There were a number of impressive performers among Liverpool’s 10 loanees this week, with Ryan Kent’s strong form at Barnsley particularly positive.
Though enduring a mixed week of results in the Championship, Kent enjoyed a strong week on an individual level.
He started Tuesday’s Yorkshire derby against Sheffield Wednesday, and turned in a bright performance despite his side falling to a 2-0 loss.
Continuing on the left wing, Kent posed a big threat at Hillsborough, in the first half in particular, with the 20-year-old involved in numerous moves to help create some good opportunities.
Kent also caused problems with his wicked set-piece deliveries, from which Barnsley should have profited from at least once, and he was withdrawn with 11 minutes left as his side searched for an equaliser, only for a second goal to be conceded.
Kent’s bright display saw him keep his position in Barnsley’s 4-3 win over Cardiff on Saturday, and he played an influential role, having a hand in two goals.
Barnsley took the lead thanks to Kent’s initial work – the youngster bursting down the left flank and floating a pin-point cross to the back-post, where his delivery was controlled and teed-up for Sam Winnall to score.
And he played an crucial part in the third goal, with his line-breaking run in behind Cardiff’s defence forcing an error from an opposing defender, who inadvertently directed the ball to teammate Josh Scowen to score.
Deserved 3pts – Another Good Result, Shout Out To The Travelling Fans ?? ?????? https://t.co/480VeCiGjh
— RyanKent (@ryankent) December 17, 2016
On the continent, Andre Wisdom continued his strong recent form helping Red Bull Salzburg to a clean sheet and 3-0 success over Wolsberger AC.
Having earned manager Oscar Garcia’s trust after solid showings at right and centre-back, Wisdom was again deployed his preferred central position, and he repaid the faith with a strong display.
In a game Salzburg dominated, Wisdom’s biggest focus was to stay concentrated and not hand the away side a route into the game.
And the Reds loanee, who picked up an early booking, ensured that was the case, nullifying the opposition strike-force with a combative performance.
Back in the Championship, Danny Ward enjoyed an excellent week at Huddersfield, claiming maximum points from two tough away games.
— Danny Ward (@dan_ward52) December 7, 2016
In the first of those, the Welshman kept a clean sheet in a 1-0 win at Burton on Tuesday.
While Ward wasn’t overly tested, protected by a well-drilled defensive unit, he dealt with what he had to with minimum of fuss, showing an assuredness and reliability above his years.
And in a second game in four days, Ward played his part with an impressive display in Huddersfield’s 2-1 win at Norwich.
After conceding an early equaliser, Ward made some good saves at key moments, but most impressively in a pressurised game was the way he commanded his area and dealt decisively with balls launched into the box, transmitting calmness through his defence.
While Wisdom was the standout performer of the Reds’ European loanees, it was also a better weekend for Allan Rodrigues and Taiwo Awoniyi.
Allan has been frustrated in his search for game time at Hertha Berlin, but he made a welcome return to action with just his second league start this season at RB Leipzig.
Despite having played just 10 minutes in the last month, the Brazilian was trusted with a central-midfield role against the Bundesliga high-flyers, and he produced a quiet showing in possession in a tough first game back.
Though known for his technical qualities, it was Allan’s combative play that impressed on the night however, as he showed his game-reading skills to break up play, making the most interceptions of his side.
Fortunes have been similarly frustrating for Awoniyi, who also played just 10 minutes over the last month, but he enjoyed an extended cameo in NEC Nijmegen’s 2-2 draw against Excelsior.
Manager, Peter Hyballa, turned to the Nigerian and another attacker after 65 minutes at 2-1 down, and with the extra-offensive threat added by Awoniyi’s power and presence in the box, the move paid off as NEC grabbed an equaliser to earn a point.
It was a mixed week of productivity for Liverpool’s League One trio.
Lloyd Jones was the biggest positive as he completed the 90 minutes in Swindon’s 1-1 draw with Fleetwood.
Playing on the left of a three-man defence, Jones impressed with the determination of his defending as he competed well in the physical battle, while he also caught the eye with his distribution from the back, showing pleasing calmness and composure.
Sam Hart was restricted to a substitute appearance, entering for the last 15 minutes of Port Vale’s 4-0 loss at Wimbledon.
Coming on at 2-0 down, Hart was unable to provide the injection hoped as the home side ran in another two goals during the time he was on.
Meanwhile, Ryan Fulton was uninvolved at Chesterfield due to a knock that is “nothing too serious” according to manager, Danny Wilson.
How this will impact the Serbian’s loan spell with Sporting remains to be seen, with it currently unclear if he will stay in Portugal or return to Anfield for treatment.
Liverpool’s Loanees This Week
- Markovic – Sporting – N/A due to hip injury
- Flanagan – Burnley – Unused sub vs. West Ham & Tottenham
- Wisdom – Red Bull Salzburg – Played 90minvs, keeping clean sheet vs. Wolfsberger
- Ward – Huddersfield – Played 90mins, keeping clean sheet vs. Burton & 90mins vs. Norwich
- Kent – Barnsley – Played 79mins vs. Sheffield Wednesday & 77mins vs. Cardiff
- Fulton – Chesterfield – N/A due to ‘minor’ injury
- Jones – Swindon – Played 90mins vs. Fleetwood
- Hart – Port Vale – Played 15mins vs. Wimbledon
- Awoniyi – NEC Nijmegen – Played 25mins vs. Excelsior
- Allan – Hertha Berlin – Played 90mins vs. Leipzig