LILLE, FRANCE - Thursday, October 23, 2014: Lille OSC's Divock Origi in action against Everton during the UEFA Europa League Group H match at Stade Pierre-Mauroy. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool Loan Watch – The First-Team Season Review

Ben Twelves rounds up how Liverpool’s first-team loanees performed for their respective temporary clubs this season, with a mixed bag of fortunes to discuss.

LILLE, FRANCE - Thursday, October 23, 2014: Lille OSC's Divock Origi in action against Everton during the UEFA Europa League Group H match at Stade Pierre-Mauroy. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

While Liverpool often utilise the loan system to provide their academy stars with vital experience, several first-team players were provided with temporary moves this season—for a variety of reasons.

Ranging from exercises in gaining experience to shop-window spells, Liverpool sent seven first-team players out on loan in 2014/15.

But how did they perform at their respective loan clubs?

Here’s an overview of the fortunes of Divock Origi, Iago Aspas and Co., with a measurement of each player’s success away from Merseyside.


Divock Origi – Lille, 37 appearances, 9 goals, 3 assists (All competitions)

Liverpool’s £10 million man endured a mixed campaign for Lille, who finished a respectable 8th in Ligue 1.

The Belgian was the focal point for Rene Girard’s attack, where he showed in a strong start to the season some of his undeniable potential.

But after disappointing spells through a loss of form—including no goal for over 1200 minutes—the youngster was on the end of boos and experiencing a tough time.

Receiving stick for a perceived lack of effort and goals, Girard lessened Origi’s minutes after the turn of the year with pressure getting to the Belgian. But as the team improved, Origi’s form did too and he finished the season with nine goals—including a hat-trick against Rennes—and three assists to his name in 26 starts.

Origi was recently named in Ligue 1’s Worst Team of the Year—a very harsh accolade—but after a season of learning curves, the Belgium international will undoubtedly be looking forward to arriving and impressing at Anfield.

Was the loan a success? No


Iago Aspas – Sevilla, 25 appearances, 10 goals, 2 assists

Overall, Aspas enjoyed a half-decent loan at Sevilla, where he picked up a Europa League winners’ medal.

The former Celta Vigo man is set to turn his move into a permanent one for a fee of around £5million according to reports.

It wouldn’t be a bad deal for all parties with the Europa League holders signing a proven La Liga striker and a handy back-up option as he’s showed this season.

Aspas largely played second and even third fiddle to preferred front duo Carlos Bacca and Kevin Gameiro, and therefore his league outings were limited to only four starts and 12 substitute appearances, though the Reds loanee did impressively bag two goals in that limited action.

Copa del Rey and early European fixtures saw Aspas receive more minutes, and score more goals too as he notched eight across the tournaments, taking his tally to double figures and three assists in all competitions in only 16 starts—impressive figures considering the sporadic game time.

Was the loan a success? Yes

Luis Alberto – Malaga, 20 appearances, 2 goals, 2 assists

After a frustrating season at Anfield, a loan to Malaga seemed to be the perfect move for Luis Alberto to impress and return next season ready to make an impact.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 5, 2014: Liverpool's Luis Alberto in action against Oldham Athletic during the FA Cup 3rd Round match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

But it didn’t go to plan for the attacking midfielder, who found his match minutes severely limited, enduring lengthy periods out of the team and not even in Javi Gracia’s match-day squad.

Alberto started only six league matches, making 15 appearances all season alongside scoring two league goals before not being picked again since March.

When the creative midfielder did play he looked promising, with his highlight of the season coming against Elche where he came off the bench to make an immediate impact scoring an excellent winning goal, just 27 seconds after coming on in a 2-1 victory.

After a largely unimpressive season, the 22-year-old is likely to leave Anfield this summer.

Was the loan a success? No


Sebastian Coates – Sunderland, 13 appearances, 0 goals, 0 assists

After impressing in pre-season there were calls for Brendan Rodgers to hand Sebastian Coates the chance to impress.

But it never came, which prompted the Uruguayan to move to Sunderland for the season.

PRESTON, ENGLAND - Saturday, July 19, 2014: Liverpool's Sebastian Coates in action against Preston North End during a preseason friendly match at Deepdale Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Like Rodgers, Black Cats boss Gus Poyet didn’t hand the composed defender a proper run in the side, instead opting for the experience of Wes Brown and John O’Shea.

