Awoniyi scores again as two Reds make long-awaited debuts – Liverpool FC Loan Watch

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Taiwo Awoniyi was once again on the scoresheet while Lazar Markovic and Jon Flanagan finally made debuts on a mixed week for Liverpool’s loanees.

The borrowed Reds have been in great form recently, but this was a spell of more mixed fortunes.

Positively, only two available loanees were disappointed in their search for game time—with Connor Randall and Andy Firth unused—but there was frustration with injuries.

Here’s the lowdown on the fortunes of all the loanees throughout the week.

 

Awoniyi was once again on the scoresheet…

Mouscron's Michael Awoniyi celebrates after scoring during the Jupiler Pro League match between Sporting Lokeren and Royal Excel Mouscron, in Lokeren, Saturday 12 August 2017, on the third day of the Jupiler Pro League, the Belgian soccer championship season 2017-2018. BELGA PHOTO VIRGINIE LEFOUR

The Nigerian’s superb season rumbles on as he scored his eighth goal for Royal Excel Mouscron in a spirited 5-3 loss to Lazar Markovic’s Anderlecht.

With his side trailing 4-0, Awoniyi struck what seemed nothing more than a consolation effort but which instead almost inspired an incredible comeback.

Awoniyi made it 4-1 when he slotted home a composed first-time finish inside the box after a clever darting run behind the Anderlecht defence—which you can see here.

Mouscron then went on to get back to 4-3 before the hosts ran in a fifth in stoppage time to seal victory in a breathless contest.

Almost inspiring his side to a miraculous fightback, Awoniyi—who has also posted six assists this season—once again showed himself as the leading light of this Mouscron side.

 

Two Reds finally made long-awaited debuts…

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Friday, September 22, 2017: Liverpool's Lazar Markovic during the Under-23 FA Premier League 2 Division 1 match between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

After a spell of improving what manager Hein Vanhaezebrouck labelled an “abysmal” level of fitness, Lazar Markovic finally debuted for Anderlecht.

The Serbian entered as a second-half sub in the 5-3 win in which Awoniyi struck, coming on to play the final 20 minutes at which time his side led 4-1.

Markovic played on the left wing and looked predictably off the pace on his first action this season, which was further shown up as Mouscron fought back.

But having finally got himself up to speed, Markovic will hope for regular game time.

It was a similar story for Jon Flanagan who also made his first appearance for Bolton as a second-half sub, but the defender fared a lot better in a 0-0 draw at Norwich.

BIRKENHEAD, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 18, 2017: Liverpool's Jon Flanagan during the Under-23 FA Premier League 2 Division 1 match between Liverpool and Everton at Prenton Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Flanagan featured at right centre-back in a three-man defence and was straight in the thick of things.

Indeed, Flanagan was in typically tenacious form as he made three tackles—the second-highest in the Bolton side—in little over 20 minutes, while also delivering a key pass.

Having displayed his hunger and appetite, Flanagan will hope he showed enough to secure a starting spot.

 

And nine more Reds were in action…

Bristol City's Ryan Kent

Starting with the home-based Reds, Ryan Kent had a quiet week at Bristol City, with one start and one substitute outing.

The start came in a 1-1 draw with Fulham in midweek and Kent was a constant source of creation as he produced two key passes and 13 crosses while also delivering some dangerous set-pieces.

But Kent played only the closing stages of a 1-0 loss to a Marko Grujic-less Cardiff City on Sunday, with the Serbian an unused sub.

In fact, it was a surprisingly quiet week for Grujic who played only 45 minutes for the Bluebirds—that being the first half of a 1-0 win over Ipswich in which he was subbed at half-time in a tactical change.

Also in the Championship, Sheyi Ojo made a welcome return to the fold at Fulham after missing six games through injury and being unused.

Ojo was a second-half sub in an excellent 2-0 win over league leaders and former club Wolves, and helped see out a big three points at Craven Cottage.

https://twitter.com/sheyi_ojo/status/967501672707706881

Corey Whelan’s pleasing run continued with the full-back playing a fifth consecutive 90 minutes for Yeovil in a 1-0 loss to Carlisle.

