It was a much improved week for Liverpool’s loanees, as Sheyi Ojo shone on his return from injury and Taiwo Awoniyi also found the net.
A lack of game time and mounting injuries last week made for one of the most unproductive spells of the season so far for the Reds playing their trade away from Anfield.
Those issues again proved problematic for a number of borrowed Reds this week, but there was a pleasing improvement in productivity from those who did enjoy match action.
Here’s how those who featured got on, with Ojo and Awoniyi providing the big positives.
It was a great week for two loanees…
Ojo made a blistering return from injury at Fulham, scoring twice and posting an assist on a stunning comeback against Sheffield United in midweek.
Straight back in the starting XI on the right of attack, Ojo made an instant impact as he netted his side’s first and fourth goals while also setting up the third in an incredible 5-4 win – which you can read in full here but also see below.
It was no shock Ojo kept his place for Saturday’s clash with Millwall after that dazzling display, but it was perhaps surprising – and pleasing – that he completed the full 90 minutes in the London derby.
Ojo wasn’t in quite as blistering form in a hard-fought 1-0 win – perhaps a result of featuring so heavily in quick succession after a prolonged spell out.
But he was still very much a creative influence as he fired more shots than any other player (6) while also completing a key pass and two dribbles.
Awoniyi also enjoyed a good weekend, putting a welcome end to a six-game goalless streak by netting his fifth of the season for Royal Excel Mouscron.
Awoniyi’s goal only proved a consolation strike in a 3-1 loss to Gent, but the Nigerian will be delighted to have returned to goal-scoring form with what was a real poacher’s effort – which you can see here.
With his side trailing 1-0, Awoniyi restored parity on 33 minutes when he showed impressive proactivity to react quickest to the Gent ‘keeper’s weak save and finish on the rebound.
The goal will provide an injection of confidence for Awoniyi – who now has an impressive five goals and three assists in 15 appearances – and hopefully it inspires another strong run of form.
Disappointingly, only two other Reds enjoyed match action…
It was a full house in the Bundesliga, as both loanees and club record signing Naby Keita all featured.
Divock Origi was back in Wolfsburg’s starting XI, but the Belgian’s return didn’t go as he will have hoped as he endured a tough afternoon in a 2-1 loss at Augsburg.
The Wolves were reduced to 10-men after just 11 minutes, leaving Origi having to quickly adapt to a selfless role as an isolated lone striker as his side attempted to dig in with a battling display.
Origi worked hard as a strong, mobile presence to utilise on the break, but he was restricted by limited service throughout – though he may feel he could have done better with a chance on the counter.
After two games without matchday involvement, Ryan Kent made a welcome return to the matchday fold at Freiburg.
Kent played 45 minutes after entering as a half-time substitute, and he had a bright second-half playing from the right wing while helping earn a vital 2-1 win over Mainz.
Kent grew as the half wore on, producing some nice touches and showing good pace when dribbling – and he also had a chance to get on the score-sheet but hesitated to shoot before his eventual effort was blocked.
Liverpool’s record signing enjoyed a fantastic week at RB Leipzig, which started with the Guinean scoring his first ever Champions League goal.
Keita netted Leipzig’s fourth in a crucial 4-1 win over Monaco – capping off an excellent overall performance with a great turn and classy finish, which you can read in full here and see below.
For those who missed it, this was Keita's goal in the Champions League this week. Unbelievable turn.
— LFC Fans Corner (@LFCFansCorner) November 25, 2017
Keita picked up exactly from where he left off on Saturday, as he produced a second goal-scoring display in as many games to score his fifth goal of the season and help Leipzig to a 2-0 win over Werder Bremen.
The soon-to-be Red – who shone with a man-of-the-match performance – put his side ahead after 34 minutes with a carbon copy of his composed midweek effort.
Arriving at the edge of the box with a well-timed run, Keita slotted into the bottom corner with the same composure and precision, but impressively did so with his left foot this time.
With such goal-scoring prowess from midfield, Keita’s Anfield arrival can’t come soon enough.
Pedro Chirivella was out of action at WillemII after being unable to shake off an injury sustained last week, as was Jordan Williams who missed a fourth consecutive game at Rochdale.
Liverpool’s Loanees This Week
- Ojo – Played 74 mins, scoring twice & assisting vs. Sheffield United & 90mins vs. Millwall
- Awoniyi – Played 90mins & scored vs. Gent
- Origi – Played 90mins vs. Augsburg
- Kent – Played 45mins vs. Mainz
- Keita – Played 90mins & scored in games vs. Monaco & Werder Bremen
- Allan – Left out of matchday squad vs. Lyon & hoping for action vs. Ethnikos Achna on Monday
- Randall – Unused sub vs. Ross County
- Gomes – Left out of matchday squad vs. Chesterfield & unused sub vs. Cheltenham
- George – Unused sub vs. Luton & Morecambe
- Chirivella – Injured
- Williams – Injured