Kent wins award, Ward secures play-offs & Flanagan features – Liverpool FC Loan Watch

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Ryan Kent claimed personal honours and Jon Flanagan enjoyed a rare run-out on a positive week in which nine of Liverpool’s 14 loanees featured.

Kent marked his final home appearance of a productive loan at Barnsley by collecting the club’s Young Player of the Season award ahead of Saturday’s draw with Burton Albion.

The accolade is deserved recognition for a campaign of excellent progress for the talented winger, who signed off at Oakwell in typically influential form as he played a key part in Barnsley’s opener.

After regaining possession, Kent drove forward before feeding his overlapping teammate who cut the ball back for George Moncur to strike home.

Kent then almost netted a spectacular goal of his own, but, after beating three players, his powerful left-foot drive flashed just over the crossbar.

 

Also in the Championship, Danny Ward helped Huddersfield secure a play-off place in his only match this week.

The Welshman was in good form as he kept his eleventh clean sheet in a vital 1-0 win at Wolves, making sharp saves throughout – including a particularly impressive one-handed stop late on to preserve the lead.

That was Ward’s only outing as David Wagner rotated his side against Birmingham on Saturday, resting numerous key men with one eye on the looming play-off campaign.

 

There was a rare full house in the Premier League as all three top-flight loanees enjoyed match action.

This included a welcome run-out for Flanagan who helped Burnley to a first away win of the season with a 2-0 victory against Mamadou Sakho-less Crystal Palace.

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 replaced Stephen Ward at left-back just before half-time, and considering his lack of match action this campaign, he turned in a decent display in a backs-to-the-wall second-half.

Flanagan made the second-most tackles of any Burnley player, and though he was perhaps fortunate not to concede a penalty on Wilfried Zaha, he was a solid presence as he put his body on the line.

There was also bad news from Selhurst Park this week as Sakho’s superb spell ground to a halt after he suffered a potentially season-ending injury in the Eagles’ defeat to Tottenham.

Sakho was typically impressive in the 52 minutes before he crumpled to the ground after landing awkwardly and twisted his knee, resulting in damaged ligaments and thankfully not a ruptured ACL.

It’s hoped Sakho will recover to play at least once more for Palace this season before the Reds look to cash-in on the unwanted defender this summer.

 

Elsewhere, Lazar Markovic was again in lively form as Hull City secured a valuable point at Southampton.

Deployed on the right of a three-man attacking-midfield, Markovic was bright and impressed with his dribbling ability at St Mary’s, where he also provided a hard-working outlet in a disciplined display.

 

Only three of Liverpool’s five global loanees featured this week, with Pedro Chirivella and Taiwo Awoniyi enjoying weekends off.

Andre Wisdom was one of those and he continued his excellent form by helping Red Bull Salzburg take another step towards a historic league and cup double.

HUDDERSFIELD, ENGLAND - Wednesday, July 20, 2016: Liverpool's Andre Wisdom in action against Huddersfield Town during pre-season friendly match at the John Smithís Stadium. (Pic by Paul Greenwood/Propaganda)

In midweek, the centre-back posted a faultless performance to help Oscar Garcia’s side reach the Samsung Cup final for a fourth straight year with a 5-0 thrashing of Admira.

And this saw Wisdom keep his place and make a sixth consecutive start in a 1-1 draw with Ried on Saturday, in which he was again a reliable presence at the heart of defence.

 

Allan Rodrigues completed a third consecutive 90 minutes for Hertha Berlin but this came in a 2-0 loss to Werder Bremen.

The Brazilian played in central midfield and was typically tidy in possession – posting an excellent 89 per-cent pass success rate – but it was his combative play that once again impressed as he made the most tackles (5) and interceptions (6) of any player.

That Allan has finally carved out a starting role is positive, given the Brazilian is set to extend his stay at the club for another season.

 

In MLS, Brooks Lennon also suffered defeat as he played all of Real Salt Lake’s 3-0 loss to Sporting Kansas City.

STEVENAGE, ENGLAND - Monday, September 19, 2016: Liverpool's Brooks Lennon celebrates scoring the sixth goal against Tottenham Hotspur during the FA Premier League 2 Under-23 match at Broadhall. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Operating from a wide-right role, Lennon struggled to pose a goal-scoring threat but was one of his side’s brighter performers, producing two key passes while also making the most tackles of any Salt Lake player in a battling display.

 

There was a familiar theme in the lower leagues with Cameron Brannagan again the only Red to feature, playing the final 15 minutes of Fleetwood Town’s final day draw against Port Vale.

The midfielder had little time to make an impact but with the Cod Army having confirmed their League One play-off place, Brannagan will hope to play a part in the push for promotion.

The season drew to a close for Ryan Fulton, who ended at relegated Chesterfield – where he made 29 appearances – as an unused substitute, and also for Lloyd Jones in more controversial circumstances.

The defender’s disappearance at Swindon was finally explained, as it emerged Jones had returned to Anfield early after the loan was terminated following his arrest for an alleged nightclub assault.

Jones made 29 appearances and scored twice during his time with the relegated League One side.

Finally, Jack Dunn was uninvolved for Tranmere’s final league game against Maidstone, but the striker will hope to feature in Rovers’ upcoming play-off push as they seek a Football League return.

 

Liverpool’s Loanees This Week

  • Sakho – Played 52mins vs. Tottenham
  • Markovic – Played 90mins vs. Southampton
  • Flanagan – Played 46mins vs. Crystal Palace
  • Ward – Played 90mins, keeping clean sheet vs. Wolves & Unused sub vs. Birmingham
  • Kent – Played 90mins vs. Burton & won Young Player of the Season award
  • Wisdom – Played 90mins vs. Admira & Ried
  • Allan – Played 90mins vs. Werder Bremen
  • Lennon – Played 90mins vs. Sporting Kansas City
  • Chirivella – No game this week
  • Awoniyi – No game this week
  • Brannagan – Played 15mins vs. Port Vale
  • Fulto – Unused sub vs. Sheffied United
  • Dunn – Uninvolved vs. Maidstone
  • Jones – Returned to Liverpool after early loan termination

*Stats via Whoscored.com

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