We take a look at how Liverpool’s loaned men fared for their current clubs across the week, with a positive amount of action for the majority.
After producing an excellent assist on Monday night, Luis Alberto continued his fine form for Deportivo La Coruna in their 1-1 draw with Sporting Gijon on Saturday.
The in-form attacking midfielder typically impressed in the 82 minutes he played as the central figure in Depor’s attacking midfield, finding the net for the second time in as many games, taking his tally to five goals and four assists in 14 starts.
With his side trailing, Alberto fired Depor level just before half-time, driving a stunning finish into the top corner after being set up by Lucas Perez, who he has established an excellent partnership with at the Raizor.
Finalising preparations for the recommencing of the Serbian league season, Marko Grujic netted a tidy brace for Red Star Belgrade in their friendly against Atlantas on Saturday.
From his central-midfield role, the 19-year-old demonstrated his finishing abilities by tucking away two calm finishes from inside the box, following up sharply from the ‘keeper’s initial save to knock home the first.
The second was certainly more impressive, despite being a straightforward finish, with Grujic making a good run beyond the attack to receive a through pass, which he allowed to run across his body before poking home.
After coming off the bench in Fenerbahce’s 1-0 cup win last weekend, Lazar Markovic returned to the starting XI for his side’s 4-2 Super Lig loss against Antalyaspor on Friday.
But it proved a night of frustration for the Serbian, who – after turning in a quiet display and picking up a booking – tore his thigh muscle late on in the loss.
Markovic is now facing a spell on the sidelines, reported to be between two and four weeks.
In Italy, Mario Balotelli kicked off two games of action with a substitute appearance in AC Milan’s 2-0 away win over Palermo on Wednesday.
The Italian entered with 15 minutes remaining, with Milan two goals up and naturally little time to make an impact, but he did nearly add a third – firing a powerful strike over the crossbar in a mature cameo performance.
And on Sunday, Balotelli played 45 minutes of Milan’s 1-1 draw with Udinese, producing a quiet performance which saw him come in for criticism after the game, though boss Sinisa Mihajlovic jumped to his defence, confirming that the striker is still finding fitness after injury.
In the English leagues, it was a week of mixed action for the Reds plying their trade across the four divisions.
In the top flight, Andre Wisdom was left out of both of Norwich City’s squads for their defeats to Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa, but there was a welcome return to action for Sergi Canos in the Championship.
The Spaniard was back for Brentford on Friday night as the Bees were beaten 3-0 by Brighton & Hove Albion, with the teenager playing the final half-hour of the loss in his right-sided role, but he struggled to make an impact in a poor team display.
More positively however, there was better action in the lower leagues for the Reds’ loaned goalkeepers.
Lawrence Vigouroux played twice for Swindon Town in League One, picking up one point from six available, but keeping a welcome clean sheet.
In the midweek 1-0 loss at Port Vale, the Chilean endured a mixed night; unable to prevent the goal conceded and stopping more being scored with two good saves in particular, but almost costing his side a second, spilling a routine strike which was hacked clear.
But Vigouroux kept an impressive clean sheet on Saturday against promotion hopefuls, Gillingham, despite turning in another mixed individual display.
The youngster almost cost his side a goal again, after his poor kick eventually saw only the woodwork prevent the Gills scoring, but he did make up for his uncertainty by pulling off a fantastic reflex stop to keep the score goalless.
Good hard earned point in very tough conditions today, happy with the clean sheet as well! We go again against Colchester next week.. #STFC
— Lawrence Vigouroux (@LawrenceV93) February 6, 2016
Meanwhile, Ryan Fulton enjoyed an eventful week of action for League Two side Portsmouth.
Having comically conceded a stoppage-time equaliser to Morecambe’s goalkeeper on Tuesday night, the Scottish stopper was made to wait again as he searches for a first clean sheet, and victory, for Pompey.
Fulton’s side narrowly lost out 1-0 to fellow promotion chasers Leyton Orient, with the ‘keeper beaten by an unstoppable long-range strike on an afternoon he impressed with a solid overall display, making some important saves.
Back in Europe, Allan Rodrigues started his second game in a row for Sint Truident, in an impressive 2-1 win against Standard Liege on Sunday afternoon.
The Brazilian completed 90 minutes of the victory, playing in a central attacking-midfield role, though he didn’t register a goal or assist, picking up a booking late on as his side held on for three points.
It was a weekend of no action for strikers Samed Yesil and Taiwo Awoniyi.
Yesil was an unused substitute for Luzern in their 3-0 loss to Basel on Sunday, while Awoniyi remained on the bench as FSV Frankfurt drew 1-1 with Karlsruher as the respective leagues reconvened after the winter break.
Finally, academy product Will Marsh was left out Sheffield Wednesday’s first-team games this week, and also missed the Owls’ 2-0 U21 defeat to Nottingham Forest.
In terms of injuries, Jordan Williams continues to be sidelined, but there’s better news for Lloyd Jones, who has made a welcome return to full training as he closes in on a comeback.
Liverpool’s Loaned Players This Week
- Markovic – Fenerbahce – Played 90 mins vs. Antalyaspor
- Balotelli – AC Milan – Played 15 mins vs. Palermo & 45 mins vs. Udinese
- Alberto – Deportivo La Coruna – Played 90 mins vs. Rayo Vallecano & 82 mins vs. Sporting Gijon, scoring against both
- Wisdom – Norwich – Left out of matchday squad
- Grujic – Red Star Belgrade – Played 60 mins & scored two vs. Atlantas
- Canos – Brentford – Played 30 mins vs. Brighton
- Vigouroux – Swindon – Played 90 mins vs. Port Vale & Gillingham
- Fulton – Portsmouth – Played 90 mins vs. Morecambe & Leyton Orient
- Allan – Sint Truident – Played 90 mins vs. Standard Liege
- Yesil – Luzern – Unused sub vs. Basel
- Awoniyi – Frankfurt – Unused sub vs. Karlsruher
- Marsh – Sheffield Wednesday – N/A
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