ligament this week and now begins a rehab period expected to last a minimum of six months. With his season almost certainly over, this will be his last regular mention in the Loan Report for 2015-16, but updates on his progress will be provided as and when appropriate.