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Kent assists, Markovic bright on Hull debut – Liverpool FC Loan Watch

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Ryan Kent continued his strong form at Barnsley by posting an excellent assist, while Lazar Markovic made a positive Hull City debut in a week of mixed fortunes for Liverpool’s loanees.

Kent built on last weekend’s goal-scoring display with another influential performance as he posted a classy assist to give Barnsley a 1-0 Yorkshire derby win over Rotherham.

Playing from the right after switching from the opposite flank, Kent created the match-winning moment with a fantastic defence-splitting pass as he cut inside, sliding the ball between two defenders to release Adam Armstrong who finished.

It proved the decisive moment in a tense encounter, and Kent departed to a standing ovation from the travelling Barnsley faithful when he was substituted three minutes from full time.

Meanwhile, fellow Championship loanee, Danny Ward, was handed a rare break for Huddersfield’s FA Cup tie against Rochdale, watching his team’s comfortable 4-0 win from the bench.

Markovic’s nightmare spell at Sporting came to an end this week, as the Serbian returned to the Premier League with Hull where he will spend the rest of the campaign.

And the 22-year-old made his debut at the first opportunity, featuring in the Tigers’ 2-1 League Cup semi-final second leg victory against Man United in midweek – a result which still wasn’t enough to prevent elimination.

Markovic entered with 65 minutes played at the KCOM Stadium and produced a bright cameo display, growing in confidence as his time on the pitch went on which saw him play a key part in Hull’s second goal of the night.

Cleverly finding space to pick up a loose ball, Markovic delivered a perfectly weighted switched pass to the arriving David Meyler, who volleyed across goal for Oumar Niasse to finish from close range and make it 2-1 on the night.

New manager, Marco Silva, handed Markovic his first start for the Yorkshire side on Sunday, but it was a wholly forgettable full debut as Hull were thrashed 4-1 by Championship Fulham in the FA Cup.

Markovic featured on the right side of attack in Hull’s 4-2-3-1 formation, but he failed to impose himself on the game and turned in a muted display at Craven Cottage, where his stoppage time booking compounded a miserable outing.

However, with the Serbia international needing minutes to gain match fitness and sharpness for Hull’s relegation battle after barely featuring at Sporting, that Markovic played the full 90 minutes was at least a positive on a dire afternoon.

There were better fortunes in the famous cup competition for Jon Flanagan, who completed the full 90 minutes as Burnley marched into round five with a routine 2-0 win over Bristol City.

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 20, 2016: John Flanagan arrives ahead of Liverpools game against Burnley in the FA Premier League match at Turf Moore. (Pic by Gavin Trafford/Propaganda)

Flanagan was deployed at left-back, and he enjoyed an extremely comfortable outing against the toothless Championship outfit, but he still played his part in a solid defensive display to keep a clean sheet and seal a place in round five.

It proved a weekend of disappointment for Liverpool’s European based loanees in action, with both Pedro Chirivella and Taiwo Awoniyi suffering defeat.

Chirivella was unable to build on last weekend’s goal-scoring display as his 10-man Go Ahead Eagles side went down 1-0 to Utrecht in the Eredivisie on Saturday.

Pedro Chirivella vs. Tranmere Rovers. Credit: Propaganda

The Spaniard played as the deep-lying central point of a three-man midfield, and he was one of his side’s brighter performers – though this was more for his combative work and break-up play rather than his play-making.

Chirivella made the most tackles of any player as he battled in midfield, but he couldn’t also provide a moment of inspiration before being withdrawn six minutes from time as manager, Hans De Koning, introduced another striker in search of a late equaliser.

Also in the Dutch top-flight, Awoniyi made his first appearance of 2017 on Sunday but that was only as a late substitute in NEC Nijmegen’s heavy 4-0 loss to Feyenoord.

Manager Peter Hyballa turned to the Nigerian striker nine minutes from time in search for a way back into the game at 2-0 down, and Awoniyi had a chance to pull one back at 3-0, but he couldn’t take the opportunity as the home side ran out convincing winners.

Lloyd Jones was the only lower league loanee in action this weekend.

ANFIELD, ENGLAND - Friday, May 2, 2014: Liverpool's captain Lloyd Jones takes a drink during the Under 21 FA Premier League Semi-Final match against Manchester United at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The young centre-back enjoyed another 90 minutes for Swindon but couldn’t prevent his side falling to a 1-0 loss at Bristol rovers, which leaves the Robins lingering dangerously above the League One relegation zone.

Jones played on the left of a back three and had a tough afternoon against Rovers’ physical forward line, but he did produce some spirited defending as his team came under pressure for extended spells from the home side.

Cameron Brannagan completed a loan switch to League One Fleetwood on Friday, but the midfielder was left out of the Cod Army’s 1-1 draw with Southend on Saturday, likely due to signing with such little preparation time before the game and he’s recently returned from injury.

Finally, Ryan Fulton enjoyed a break from Chesterfield’s relegation battle, with the Spireites having no fixture this weekend.

Liverpool’s Loanees This Week

  • Markovic – Hull – Played 90mins vs. Fulham
  • Flanagan – Burnley – Played 90mins vs. Bristol City
  • Chirivella – Go Ahead Eagles – Played 84mins vs. Utrecht
  • Awoniyi – NEC Nijmegen – Played 9mins vs. Feyenoord
  • Kent – Barnsley – Played 87mins & assisted vs. Rotherham
  • Ward – Huddersfield – Rested for FA Cup tie vs. Rochdale
  • Jones – Swindon – Played 90mins vs. Bristol Rovers
  • Fulton – Chesterfield – No game this weekend
  • Brannagan – Fleetwood – Left out of matchday squad vs. Southend
  • Allan – Hertha Berlin – On international duty with Brazil U20s
  • Wisdom – Red Bull – Still on winter break
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