Liverpool’s remaining 10 loanees enjoyed more match action at their temporary clubs this week, but there was frustration as most struggled.
The right-back started in his natural role, where he played 81 minutes and produced a steady but underwhelming display before being replaced for the final minutes with his side already 2-0 down.
Part of a defensive unit put under pressure for large parts of the game, Flanagan’s defending didn’t particularly inspire at the Britannia Stadium.
This was especially the case for Stoke’s second goal, as the Scouser was roasted on the outside by Marko Arnautovic, who crossed for Marc Muniesa to double the home side’s lead.
It was a solid week for the Reds’ Championship loanees, who endured mixed fortunes with results at their respective clubs.
Ryan Kent returned to Barnsley’s starting lineup on Saturday and marked his comeback with an all-action display in an impressive 3-0 win over Birmingham City.
The young winger started on the left wing, and opened his afternoon by picking up an early booking after three minutes for diving—going to ground too easily in search of a penalty as he burst into the box.
Kent then almost opened the scoring, seeing a fine low strike on his left foot brilliantly tipped around the post, and with his side ahead, he came within a whisker of adding a second—this time cutting inside on his left and curling just over the bar.
That proved the 20-year-old’s last contribution as he was withdrawn five minutes before time with Barnsley 2-0 up.
Also in the second tier, Danny Ward continued as Huddersfield’s No. 1 with two outings but was left frustrated as his side took only one point from six.
The ‘keeper suffered defeat on Monday night as he was unable to prevent a 2-1 loss against Wigan Athletic, but Ward’s overall performance was good despite defeat.
In a game Huddersfield controlled, Ward made some good saves when called upon, but though well beaten for the first, he may feel he could have done better with the second—rushing out without fully committing to a one-on-one, allowing Yanic Wildschut to round him and finish easily.
In his second game, Ward helped Huddersfield to a point against Blackburn Rovers on Saturday, producing a solid display in a 1-1 draw.
Ward’s side dominated vast chunks of the contest, meaning he invariably had very little to do at Ewood Park, but despite hardly being called into action he couldn’t keep out Rovers’ equalising effort, which came from the penalty spot.
It was a slightly more positive week for Liverpool’s European loanees, with all but one of the Reds stationed on the continent playing for their current clubs.
After a spell of being uninvolved, Lazar Markovic made a welcome return to action, featuring twice for Sporting CP.
In the first of those, the Serbian completed a full 90 minutes for the first time this season in Sporting’s 1-0 Taca Da Liga victory over Arouca on Wednesday.
Deployed in an advanced wide-right role, Markovic turned in a composed but quiet overall display—though he did create a clear-cut chance for his side to kill the game late on which went to waste following a poor finish from his impressive driving run and pass.
The 22-year-old dropped back to the bench for Saturday’s league clash against Setbul, and had to make do with a less-than-brief substitute appearance, entering for the final five minutes of a routine 2-0 win.
Taiwo Awoniyi was restricted to a cameo appearance this weekend, featuring as a late substitute for NEC Nijmegen in their 2-0 loss against Heracles on Friday.
With NEC trailing 1-0, Awoniyi was thrown on for the final 10 minutes as his side searched for an equaliser, but the Nigerian was unable to provide the inspiration as the home side scored a second to wrap up the game three minutes after he came on.
In Germany, Allan Rodrigues was similarly restricted to a substitute appearance in Hertha Berlin’s 3-2 Bundesliga win at Wolfsburg.
The talented 20-year-old entered for the final 10 minutes of an entertaining fixture with the score balanced at 2-2, and he was tidy in his work but had little time to fully impose himself on proceedings.
After enjoying two starts in a row, Andre Wisdom was disappointingly uninvolved in both of Red Bull Salzburg’s victories over Austria Vienna and Rheindorf Altach despite being fit.
Wisdom was left out of the squad entirely for the first game and an unused substitute in the second.
Only one of the young Reds in the lower leagues played this week, with Ryan Fulton featuring in FA Cup duties for Chesterfield.
The youngster had an afternoon to forget as the Spireites’ poor season went from bad to worse as they crashed out of the famous cup to League Two side Wycombe Wanderers, suffering a humiliating 5-0 defeat.
Fulton can by no means be blamed for the result, beaten by some clinical finishes while also having precious little help from his defence, but it was his error that caused the fourth goal—the Reds’ keeper spilling a corner inside the box which was punished.
Such struggles in a difficult atmosphere are providing a tough loan spell for Fulton and you have to wonder how this is affecting his confidence, and whether the move is providing the benefits it should.
There was no action for Lloyd Jones this week due to Swindon Town already being knocked out of the FA Cup, while Sam Hart was also out of action, the left-back missing Port Vale’s cup win over Hartlepool United through suspension.
Liverpool’s Loanees This Week
- Lazar Markovic – Sporting – Played 90mins vs. Arouca & 5mins vs. Setbul
- Jon Flanagan – Burnley – Played 81 mins vs. Stoke
- Andre Wisdom – Red Bull Salzburg – Left out of matchday squad vs. Austria Vienna & unused sub vs. Rheindorf Altach
- Danny Ward – Huddersfield – Played 90 mins vs. Wigan & Blackburn
- Ryan Kent – Barnsley – Played 85 mins vs. Birmingham
- Ryan Fulton – Chesterfield – Played 90 mins vs. Wycombe
- Lloyd Jones – Swindon – N/A
- Sam Hart – Port Vale – Suspended
- Taiwo Awoniyi – NEC Nijmegen – Played 10 mins vs. Heracles
- Allan Rodrigues – Hertha Berlin – Played 10 mins vs. Wolfsburg