It was a largely unproductive week for Liverpool’s loanees, but Divock Origi was in stunning form at Wolfsburg claiming a goal and an assist.
Origi hit the net for the second game running, but only after turning provider as the Belgian produced a complete performance in Wolfsburg’s 3-3 draw with Hertha Berlin.
Lining up in a changed role on the right of a three-man attacking-midfield unit, Origi took to his new position like a duck to water as he first produced an excellent piece of work for his side’s first goal.
Chasing away from goal to keep an awkwardly dropping ball in play, Origi adjusted his body superbly to swivel and deliver a drilled cross on the half-volley, which picked out Yunus Malli who headed in.
The assist proved a crucial moment as it inspired a quick-fire turnaround from 1-0 down to 2-1, and Origi later hit the net himself to restore Wolfsburg’s lead after Hertha pulled back to 2-2.
It was hardly the best goal Origi will score in his career, but he did well to shrug off his marker and arrive at the back post, where he bundled home a corner for a real poacher’s goal—which you can see, here.
It was an excellent display from Origi—who posted a fourth goal and first assist in 10 outings—and it is great to see him making key contributions, with the next task being to bring consistency to his game.
Staying in the Bundesliga, Ryan Kent was denied the chance to build on a bright performance against Stuttgart last week after being left out of Freiburg’s 1-0 loss to Schalke 04.
Despite disappointment for Kent, the rest of the Reds’ Europe-based loanees all enjoyed match action.
Pedro Chirivella played his sixth successive 90 minutes for Willem II, but was unable to prevent his side falling to a 3-2 defeat at AZ Alkmaar.
The Spaniard operated as the central figure in three-man midfield, but couldn’t establish his usual influence in possession.
Instead it was Chirivella’s defensive work that caught the eye as he battled impressively, producing a combative display as he made the most interceptions (four) and tackles (three) combined of any player.
Taiwo Awoniyi made a quick return to the starting XI at Royal Excel Mouscron, after the Belgian side went two games without victory last week when the Nigerian dropped to the bench.
However, Awoniyi was unable to mark his comeback with a return to the scoresheet despite playing all of a 2-0 loss to Waasland-Beveren—with the young striker in quiet form.
In Cyprus, Allan Rodrigues resumed Europa League duties in midweek as he played all of Apollon Limassol’s hard-fought 1-1 draw with Atalanta.
It was one of the Brazilian’s less impressive outings on the European stage this season however, as Allan struggled on the periphery of the action for the most part in what was a very scrappy and feisty contest.
And in keeping with how the season has gone so far, Allan dropped back to the bench for league duties against AEK Larnaca—but he did play the last 13 minutes and helped manage the closing stages as his side held out for a 1-1 draw.
It was a better week for the Reds on home soil, with only two of four missing out on game time—Jordan Williams sitting out at Rochdale through suspension and Shamal George unused at Carlisle.
Connor Randall was one of those in action, returning to involvement at Hearts after being left out last weekend to play 77 minutes of a 2-1 loss to Kilmarnock.
Despite Randall’s struggles for form while playing several unnatural positions being the main reason behind his exclusion last week, the right-back was once again stuck in a role not his own by manager Craig Levein.
It came on the right wing of Hearts’ 4-4-2 setup this time, but Randall pleasingly enjoyed a more positive outing—posing a greater attacking threat, particularly with his crossing as he delivered some good balls into the box.
Meanwhile, Toni Gomes enjoyed a full game for the first time since joining Forest Green, playing all of a 2-0 Checkatrade Trophy loss to Swansea U23s in midweek.
Gomes impressed in the extended runout, producing a good performance despite the defeat in which he was Forest Green’s biggest threat and went close to scoring on numerous occasions.
It was a depressingly familiar story come Saturday though, as Gomes dropped back to the bench and was unused in a 1-0 FA Cup win over Macclesfield.
Finishing off once again with an update on Naby Keita, who featured twice for RB Leipzig this week on domestic and European stages.
The Reds’ record signing was unable to prevent a 3-1 loss to Porto in the Champions League—despite being in combative form as he made more tackles than any player in the competition this week.
Keita was benched for the Bundesliga return against Hannover on Saturday, but he entered in the second half to play 33 minutes which was enough time for the Guinean to inspire his side to victory.
After entering at 1-0 down, Keita played a key role in transforming the game with a driving midfield display which helped his side battle back to a 2-1 win—as he played two key passes and completed more dribbles than any player.
Sheyi Ojo continues to be out of action at Fulham due to a dislocated shoulder.
Liverpool’s Loanees This Week
- Divock Origi – Wolfsburg – Played 83 mins, scoring & assisting vs. Hetha Berlin
- Pedro Chirivella – Willem II – Played 90 mins vs. AZ Alkmaar
- Taiwo Awoniyi – Mouscron – Played 90 mins vs. Waasland-Beveren
- Allan Rodrigues – Apollon Limassol – Played 90 mins vs. Atalanta & 13 mins vs. AEK Larnaca
- Connor Randall – Hearts – Played 77 mins vs. Kilmarnock
- Toni Gomes – Forest Green – Played 90 mins vs. Swansea U23s & Unused sub vs. Macclesfield
- Ryan Kent – Freiburg – Left out of matchday squad vs. Schalke
- Jordan Williams – Rochdale – Uninvolved vs. Bromley due to suspension
- Shamal George – Carlisle – Unused sub vs. Oldham
- Sheyi Ojo – Fulham – Injured
- Naby Keita – RB Leipzig – Played 90 mins vs. Porto & vs. 33 mins vs. Hannover