A poor performance in a rare outing for Jon Flanagan and an own-goal from Lloyd Jones summed up an unproductive week for most of Liverpool’s 13 loanees.
Flanagan had a rare outing in Burnley’s rotated cup team, but it was one to forget as he produced an unimpressive display in the’ Clarets embarrassing cup exit to non-league Lincoln City.
The 24-year-old played all of the shock defeat at left-back but failed to impress as he lacked athleticism and quality on the ball – but he was far from the only underperformer in a dire team showing from Sean Dyche’s men.
With tough-tackling defender clearly suffering from a lack of regular game time, you have to question whether the loan is actually benefitting either club or more importantly, Flanagan himself.
Flanagan wasn’t the only struggler though, with Jones marking his return to Swindon’s lineup with two winless outings – the first of which saw the defender net an own-goal in a 2-1 loss at Northampton.
With Swindon 1-0 ahead, Jones sliced an attempted clearance when defending the near-post into the far corner of his net, putting the home side 1-0 up and on course for victory which capped off a miserable evening for the 20-year-old.
Jones enjoyed an improved performance on Saturday however, helping Swindon to a clean sheet in a goalless draw against Oldham.
The young centre-back turned in a much better defensive display, showing impressive bravery to throw his body on the line and make some important blocks in a tight contest.
With Taiwo Awoniyi and Andre Wisdom unused substitutes at NEC Nijmegen and Red Bull Salzburg, and Allan Rodrigues uninvolved at Hertha Berlin, Pedro Chirivella was the only European loanee to play.
And the Spaniard provided a rare positive as he continued his good form at Go Ahead Eagles, despite being unable to prevent a 1-0 loss to Roda JC.
Chirivella played the full game in a central playmaking role where his passing range caught the eye as he orchestrated play, and he also showed a promising improvement in his competitiveness in defensive work.
Liverpool’s Championship duo enjoyed another positive if unproductive week, with Ryan Kent making an instant return to Barnsley’s starting XI to feature twice.
The left-winger played 85 minutes of an impressive 3-1 win at Aston Villa in midweek, providing a hard-working wide outlet even though he wasn’t able to add to his goals or assists tally.
Kent’s disciplined display saw him start Saturday’s clash with league leaders, Brighton, who beat Barnsley 2-0.
Despite defeat, Kent produced a brighter individual showing, delivering several dangerous balls into the box and featuring in some nice link-up play before he was withdrawn 10 minutes from time.
Danny Ward played only one of Huddersfield’s two fixtures but it proved a rewarding one as he helped the Terriers to another Yorkshire derby success, this time a 3-2 win over Rotherham.
The Welshman was in solid form as his team posted a fifth straight Championship victory, and he could do nothing about the goals conceded – beaten by a close-range header and thunderous strike from distance.
The league game proved Ward’s only action, with manager David Wagner, fielding a rotated lineup for Saturday’s FA Cup draw with Man City which saw Ward drop to the bench – showing that a strong league campaign is the main priority.
Back in the Football League, Cameron Brannagan made his full debut for Fleetwood in midweek, playing an hour of the Cod Army’s 2-1 win over Bradford.
— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) February 14, 2017
Deployed on the left of a three-man centre, the technically-gifted midfielder was in tidy form before being withdrawn after an hour with his team trailing 1-0.
With Fleetwood going on to score twice to come from behind to win after Brannagan’s withdrawal, it seemed the academy product would drop to the bench for Saturday’s clash with MK Dons.
But Brannagan retained his place and played 55 minutes of a 1-0 win which saw the Cod Army extend their unbeaten run to an impressive 16 games.
The 20-year-old started on the right of a midfield trio but moved into the central position mid-way through the first-half, allowing him to enjoy greater influence as he used his passing range to gain control and start attacking moves from deep.
Jack Dunn made his second start for non-league neighbours, Tranmere, in a 2-0 win over Eastleigh on Saturday.
— Jack Dunn ??? (@Jack_Dunn8) February 19, 2017
The natural striker played again from a wide-left role, but he showed impressive versatility in a sharp performance in which he almost netted his first goal for the club – only to see his well-hit strike fly narrowly over.
Finally, Ryan Fulton missed both of Chesterfield’s games this week, reportedly down to still suffering with a virus.
Liverpool’s Loanees This Week
- Markovic – N/A
- Sakho – N/A
- Flanagan – Played 90mins vs. Lincoln
- Wisdom – Unused sub vs. Ried
- Ward – Played 90mins vs. Rotherham & unused sub vs. Man City
- Kent – Played 85mins vs. Aston Villa & 80mins vs. Brighton
- Chirivella – Played 90mins vs. Roda JC
- Jones – Played 90mins, scoring own-goal vs. Northampton & played 90mins vs. Oldham
- Brannagan – Played 60mins vs. Bradford & 55mins vs. MK Dons
- Dunn – Played 84mins vs. Eastleigh
- Fulton – Missed two games due to illness
- Awoniyi – Unused sub vs. PSV Eindhoven
- Allan – Uninvolved after recent return from international duty