Whelan didn’t have his best afternoon and should have defended the visitors’ winner better as he failed to apply pressure or put in a challenge.

Fellow academy loanee Matty Virtue was restricted to one stoppage-time outing at Notts County, playing the final moments of a 1-0 loss to Cambridge.

Four more European Reds featured, including Divock Origi who played under his third different manager of the season at Wolfsburg in a 1-1 draw with Mainz 05.

New boss Bruno Labbadia instantly installed Origi as his No. 1 striker, but the Belgian made a disappointing first impression with an almost anonymous display, posing next to no goal threat.

Pedro Chirivella of Willem II during the Dutch Eredivisie match between Willem II Tilburg and ADO Den Haag at Koning Willem II stadium on September 09, 2017 in Tilburg, The Netherlands

Pedro Chirivella helped Willem II battle to a 1-0 win over Roda JC, playing the full game and producing a hardworking display.

Allan Rodrigues marked his return to the Apollon Limassol team with an influential performance, dominating the midfield battle in a 4-1 win over Ethnikos Achna.

And finally, Anderson Arroyo’s unbeaten start at Real Mallorca B continued as the Colombian full-back made it two wins in three starts with a 1-0 victory over Alcudia.

 

Keita Watch

Keita, Training (PA Images)

What looked set to be a hectic week for Keita with potentially three games instead lasted only 61 minutes.

The Guinean played an hour of a 2-1 loss to Eintracht Frankfurt on Monday, in which he showed two sides to his game as he instigated the move for Leipzig’s goal before sparking a brawl.

But Keita then limped off with a hamstring problem which kept him out of games against Napoli and Cologne, and it remains unclear how long he will be out for.

 

Injury Update

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Wednesday, January 31, 2018: West Bromwich Albion's Daniel Sturridge during the FA Premier League match between Manchester City FC and West Bromwich Albion FC at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Keita wasn’t the only Red to have been frustrated by injury this week, with three more loanees out of action.

Daniel Sturridge missed his second game at West Brom with a hamstring issue, but is expected to return when the Baggies travel to Watford next Saturday.

Harry Wilson missed two Hull games with a shoulder injury, but even worse news is that this could keep him sidelined for a month.

And Ovie Ejaria sat out his second and third successive games at Sunderland with a thigh problem, but it is hoped he will return against Millwall next weekend.


Liverpool’s Loanees This Week

Sunderland's Ovie Ejaria (Mark Kerton/EMPICS Sport)

  • Lazar Markovic – Played 20 mins vs. Royal Excel Mouscron
  • Divock Origi – Played 90 mins vs. Mainz
  • Marko Grujic – Played 45 mins vs. Ipswich & unused sub vs. Bristol City
  • Jon Flanagan – Unused sub vs. Sunderland & played 22 mins vs. Norwich
  • Ryan Kent – Played 80 mins vs. Fulham & 5 mins vs. Cardiff
  • Sheyi Ojo – Left out of matchday squad vs. Bristol City & played 26 mins vs. Wolves
  • Pedro Chirivella – Played 90 mins vs. Roda JC
  • Taiwo Awoniyi – Played 90 mins & scored vs. Anderlecht
  • Allan Rodrigues – Played 90 mins vs. Ethnikos Achna
  • Anderson Arroyo – Played 75 mins vs. Alcudia
  • Corey Whelan – Played 90 mins vs. Carlisle
  • Matty Virtue – Played 2 mins vs. Cambridge & unused sub vs. Stevenage
  • Connor Randall – Unused sub vs. Rangers
  • Andy Firth – Unused sub vs. Leyton Orient & Dagenham & Redbridge
  • Naby Keita – Played 61 mins vs. Eintracht Frankfurt & injured vs. Napoli & Cologne
  • Daniel Sturridge, Ovie Ejaria & Harry Wilson all injured
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