Balotelli nets winner, Grujic scores, Awoniyi assists – Liverpool FC Loan Watch

We round up how the loaned members of Jurgen Klopp’s squad fared for their temporary clubs throughout the last week, with a good amount of action.

Mario Balotelli kicked off a week of positive action by netting the match-winner for AC Milan in their 1-0 Coppa Italia semi-final first leg victory over Alessandria on Tuesday.

The Italy striker played 72 minutes of the tie and he stepped up in typical nerveless fashion to score the winner with a penalty – slotting calmly into the bottom left corner sending the ‘keeper the wrong way to give his side a first leg advantage ahead of Tuesday’s return fixture.

Despite his match-winning display, Balotelli dropped back to the bench for the Milan derby with city rivals Inter on Sunday night at an atmospheric San Siro.

The 25-year-old did come on for the final 13 minutes of Milan’s comprehensive 3-0 win with his side already three goals up, but in typical Balotelli style he was straight into the action, picking up a quick booking before almost adding a fourth with a cushioned volley that was well saved.

Continuing preparations for the recommencing of the league season Marko Grujic and Taiwo Awoniyi enjoyed productive outings with Red Star Belgrade and Frankfurt FSV respectively.

Playing 68 minutes of a 10-2 thrashing of Zarja, the Serbian started the scoring netting the first with a header, before then registering an assist and almost adding a stunning second with a sensational 35-yard strike that cannoned back off the crossbar.

Meanwhile, Awoniyi played twice for the German side in mid-season practice games against Berliner Athletik and Borussia Monchengladbach this week.

In the first of those, the powerful striker posted a clever assist, playing a nicely weighted pass outside the 18-yard box to his teammate who slotted home in the 3-1 win, before he then played the final 20 minutes of the 2-2 draw against Monchengladbach.

Elsewhere in Europe, Lazar Markovic was an unused substitute for a much changed Fenerbahce side for their 0-0 first leg cup draw with Antalyaspor, and he will hope to come back into the XI for the second leg on Tuesday night.

In the Football League, it was a good weekend of action for loaned ‘keepers Lawrence Vigouroux and Ryan Fulton, despite the pair being on the receiving end of negative results.

The Chilean impressed for Swindon in their 1-0 League One defeat to Barnsley, making a couple of good saves in one-on-one situations at the County Ground where he could do nothing about the goal he conceded, being beaten by a free shot from eight yards.

Meanwhile, Fulton impressed in the FA Cup south coast derby for Portsmouth against Premier League Bournemouth, turning in a solid display on the big stage.

Though without much to do for large parts, the Scottish stopper did what he needed to well when called into action, including denying new Cherries’ signing Juan Manuel Iturbe with a superb save, tipping his low drive onto the post.

And while the Scotsman could do nothing about the first conceded, he can count himself extremely unlucky with the second – making a superb initial, reaction stop from Lewis Grabban, only to see his save loop to the back post where Marc Pugh was lurking to nod home.

Back on the continent, Allan Rodrigues made his first start for Sint Truiden in just his second appearance for the club against Anderlecht on Friday night.

The Brazilian played the full 90 minutes of the Pro League 2-1 loss in a central attacking midfield role, where he turned in a quiet display against the title chasers as he finds his feet at his new club and in a new league.

And in Switzerland Samed Yesil played 30 minutes of Luzern’s 1-0 loss to Swiss Challenge League side, Wohlen, struggling to make an impact in their final practice match before they recommence the league campaign against FC Basel next weekend.

It was a week of no action for Liverpool’s other domestic loanees, Andre Wisdom and Sergi Canos.

The Spaniard missed Brentford’s 1-1 draw with Leeds in midweek due to a minor knee injury, before both enjoyed a weekend off with no fixture due to their respective clubs being knocked out of the FA Cup in previous rounds.

Meanwhile, Luis Alberto, who also didn’t play this week, is set to feature for Deportivo La Coruna on Monday night against Rayo Vallecano, which can be viewed on Sky Sports One.

Finally, academy product Will Marsh was left out of Sheffield Wednesday’s 3-2 FA Cup exit to League One Shrewsbury, with the youngster left hoping to build on his goal-scoring display against Bolton for the under-21 side last time out with Nottingham Forest on Tuesday.


Liverpool’s loaned players this week

  • Markovic – Fenerbahce – Unused substitute vs. Antalyaspor
  • Balotelli – AC Milan – 90mins and goal vs. Alessandria & 13mins vs. Internazionale
  • Alberto – Deportivo La Coruna – Plays Monday night vs. Rayo Vallecano
  • Grujic – Red Star Belgrade – Played 68mins, scored & assist vs. Zarja
  • Wisdom – Norwich – No game this week
  • Canos – Brentford – Injured vs. Leeds & No game this weekend
  • Vigouroux – Swindon – Played 90mins vs. Barnsley
  • Fulton – Portsmouth – Played 90mins vs. Bournemouth
  • Allan – Sint Truiden – Played 90mins vs. Anderlecht
  • Yesil – Luzern – Played 30mins vs. Wohlen
  • Awoniyi – Frankfurt – Played 40mins & assist vs. Berliner Athletik & 20mins vs. Monchengladbach
  • Marsh – Sheffield Wednesday – No game



Jordan Williams and Lloyd Jones missed another week of action, though the latter is closing in on a long awaited return to action with the middle of February targeted for his comeback.