It’s been a very busy week on the loan front, with goals flying in left, right, and centre. With so much to cover, let’s dive straight in.
The Eredivisie was responsible for the majority of our headlines, and it began with Bertrand Traore opening the scoring in Ajax’s 4-1 win against AZ Alkmaar in midweek. Playing as a centre-forward in the continued absence of the injured Kasper Dolberg, the Burkinabe forward once again showed that he is far better in that position than further out wide as, on Saturday, he weighed in with two more away to NEC Nijmegen to move him into double-figures for the season with 11.
Not to be outdone, Marco van Ginkel also contributed a brace as PSV hammered Willem II 5-0 on Sunday. He now has fifteen goals in 24 appearances across his two spells in Eindhoven, along with four assists, and continues to prove that he is far, far too good to be playing at that level.
The other two-goal haul of the week belonged to Tammy Abraham, who laid Wolves to the sword as Bristol City earned a much-needed 3-1 win. It took him to 21 league goals for the season (24 in all competitions), and in turn he became the first teenager in several decades (at least as far back as the 1980s, before further research is done) to reach that landmark in England’s second tier. Congratulations to him.
Our seventh and final goal of the week came from Mario Pasalic, who scored the second of four as AC Milan beat Palermo 4-0. It was his second goal in as many outings, having equalised away to Pescara last week for the Rossoneri.
Loic Remy, as is always the case, is currently injured at Crystal Palace. In the Championship, Kasey Palmer and Izzy Brown remain on the treatment table at Huddersfield Town but manager David Wagner expects them both to be able to feature over the upcoming and crucial Easter period.
Fulham welcomed Lucas Piazon back from a broken jaw well ahead of schedule for their midweek trip to Derby; he started with Tomas Kalas but the Cottagers were beaten 4-2 through making a series of errors, one of which was Kalas conceding a penalty (which was saved, but they conceded from the ensuing corner). He was much better in the 3-1 win over Ipswich on Saturday, whilst Piazon came on as a late substitute.
Fikayo Tomori helped Brighton to two of three wins in six days as he was pressed into emergency action against Birmingham on Tuesday as Lewis Dunk went off with a first-half illness. Playing in his favoured centre-back position for the first time, he earned plenty of praise from the Seagulls’ supporters, who have also recognised his strong mentality and work rate to come through when needed after struggling in his first few outings for the club. He followed that up by doing the same as a half-time Dunk replacement at QPR on Friday, Brighton winning again by a 2-1 scoreline.
They currently lead Newcastle by two points in the chase for the title after the Magpies lost 2-1 at Sheffield Wednesday; Christian Atsu was a 72nd-minute substitute there after playing 89 hard-working minutes in a 1-0 win over Burton in midweek.
In League One, the momentus news of the week came in the form of a first Charlton start for Jay Dasilva against MK Dons. The Addicks lost 2-0 but Dasilva was one of only two players to come out of the match with any credit, and so he retained his place for Saturday’s 2-1 win over Southend.
Swindon are also doing their darndest to pull off an unlikely late escape from relegation; their last-gasp equaliser against MK Dons leaves them three points adrift with three to play. As has been increasingly the case this month, Charlie Colkett and Fankaty Dabo started and played well.
Jake Clarke-Salter also started as Bristol Rovers won 1-0 at AFC Wimbledon; the classy left-footed defender played on the left of a back three and completed 71 minutes as he works his way back to fitness after four months out.
It would be remiss not to begin our League Two round-up by congratulating Jordan Houghton and Doncaster United on their promotion to League One. The midfielder had played more minutes in the division than any other outfield player at the time of his season-ending injury and played a huge role in their rise back to the third tier.
Jamal Blackman and Wycombe Wanderers are looking to join them by sneaking into the playoffs, but a 3-3 draw at home to Cheltenham didn’t help their cause. Alex Kiwomya, though, was an unused substitute as Crewe lost at Accrington.
Nathan Baxter was on the bench for Solihull Moors for the second match in a row.
Jeremie Boga got all ninety minutes as Granada drew 0-0 at Deportivo, but was left on the bench for the trip to Valencia, fortunately getting on after 33 minutes due to injury. Victorien Angban did not play in either match.
Juan Cuadrado played 66 minutes of Juventus’ 2-0 cruise over Chievo.
Andreas Christensen set a new Bundesliga season record in midweek as he completed more than 98% of his passes in Gladbach’s 1-0 win over Hertha Berlin, adding the clean sheet for good measure. It was a more frenetic affair at Augsburg on Saturday, but he still emerged on the winning side 3-2.
— Nizaar Kinsella (@NizaarKinsella) April 6, 2017
Michael Hector missed out on both of Eintracht Frankfurt’s matches.
Vitesse are still well on course for a top-five finish after wins over Heracles (1-0) and Heerenveen (4-2) this week. Lewis Baker, though, was quiet, but Matt Miazga continues to grow in stature at centre-back and was praised by manager Henk Fraser for adapting better to the Eredivisie this week. Nathan started both matches, completing 90 in the former, whilst Mukhtar Ali got a brief run-out against Heracles as well.
Danilo Pantic was an unused substitute for both of Excelsior’s matches.
Cristian Cuevas was an unused substitute for Sint-Truiden against Standard Liege, as was Matej Delac for Mouscron against Eupen.
Kenneth Omeruo played the full match as Alanyaspor beat Gaziantepspor 3-2.
There was no match this week for Miro Muheim and FC Zurich.
Wallace actually played this week for Gremio in a 1-0 win over América Mineiro, coming on just before half time for Léo Gomes and helping them to victory.
Joao Rodriguez didn’t play for Cortuluá in the Copa Colombia but is expected to be involved on Monday in the league against La Equidad.