Another quiet week on the Loan Report front owes much to those still on extended winter breaks so we lead with another goal from Mario Pašalić as well as news of some changes of scenery for a handful of young Chelsea prospects.
Monaco took on amateur outfit St Jean Beaulieu at home in the French Cup and, as expected, ran out handsome winners. Pašalić came on with twenty minutes left of the eventual 10-2 rout and scored in the closing stages for his team’s ninth goal of the day and his sixth of the season.
In other news, the opening of the January transfer window represented the first opportunity for those players experiencing less-than-ideal loan moves to do something about it and Patrick Bamford was one who wasted no time in addressing his situation. He made the decision to cut short his stay at Crystal Palace this week, describing the half-season spell as “terrible” and he will now turn his attention to securing regular football for the remainder of the 2015-16 season.
Christian Atsu has also returned to Chelsea after playing just twice in the League Cup for Bournemouth. A stress fracture of the back contributed to his absence in the latter part of the calendar year but the Ghanaian has now spent eighteen months on loan at Premier League sides, including last season’s time at Everton, without making so much as a single start. It almost goes without saying that things must improve with his next club.
In more positive news, John Swift’s successful Brentford sojourn has now been extended until the end of the season, and he celebrated with another start on Saturday at Birmingham. He played well but was unfortunately unable to add a win to his week, the Bees going down 2-1.
Nathan Aké served the first of his three-match suspension this weekend and missed out on Watford’s defeat at home to Manchester City, whilst Victor Moses remains out through injured for West Ham. Marco van Ginkel was an unused substitute for Stoke away to West Bromwich Albion.
Michael Hector was also suspended for Reading in Championship action and fellow Royals loanee Lucas Piazon remained on the bench for the duration of their 1-0 win over Bristol City. Tomas Kalas was also an unused substitute for Middlesbrough as they beat Derby County 2-0 to go four points clear at the top of the table, keeping an eight clean sheet in all competitions and ninth in a row at home in the process. The Czech international has contributed towards that outstanding run but not as a first choice and whilst it continued it’ll be hard for him to convince manager Aitor Karanka to break up a successful back four.
Jordan Houghton’s half-season move to Gillingham expired on Sunday and he, like Bamford and Atsu, will now return to Chelsea and assess his options for the second half of the campaign.
Islam Feruz was an unused substitute in Hibs’ 1-0 win at home to Raith Rovers and may well be moving onto newer pastures this month.