After being thrown in minutes before kick-off for the Tyne-Wear derby at St James’ Park, however, Coates deputised superbly putting in arguably his best display in English football.

Though he impressed, it wasn’t long until Coates was back amongst the subs under Poyet, but his fortunes changed when Dick Advocaat took charge.

The Dutch manager brought the 24-year-old into the side, and he played a key role in helping drag Sunderland to safety—featuring in all of the last six games which included only one defeat and impressive wins over Southampton and Everton.

He was central to the Black Cats’ 0-0 draw against Arsenal in May—a point which confirmed safety.

Such was his impressive end to the season under a manager that showed confidence in him, reports now claim that the Wearside Club want to make Coates’ move a permanent one—something he is reportedly open to.

Was the loan a success? Yes

Joao Carlos Teixeira – Brighton, 35 appearances, 6 goals, 4 assists

Loaned as part of Sami Hyypia’s Liverpool connection, Joao Carlos Teixeira enjoyed a good season at Championship side Brighton and Hove Albion.

In a struggling team under the Finnish manager, Teixeira was often the shining light as the Seagulls quickly found themselves in a relegation battle—something that would see the former Reds centre-back resign in December, with Chris Hughton replacing him.

Under Hughton, the Portuguese playmaker also impressed.

There were spells of limited game time—perhaps to be expected in the brutality of a relegation fight.

But despite that, the Reds-loaned man still posted impressive figures in the minutes he did play, scoring 6 goals and grabbing three assists in 27 league starts, while playing as a No. 10 or on the left in a 4-2-3-1 for a team that struggled all season.

The Portuguese midfielder’s loan sadly came to a premature end after he suffered an unfortunate leg-break on his 32nd appearance against Huddersfield Town.

But his good work all season was rightly recognised as he won Brighton’s Young Player of the Year award, as well as Liverpool’s Academy Players’ Player of the Year award.

Was the loan a success? Yes


Andre Wisdom – West Brom, 26 appearances, 0 goals, 1 assist

It was very much a season of two halves for Andre Wisdom on his second successive campaign-long loan move, this time at West Bromwich Albion.

Almost an ever-present under Alan Irvine under whom he grabbed an assist while playing 19 of 20 Premier League games—missing only for the Baggies’ defeat at Anfield—fortunes took a turn for the worse when the man who signed him was sacked in January and Tony Pulis entered the Hawthorns.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 20, 2012: Liverpool's Andre Wisdom in action against Reading during the Premiership match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Reds-loaned defender made only five more starts in all competitions at right back where he turned in inconsistent performances—something that saw the Liverpool defender fail to win large parts of the Albion fanbase, and Pulis, over.

After being hauled off after an hour against Spurs in January, Wisdom failed to make another start, featuring only twice from the bench for the rest of the campaign.

His half-season struggles seemingly haven’t shaken Liverpool’s confidence after they agreed a new extended contract with the defender this week.

Having now returned to Anfield for an important pre-season, Wisdom will be looking to cement a place for himself in the Liverpool squad.

Was the loan a success? Yes


Tiago Ilori – Bordeaux, 15 appearances, 1 goal, 0 assists

With hopes and expectations high surrounding Portuguese centre back Tiago Ilori’s Anfield future, it’s been a somewhat frustrating and disappointing season in France.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 5, 2013: Liverpool's Tiago Ilori warm-up before the Premiership match against Crystal Palace at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Ilori’s move to Bordeaux started extremely brightly as he commanded a place at centre back in the team almost instantly.

But throughout the season he has struggled with injuries, and found himself way out of the first-team setup and even lining up for the reserve side on occasions.

The £7 million defender endured irregular match involvement as a result of up and down fortunes—he made just 12 appearances in Ligue 1, managing to find the net once.

But more positively, he has continued to receive international recognition, playing twice for Portugal U21s, in a 1-0 loss to Czech Republic and a goalless draw with Denmark.

High hopes still remain that the 22-year-old can make a positive impression on Merseyside after loan spells in Spain and France, and the man himself has made no secret of the fact he wants to prove his worth, making for an interesting pre-season ahead.

Was the loan a success? No

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Statistics via WhoScored.

Which Liverpool loanees should return to the first-team squad next season? Let us know in the comments below.