The Loan Report exploded into life this weekend with five goals and plenty of sparkling performances to round up for you. Let’s get straight to it.
Andreas Christensen has earned rave reviews so far for his composed, seasoned displays at the heart of the Borussia Mönchengladbach defence since joining on a two-year loan last summer. Goalscoring has however rarely been his forte, with just five goals in his three developmental seasons at Chelsea, so his brace against Werder Bremen on Friday night caught everybody by surprise.
His first owed much to his ability to sneak up and join an attack relatively unnoticed, allowing him to be on hand to tap in a rebound from close range, whilst his second was in part due to some less than stellar marking from Bremen’s own Chelsea loanee Papy Djilobodji.
Gladbach won 5-1 and although they had a penalty with Christensen having already scored twice, the Dane was not to be afforded the opportunity to complete what would have been the unlikeliest of hat-tricks. He was however very good throughout, whilst the same cannot be said for Djilobodji. He’ll have better days.
At roughly the same time on Friday night but over in Spain, Christian Atsu marked his Málaga debut – and his first league start for any club since September 2014 – by scoring the second goal of their 3-0 win at home to Getafe. It was a routine finish at the end of a slick move but, more than that, it was a timely reminder of his capabilities and extremely helpful to get off to a good start at La Rosaleda.
He was substituted at half time with the result in the bag and his match fitness understandably lacking somewhat, but that will come with regular action he should get on the Costa del Sol.
The hectic goalscoring weekend had a little breather on Saturday before returning with a vengeance on Sunday with Juan Cuadrado the next to get in on the act. With Juventus, who had extended their record winning run in Serie A to thirteen games in midweek, toiling away to Frosinone, the Colombian (who played every minute of both matches this week) put his team ahead with this smart close-range finish.
Paulo Dybala added a second late on to keep Juventus two points behind Napoli ahead of their colossal meeting next week.
Not long after that, Marco van Ginkel grabbed his first goal in a PSV shirt. His debut had come on Thursday in a surprise Dutch Cup defeat at home to Utrecht – and he was arguably lucky not to have been sent off for a rash tackle – but in the Eredivisie meetings between the two sides at Utrecht’s Galgenwaard Stadion, he stepped up and finished with this opportune effort.
And finally, whilst he didn’t score, Charly Musonda absolutely stole the show on his debut for Real Betis against Valencia on Sunday afternoon. Starting on the right wing but given some licence to move into central areas with and without possession, he started confidently and grew as the game went on.
He proved a regular menace during the second half and was twice fouled by Jose Gaya leading to the talented Valencia left-back’s early dismissal, whilst midfielder Wilfried Zahibo was lucky not to follow for the same offences. He had a hand in Ruben Castro’s only goal and was named man of the match for his efforts.
Here’s how he got Gaya sent off:
Patrick Bamford made his Norwich City debut as a 56th-minute substitute for Norwich away to Aston Villa and although the Canaries lost 2-0, he did at least show one or two good things that may bode well for more regular selection going forward. He was well-placed for what would’ve been a likely goal had Russell Martin not opted to go for it himself and was in place to do the same had other moves come off.
Victor Moses played an hour of West Ham’s defeat at Southampton having played just a few token minutes at the end of their midweek win over Aston Villa, and Nathan Aké played the full ninety minutes at Tottenham for Watford four days after missing out against parent club Chelsea due to Premier League rules.
John Swift played the full match as Brentford lost 3-0 to Brighton on Friday night but there was no action for Lucas Piazon or Michael Hector in either of Reading’s matches this week. Tomas Kalas played the second half of Middlesbrough’s 1-1 draw with Blackburn, coming on for Dani Ayala at the break.
Alex Kiwomya played an hour for Fleetwood against Shrewsbury on Sunday having become a father for the first time earlier in the week, but there was no action this weekend for Mitchell Beeney with Newport County’s match against Barnet postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.
It hasn’t been a stellar 2016 for Vitesse so far and it got worse this week with a defeat away to AZ Alkmaar and two more injuries to Chelsea youngsters. Dominic Solanke missed out having been the victim of a crude tackle from behind last week and whilst that meant starts for both Izzy Brown and Lewis Baker in a reshuffled side by Rob Maas, Brown too picked up a knock during the second half and hobbled off prematurely.
Baker played the full match but was quiet by his standards whilst Nathan, who saw a quarter of an hour from the bench, was just as anonymous. Danilo Pantic was absent from the squad after rumours that he was seeking a move to Portugal on deadline day; with that failing to materialise it remains to be seen whether the young Serbian will feature going forward.
The defeat leaves Vitesse in eighth and outside the European qualification places. Todd Kane and NEC Nijmegen remain fifth after a draw at De Graafschap; the young full-back returned to the side after suspension and played well, picking up another customary yellow card along the way of course.
There was a double helping of Ligue 1 action this week too with a slight uptick in involvement for both Mario Pašalić and Jeremie Boga. Pašalić started home matches against both Bastia and Nice and was useful if unremarkable in both outings, completing 67 minutes on each occasion before heading off. Boga, meanwhile, played a mature and confident hour for Rennes vs Saint-Etienne on Thursday but only ten from the bench in their 1-1 draw at Lille on Sunday.
With Cuadrado off taking his share of the headlines, there was little else of note on the peninsula as Stipe Perica (Udinese) and Nathaniel Chalobah (Napoli) combined for a single minute of action over the past seven days. That was earned by Chalobah, who was an 89th-minute substitute in a 2-0 win at Lazio.
Sint-Truiden headed to Liege for an away fixture at Standard without the significant influence of Victorien Angban in their midfield. The Ivorian was handed a six-match ban for his dismissal against Anderlecht – his second of the season – and it meant that Cristian Cuevas was the only loanee starting for STVV with Joao Rodriguez still nursing a medial knee ligament injury. He was substituted at half time.
Mouscron lost to Genk on Saturday with Cristian Manea once again nowhere to be seen.
Marko Marin played a full match as Trabzonspor lost 2-1 away to Akhisar Belediyespor, whilst Kenneth Omeruo and Kasimpasa host Genclerbirligi on Monday night. Should he get up to anything of note, you’ll be kept well-informed on Twitter @chelseayouth.
Gremio host Coritiba in a Primeira Liga fixture later this evening. If Wallace’s involvement amounts to anything, like Omeruo, you’ll be kept apprised of the situation.