We take a look at how Liverpool’s 14 loaned men fared for their temporary clubs throughout the week, with a good – if unproductive – week of action for the loanees.
It was a rare week of positive game time for Taiwo Awoniyi at Frankfurt, with the Nigerian striker making his long-awaited league debut for the 2. Bundesliga side.
Appearing for the first time in the German second division six months after signing for the club, the powerful forward played 89 minutes of FSV’s 3-1 win against St Pauli on Friday, turning in a promising performance in which he had a hand in his side’s second goal of the night.
Involved in a slick team move, Awoniyi showed some intelligent link-up play before setting the ball for a team-mate to strike at goal, with a stunning effort that hit the bar then being rebounded home on the follow-up for the second goal.
And the Reds striker should have had a goal of his own to cap off a promising first outing, but poor finishing when one-on-one on two separate occasions cost him marking his league debut by registering on the scoresheet.
There was also welcome match action for fellow young striker Samed Yesil at the weekend, with the German forward playing 20 minutes of Luzern’s 1-0 loss to St Gallen on Sunday afternoon.
Yesil – who Turkish side Trabzonspor reportedly want to sign when his contract expires this summer – turned in a lively cameo after entering the action in the 73rd minute, and he should have made himself a hero with a perfect impact, only to miss a sitter late on.
Bursting to make the box as play developed down the left, Yesil somehow fired the ball against the crossbar from only six yards out when he looked nailed on to draw his side level – a miss that cost his side the chance of claiming a point.
Often the star performer of the loanees this season, Luis Alberto endured a quieter game this weekend for Deportivo La Coruna, in their 1-0 loss to Espanyol.
The Spanish midfielder played 90 minutes of the defeat in his usual supporting role, but despite impressing with his work rate off the ball, couldn’t produce his usual game-changing influence on proceedings that has seen him become a key man at the Raizor.
Elsewhere in Europe, Marko Grujic started and played the full game for Red Star Belgrade in their 2-1 win over Mladost Lucani on Saturday.
Marking the recommencing of the Super League season by helping his side to three points, Grujic operated in a more advanced-midfield role, where he turned in an overall low-key performance but did go close to scoring, with one effort destined for the bottom corner palmed away.
Marko Grujic will be playing the No. 10 role in Red Star for the rest of the season. The coach has decided to move him behind the ST. #LFC
— Vlasta Stevanovic (@vlstastevanovic) February 21, 2016
But that affords the defender time to recover from a knee injury and hopefully return to action when Leicester City arrive at Carrow Road next Saturday.
In the Championship, Sergi Canos endured an afternoon of frustration with Brentford, playing only the remaining five minutes of their 3-1 loss against Derby County on Saturday, unable to prevent defeat with naturally little time to make an impact.
Canos coming on for Kerschbaumer, only about 85 minutes too late.
— Essential Brentford (@BrentEssential) February 20, 2016
And in the lower leagues, it was another good weekend for the Reds’ loaned goalkeepers, who both impressed for the respective teams.
Lawrence Vigouroux helped Swindon Town to another three points in League One – despite conceding twice in their 3-2 win over Blackpool.
The Chilean was helpless to prevent either goal – a free header from a corner and a penalty – and on an eventful afternoon at the County Ground, made some important saves at crucial moments, providing the catalyst for the Robins’ attack to seal victory at the other end.
And in League Two, Ryan Fulton played the full game for Portsmouth in their 1-1 draw against strugglers Yeovil Town.
The Pompey No. 1 endured a quiet overall afternoon against the relegation battlers at Huish Park, but made two good saves when called into action, and he could do nothing about the goal – an effort that deflected past him off his own defender.
After two starts in a row, Allan Rodrigues was left out of Sint Truident’s matchday squad for their 3-0 loss against Kortrijk, with the Brazilian missing out due to having a scan on an injury.
Meanwhile, academy product Will Marsh was again not involved in Sheffield Wednesday’s U21s game against Coventry on Tuesday.
And finally, Mario Balotelli could feature for AC Milan on Monday night against title chasing Napoli – a game that can be viewed live on BT Sport Europe with kick-off from the San Paolo at 8pm.
Liverpool’s Loaned Men This Week
- Alberto – Deportivo – Played 90 mins vs. Espanyol
- Grujic – Red Star Belgrade – Played 90 mins vs. Mladost Lucani
- Wisdom – Norwich – No game this weekend
- Canos – Brentford – Played 4 mins vs. Derby
- Vigouroux – Swindon – Played 90 mins vs. Blackpool
- Fulton – Portsmouth – Played 90 mins vs. Yeovil
- Allan – Sint Truident – Left out of matchday squad due to injury
- Awoniyi – Frankfurt FSV – Played 89 mins vs. St Pauli
- Yesil – Luzern – Played 20 mins vs. St Gallen
- Marsh – Sheffield Wednesday – N/A
- Balotelli – AC Milan – Could feature on Monday night vs. Napoli