We round up how Liverpool’s loanees fared for their temporary clubs throughout the week – with a productive, if limited, seven days of action.
Mario Balotelli earned a recall to the AC Milan starting XI after his bright cameo last time out, and he marked an influential performance with an assist in a 2-1 loss to Juventus.
Leading the Rossoneri attack alongside Carlos Bacca, the Italy striker was denied firing his side ahead with a free-kick by a stunning save from Gianluigi Buffon – so moments later, he turned provider instead, delivering a pinpoint corner which was powerfully headed home by Alex.
Carrying the fight for Sinisa Mihajlovic’s side, Balotelli was sensationally denied again by Buffon who somehow kept out his close-range effort, before the Italian attempted to bundle home the follow-up with a Maradona-esque ‘Hand of God’ disguise which, this time, was spotted.
Though he exited without a goal to his name after 76 minutes, it was a really positive, all-action performance from Balotelli.
Taiwo Awoniyi continued his positive second half of season form in Germany, posting an assist in Frankfurt’s heavy 4-1 loss against Bochum on Saturday.
The Nigerian used his raw pace and power perfectly for the set-up, as he picked up the ball in his own half before driving forward, bursting past opponents and teeing up team-mate Dani Schahin to strike FSV ahead after just three minutes.
It would prove the only positive in a poor team display – though Awoniyi at least got another full 90 minutes under his belt.
In the Championship, it was a positive week for youngster Sergi Canos at Brentford.
Despite coming off the bench to score last weekend, Canos had to settle for a place on the bench in Tuesday’s 3-1 win over Bolton, but he did come on for the final 20 minutes like in his previous goal-scoring outing – though didn’t have the same impact with his side already three goals up.
Two bright cameo appearances saw the Spaniard handed a starting berth on Saturday and he helped the Bees to an impressive 3-1 win over Ipswich.
Playing from his usual right-sided role, Canos produced a typically hard-working and creative display coming close to finding the net twice – once after striking just wide after a brilliant solo run from one end of the pitch to the other, and again when another determined run saw his strike deflected onto the crossbar.
However, the teenager was unable to complete the full 90, withdrawn with 15 minutes remaining due to an impact injury.
In a strange set of events, there were headlines made for off-pitch reasons this week as Marko Grujic missed two more Red Star Belgrade games due to injury – which the Serbian reportedly claims has been misdiagnosed and worsened as a result.
Grujic was misdiagnosed and given the wrong treatment for injury. LFC not happy! He might travel to Liverpool for further treatment. #LFC
— Vlasta Stevanovic (@vlstastevanovic) April 8, 2016
Originally thought to be a minor issue, Grujic, by his own admission, “trained harder” which has naturally aggravated the injury and reportedly caused frustration at Anfield due to the mistreatment, which could result in him heading to Merseyside earlier than expected for therapy.
— Vlasta Stevanovic (@vlstastevanovic) April 9, 2016
However, Red Star moved to release a statement confirming the midfielder is “recovering well” and will return to training soon.
Red Star have released the statement: "Marko Grujic is recovering well & will remain in Belgrade & start to train with the team soon". #LFC
— Nemanja Grbi? (@Nemcy85) April 10, 2016
Back to the match action, after making surprise return to the team last week for their win over Newcastle United, Andre Wisdom kept his place in Alex Neil’s XI for the Canaries’ narrow 1-0 Premier League defeat to Crystal Palace.
The Reds defender positively completed the full 90 minutes at right-back, but he turned in a mixed display, lacking any real attacking endeavour but producing a relatively strong defensive performance despite enduring some nervy moments.
Elsewhere in Europe, Allan Rodrigues enjoyed another outing for Sint Truiden in their 1-1 draw against Charleroi on Saturday.
The Brazilian, who started on the left of the Belgian side’s midfield, struggled to make an impact with his only telling contributing collecting a yellow card – culminating in his early withdrawal after 66 minutes with team trailing 1-0.
In Switzerland, Samed Yesil‘s hat-trick for Luzern’s reserve side last weekend earned him a recall to first-team duties as they took on Grasshopper on Saturday night.
The German striker was named among the substitutes by boss Markus Babbel – and that’s disappointingly where he stayed despite his perfect goalscoring performance seven days ago.
It was a weekend of no action for the Reds lower-league loaned men in the Football League.
Lloyd Jones was left of Blackpool’s squad for their 1-0 loss to strugglers Colchester after the young defender played and scored for Liverpool’s U21s in the week – likely to be his limit for action as he comes back from a long injury lay-off.
And in League Two, Ryan Fulton was surprisingly not included in the Portsmouth squad for the 4-1 win at Dagenham & Redbridge, with the Reds’ ‘keeper replaced on the bench by experienced stopper Brian Murphy – despite no injury being publicly cited.
And finally, Luis Alberto is likely to be in action on Monday night when his Deportivo La Coruna side take on Las Palmas – a game that can be watched live on Sky Sports 2 with kickoff at 7:30pm.
Liverpool’s Loaned Men in Action
- Balotelli – AC Milan – Played 76 mins & assisted vs. Juventus
- Wisdom – Norwich – Played 90 mins vs. Crystal Palace
- Canos – Brentford – Played 20 mins vs. Bolton & 74mins vs. Ipswich
- Awoniyi – Frankfurt FSV – Played 90 mins & assisted vs. Bochum
- Allan – Sint Truidense – Played 66 mins vs. Charleroi
- Yesil – Luzern – Unused substitute vs. Grasshopper
- Jones – Blackpool – Left out of matchday squad
- Fulton – Portsmouth – Left out of matchday squad
- Alberto – Deportivo La Coruna – Monday night vs. Las Palmas
As well as Grujic being out, Lawrence Vigouroux and Jordan Williams both missed another week of action, while Lazar Markovic is set to miss the rest of the campaign due to a hamstring injury.