Ward keeps cleansheet, but Reds’ loanees struggle for game time – Liverpool FC Loan Watch

13 March 2017

It was a disappointing and unrewarding week for Liverpool’s loanees, with only five of Jurgen Klopp’s 13 borrowed Reds enjoying match action.


The lack of game time for the loaned men made it difficult to find a genuine positive this week, but thankfully one came with Danny Ward who helped Huddersfield keep their promotion charge on track.

Injury meant the Welshman missed only his second Championship game of the season in midweek against Aston Villa, but Ward returned with a bang on Saturday, keeping a clean sheet in a vital 1-0 win over Brentford.

CARDIFF, WALES - Thursday, March 24, 2016: Wales Danny Ward in action against Northern Ireland during an International Friendly match at the Cardiff City Stadium. (Pic by Ian Cook/Propaganda)

Ward has certainly had busier afternoons than that at Griffin Park, but he showed good alertness in a tight contest and made important saves when required – as produced in the first-half when he palmed a stinging 25-yard drive to safety.

Ward’s typically assured performance helped secure a vital three points which moved David Wagner’s side to within six points of the automatic promotion places, with a game in hand on leaders Newcastle and Brighton.

 

There was no game for Mamadou Sakho this week due to Crystal Palace being out of the FA Cup, while Jon Flanagan was ineligible to feature in Burnley’s trip to Anfield.

This meant Lazar Markovic was the only top-flight loanee in action, with the Reds’ winger helping Hull City to a huge three points in a 2-1 win over Swansea.

SANTA CLARA, USA - Saturday, July 30, 2016: Liverpool's Lazar Markovic in action against AC Milan during the International Champions Cup 2016 game on day ten of the club's USA Pre-season Tour at the Levi's Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Lining up on the right side of Hull’s attack, the Serbian didn’t post his most spectacular performance for Marco Silva’s rejuvenated side, but he did produce a hard-working, reliable, team-first display for which he deserves credit.

In a huge relegation six-pointer, Markovic set the tone by making the most tackles of any Hull player (3) and he battled hard to provide crucial defensive protection, which later resulted in the Serbian picking up a booking for a late challenge.

 

Back in the second tier, it was a frustrating week for Ryan Kent at Barnsley, with the winger continuing a quiet run of form which has started to result in restricted game time.

WIGAN, ENGLAND - Sunday, July 17, 2016: Liverpool's Ryan Kent in action against Wigan Athletic during a pre-season friendly match at the DW Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

After a bright cameo display last week, Kent returned to the starting XI for the midweek loss at QPR, lining up in his usual left midfield role in the 2-1 reverse at Loftus Road.

Kent started the defeat brightly, with his pace and skill causing problems, but he lacked end product – which has plagued his game this season – and his lack of productivity saw him withdrawn after 73 minutes with his side 2-0 down.

The bright moments in his performance proved not to be enough for Kent to keep his place in the starting XI on Saturday, with the Reds winger an unused substitute for his side’s 1-1 draw with Ipswich.

 

It was another week of struggles for Liverpool’s European based quartet, with Pedro Chirivella once again the only Red to enjoy match action.

Pedro Chirivella vs. Tranmere Rovers. Credit: Propaganda

The Spanish midfielder played the full 90 minutes of Go Ahead Eagles’ 3-1 defeat to PSV Eindhoven on Saturday night – a costly result that saw his side drop back to the foot of the Eredivisie table.

The Reds loanee continued in his deep-lying central midfield role in the loss, but it was his break-up play rather than play-making that caught the eye – Chirivella turning in a destructive performance as he made the most tackles (4) and interceptions (3) of any Eagles player.

Elsewhere on the continent, Allan Rodrigues and Andre Wisdom were unused substitutes at Hertha Berlin and Red Bull Salzburg, while Taiwo Awoniyi was uninvolved completely for NEC Nijmegen.

 

It was a similarly uninspiring period for the Reds’ lower league loanees, with only one of the available trio featuring.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Friday, August 26, 2016: Liverpool's Cameron Brannagan in action against Arsenal during the FA Premier League 2 Under-23 match at the Emirates Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Cameron Brannagan was the lucky recipient of a rare outing, but the youngster had to settle for another cameo appearance playing only the final 20 minutes of Fleetwood’s 4-2 loss to Bolton.

Brannagan came on in difficult circumstances with his side trailing 3-1, and the technically gifted midfielder had little opportunity to make an impact as the Cod Army’s impressive 18-game unbeaten run in League One came to an end.

Meanwhile, Lloyd Jones and Ryan Fulton endured another week without game time, both unused substitutes for Swindon and Chesterfield this week.

Injuries

Jack Dunn remains sidelined at Tranmere due to a hamstring injury, which is set to keep him out for another three to four weeks.

Liverpool’s Loanees This Week

  • Markovic – Hull – Played 75mins vs. Swansea
  • Sakho – Crystal Palace – No game due to FA Cup exit
  • Flanagan – Burnley – Ineligible for Burnley’s clash vs. the Reds
  • Ward – Huddersfield – Missed game vs. Aston Villa through injury & played 90mins, keeping clean sheet vs. Brentford
  • Kent – Barnsley – Played 73mins vs. QPR & unused sub vs. Ipswich
  • Wisdom – Red Bull Salzburg – Unused sub vs. Admira
  • Chirivella – Go Ahead Eagles – Played 90mins vs. PSV Eindhoven
  • Allan – Hertha Berlin – Unused sub vs. Dortmund
  • Awoniyi – NEC Nijmegen – Left out of matchday squad vs. ADO Den Haag
  • Brannagan – Fleetwood – Played 20mins vs. Bolton
  • Jones – Swindon – Unused sub vs. Port Vale
  • Fulton – Chesterfield – Unused sub vs. Walsall & Shrewsbury
  • Dunn – Tranmere – Out with hamstring injury

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