It was a busy and more productive seven days of action for Liverpool’s loaned men, with Lazar Markovic and Sam Hart particularly impressive.
After a slow start to life at Sporting CP, and a 20-minute cameo role in Tuesday’s Champions League win over Legia Warsaw, Markovic sparked into life by scoring his first goal for the club.
GOLOOOOOO!!! MARKOVIC!!!!!! #DiaDeSporting pic.twitter.com/iSmj3I1o1z
— Sporting Clube de Portugal (@Sporting_CP) October 1, 2016
Starting in a central attacking-midfield role, the Serbian netted the opener in a 3-3 draw with Vitoria Guimaraes, anticipating and following up well to poke home the rebound after the opposition goalkeeper could only parry a stinging drive into Markovic’s path.
It proved the winger’s only telling contribution in an inconsistent performance which saw him withdrawn with 13 minutes left, but it signals a positive step forward after being restricted to substitute outings.
In the Football League, Sam Hart made his full debut for Port Vale in midweek, and marked the occasion with an assist in a 3-1 win over Millwall.
Playing 73 minutes at left midfield rather than his natural position at left-back, Hart sent in pinpoint corner that was headed home by Remie Streete for Vale’s third goal in the win.
That direct contribution was the second goal Hart had been involved in, with an earlier corner also delivered by the youngster eventually being fired home after Millwall failed to clear.
Hart’s promising full debut saw him keep his starting shirt for Saturday’s clash with Coventry City, and despite playing the full 90 minutes of a 2-0 loss, his individual performance remained positive as he earned the Man of the Match award for another strong display.
Very disappointing and poor performance today! Time to build and move forward. Thanks to the fans for voting me man of the match. #pvfc pic.twitter.com/LBPrcGw778
— Sam hart (@Samhart123) October 1, 2016
It was a better week for Liverpool’s Championship loaned goalkeepers, who both emerged unbeaten from midweek and weekend fixtures.
Danny Ward enjoyed two productive outings at Huddersfield Town, helping the Terriers to six points from six, keeping David Wagner’s side in top spot.
The Welshman played his part in a 2-1 win over Rotherham United on Tuesday, turning in a typically assured performance in which he was helpless to prevent his namesake finding his net from close range.
And Ward played his part in Huddersfield’s narrow success at Ipswich Town on Saturday, keeping a third league clean sheet of the season in a 1-0 win.
Behind a well-drilled defence installed by Wagner—the second best in the Championship—Ward was rarely called upon, but he did produce second half saves, displaying good handling and shot-stopping to keep the hosts out.
wasn't pretty but a clean sheet and an international break on top, lovely stuff ????
— Danny Ward (@dan_ward52) October 1, 2016
Adam Bogdan put some poor recent displays behind him to produce two solid performances for Wigan Athletic, starting against Wolverhampton Wanderers in midweek.
The Hungary international turned in a more composed performance in the vital 2-1 win, making a big save at point-blank range in the first half, as well as making some routine stops after the break.
Bogdan built on this assured showing by keeping a clean sheet on Saturday, helping the Latics to a point at Brentford where he had little to do, but a successive improved performance to help Wigan out of the relegation zone is a positive upturn.
Also in the second tier, Ryan Kent enjoyed two strong outings as he grows into an important part of the team at Barnsley.
The winger completed 90 minutes of the 1-1 draw with Aston Villa in which his side rescued a point with a dramatic late equaliser.
But he turned in a mixed display, gifting Villa a chance and almost an early goal after being caught in possession, while also showing the threat he can carry with his dribbling and speed.
Kent retained his place for the Yorkshire derby with Leeds United on Saturday, though couldn’t help his side avoid defeat at Elland Road despite a bright 82-minute showing, in which he created some good chances with impressive wing play before being withdrawn.
Meanwhile in Europe, Taiwo Awoniyi continued in his striking role for NEC Nijmegen in their 1-0 win over Roda JC on Saturday.
The young striker led the line in the narrow success, and he produced some positive moments in his hour-long appearance, creating two chances for his team despite going another game without scoring.
And in Germany, Allan Rodriguez de Souza enjoyed a second appearance for Hertha Berlin on Saturday, featuring in a 2-0 win over Hamburg.
The Brazilian entered up into attacking midfield role after 73 minutes with Hertha two goals up, and he produced a tidy cameo display, keeping things simple as his team saw out the game for the final stages.
Back in the Football League, Ryan Fulton endured a testing week at Chesterfield, conceding four goals in two games at the League One side.
Three of the goals shipped came in an eventful 3-3 draw with Gillingham, with the stopper unable to keep out two penalties, though Fulton may feel he could have done better with the third goal by parrying to safety, though to his credit it came after a good initial reaction save.
And he was unable to prevent his side slipping to defeat on Saturday, going down 1-0 to Bradford, and again Fulton may feel he should have done better with the goal, being beaten at his near post, though it was a thunderous strike which came after some shambolic defending ahead of him.
In League Two, Jack Dunn dropped to the bench in midweek and was restricted to a substitute appearance in Morecambe’s 2-2 draw at Barnet.
The striker entered on 66 minutes at 2-1 down, and helped his side battle back to claim a hard-earned point, despite not directly assisting or scoring himself.
The cameo proved Dunn’s only match action this week, with Morecambe’s game at Notts County on Saturday being abandoned after just 10 minutes due to a waterlogged pitch.
It's a deluge, the ref is coming back out but would be surprised if we restart anytime soon. pic.twitter.com/Ut7LydQpFf
— Morecambe FC (@ShrimpsOfficial) October 1, 2016
Lloyd Jones endured a frustrating week at Swindon Town, playing just 45 minutes for the Robins due to picking up an injury in the first half of his team’s 3-1 loss to Northampton, which subsequently ruled him out of action at the weekend.
And finally, Jon Flanagan‘s wait for first-team action in the Premier League goes on at Burnley, with the Scouser twice an unused substitute for the Turf Moor side this week against Watford and Arsenal.
Liverpool’s Loanees This Week
- Markovic – Sporting – Played 23 mins vs. Legia Warsaw & 73 mins, scoring once vs. Vitoria Guimaraes
- Ward – Huddersfield – Played 90 mins vs. Rotherham & 90 mins, keeping clean sheet vs. Ipswich
- Kent – Barnsley – Played 90 mins vs. Aston Villa & 82 mins vs. Leeds
- Bogdan – Wigan – Played 90 mins vs. Wolves & 90 mins, keeping clean sheet vs. Brentford
- Fulton – Chesterfield – Played 90 mins vs. Gillingham & Bradford
- Jones – Swindon – Played 45 mins vs. Northampton
- Hart – Port Vale – Played 73 mins, assisting vs. Millwall & 90 mins vs. Coventry
- Dunn – Morecambe – Played 24 mins vs. Barnet
- Awoniyi – Nec Nijmegen – Played 60 mins vs. Roda JC
- Allan – Hertha Berlin – Played 17 mins vs. Hamburg
- Flanagan – Burnley – Unused sub vs. Watford & Arsenal
- Wisdom – Salzburg – Unused sub vs. Sturm Graz
Jones became the latest injury absentee after suffering a leg muscle problem, but there was positive news for Andre Wisdom, who returned to the Red Bull Salzburg bench after a thigh tear.