The French league returned from its winter break this week and it brought with it a pair of Jeremie Boga goals to savour in another productive week on the loan front.
The first of them came on Monday night in Rennes’ French Cup tie away to Nice. Boga scored the first of his team’s two goals in applying a simple finish to a smart team move and, with the match finishing 2-2 after extra time, then went on to convert his penalty en route to a shootout victory.
He not only kept his place for the weekend fixture against Lorient but he was given his favoured spot on the left side of attack for the first time. By way of repaying manager Philippe Montanier’s faith in him, he did this just before half time:
It helped Rennes turn around an early two-goal deficit to earn a point and he’s very much their form player right now with talisman Paul-Georges Ntep still injured. It’s the best way to start 2016 for a young talent with much expected of him.
Over in Italy, Stipe Perica is also picking up form and celebrated Epiphany on Tuesday with his third goal of the season for Udinese. The first came against Atalanta in the Coppa Italia just before Christmas with a powerful header and he repeated the tricky against the same opposition with another aerial effort this week.
Udinese have the option to turn his eighteen-month loan spell into a permanent stay for a few million Euros and if he can keep his form going (he didn’t score against Carpi on Saturday, however), few would bet against the financially-savvy Zebretti taking up their option.
It was a fairly quiet weekend in the top flight with just Marco van Ginkel involved. He sat out Stoke’s League Cup Semi Final first leg defeat to Liverpool but played the full match as Mark Hughes’ side won at Doncaster Rovers in the FA Cup, but Nathan Aké was suspended for Watford’s win over Newcastle and Victor Moses is still injured for West Ham.
John Swift played the full match as Brentford were knocked out by Walsall whilst Tomas Kalas played the full match as Middlesbrough were upset 2-1 at home to Burnley. Lucas Piazon came on for the last twenty minutes as Reading drew 2-2 at Huddersfield, claiming an assist to help his team’s cause, but Michael Hector missed out altogether.
Mario Pašalić was an unused substitute as Monaco drew 2-2 at home to Gazelec Ajaccio.
Nathaniel Chalobah finally made his Serie A debut for Napoli in the closing stages of their midweek win over Napoli and then saw another quarter of an hour in similar circumstances as Napoli beat Frosinone 5-1 on Sunday. Coach Mauricio Sarri has been enamoured with his development so far and has now been keen to give him a little bit more playing time than he had previously been getting.
Juan Cuadrado was an unused substitute in Juventus’ 3-0 stroll over Verona on Epiphany and then just under half an hour from the bench away to Sampdoria on Sunday.
There was no Islam Feruz for Hibernian again this weekend and his loan spell at Easter Road is likely to be cut short in the near future.
Marko Marin played the full match as Trabzonspor beat Adanaspor 3-0 in the Turkish Cup.
Everybody else remains on their extended winter breaks, although Dominic Solanke did strike twice for Vitesse in a 2-1 win over Anderlecht in a friendly in Spain. The goals don’t count towards our season-long total – currently at 40 – but here’s some bonus material for you to enjoy nonetheless.