Divock Origi was back among the goals at Wolfsburg as three Reds made debuts on a busy and productive week for Liverpool’s loanees.
There are now 16 Reds out on loan at various levels at home and abroad, and it certainly made for a busy week of action.
Six Reds went without action, with Lazar Markovic missing due to a lack of fitness, Sheyi Ojo still injured and Jon Flanagan, Corey Whelan, Matty Virtue and Andy Firth all unused.
Here’s how the remaining 10 loanees fared on a week of goals, debuts and typically mixed fortunes.
Origi made a welcome return to the score-sheet…
The Belgian struck his fifth goal of the season and his first for eight Bundesliga games in the Wolves’ 1-1 draw against Stuttgart.
Origi, back in his striking role, showed why he should be leading the line and not out on the right wing where recently deployed as he opened the scoring with a brilliant finish.
Wondering how Divock Origi is getting on in the Bundesliga, Liverpool fans?
He's doing just fine… ? pic.twitter.com/2OtttEYUqz
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 4, 2018
Having received possession inside Stuttgart’s half, Origi drove towards the edge of the box from where he whipped a precise curling strike into the far corner.
Unfortunately Origi’s effort didn’t prove to be the winner as Stuttgart battled back, but the goal should provide a confidence boost to now embark on strong run of form.
Three Reds made debuts after sealing moves before the transfer deadline…
Daniel Sturridge enjoyed two outings for West Brom, with the striker making his bow in a 3-0 loss at Man City on Wednesday.
Sturridge was on the bench but entered with 10 minutes left at 2-0, and he should have made an instant impact but was rusty in front of goal as he passed up two chances he would usually have converted.
The 28-year-old entered for his full debut in a relegation six-pointer against Southampton on Saturday, but his winless start at Hawthorns continued as the Baggies lost 3-2.
Sturridge joined Salomon Rondon up top as Alan Pardew opted for an adventurous strike duo, but, apart from one snap-shot, he struggled to impose himself despite showing some positive flashes.
Two Reds debuted in the Championship, with Ovie Ejaria enjoying a particularly promising bow at relegation-threatened Sunderland.
The youngster was thrown straight into the starting XI, and despite being unable to prevent a 2-0 loss to Ipswich, Ejaria was a bright spark as he played the full game.
Operating in a free-roaming central role, Ejaria showed what he will bring to the Stadium of Light as he displayed his obvious technical skill—posting more successful dribbles (5) than any player.
Harry Wilson also made his debut for Hull City, playing the final 25 minutes of a 2-1 defeat to Preston.
The Welshman entered into a left-wing role with his side already trailing, and he was lively as he looked to get on the ball and take responsibility to drag his side back into the game.
Six more Reds enjoyed game-time…
That included two more Championship-based Reds who it’s fair to say had contrasting fortunes.
The positive was Marko Grujic, who produced his most promising display yet in Cardiff’s thumping 4-1 win at Leeds.
Grujic made his third consecutive start and was in fine form helping dominate the midfield battle with a combative display—though there was some trademark reckless tackling on show.
The negative was Ryan Kent, who made his a second successive start for Bristol City against Bolton, but failed to make a telling impact in a 1-0 loss on Friday night.
However, captain Bailey Wright is impressed by what he has seen, as reported by the Bristol Post.
“I thought he [Kent] did really well. He showed what he is about.
“He is a good player and he is a nightmare to come up against as a defender for sure.
“I think he is only going to get better and better and the more he settles in the more we will see the best of him.
“I am looking forward seeing what he is going to show us for the rest of the season.”
North of the border, Connor Randall endured a disappointing week at Hearts as his positive run at the SPL side took a downward turn.
Randall was recalled to the starting XI for Tuesday’s game at Celtic and he had a tough night in a 3-1 loss—with his defending for the Bhoys third particularly poor as he was beaten too easily.
Despite the flat display, Randall started Saturday’s 1-1 draw with St Johnstone, but another uninspiring outing and the need for a tactical change saw him withdrawn at half-time at 0-0.
Three more Reds were in action around Europe, including Pedro Chirivella who had an exhausting week at Willem II making two appearances across league and cup competition.
The Spaniard kicked-off playing all 120 minutes of a gruelling KNVB Beker tie against Roda JC in midweek, which his side eventually won 5-4 on penalties after a 2-2 draw.
And Chirivella was in from the start again on Sunday as he played 70 minutes of a 1-0 loss to Sparta Rotterdam, with the midfielder producing two hard-working performances.
Taiwo Awoniyi unsurprisingly dropped to Royal Excel Mouscron’s bench after eight consecutive league starts and no goals.
It was a move that didn’t pay off as Mouscron failed to score in a 1-0 loss to Genk, in which Awoniyi was again unable to make an impact after entering for the final 30 minutes.
And Allan Rodrigues enjoyed a starting berth in Apollon Limassol’s top-of-the-table showdown with APOEL—having started the reverse fixture last week on the bench.
The Brazilian featured in centre midfield and played 81 minutes of a 2-1 defeat which inflicted his side’s first league loss of the season in the 22nd game.
The soon-to-bed Red enjoyed a positive return to RB Leipzig’s starting XI as he produced an influential display in a 1-0 win at Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday.
The Guinean took up his usual play-making midfield role and was a constant source of creation in a tightly contested battle.
But Keita’s key contribution came in his role in the slick move for Leipzig’s dramatic winner—rolling a nicely-weighted, first-time pass to Everton loanee Ademola Lookman who did the rest.
Liverpool’s Loanees This Week
- Sturridge – Played 12 mins vs. West Brom & 62 mins vs. Southampton
- Markovic – Left out of matchday squad vs. Mechelen
- Origi – Played 90 mins & scored vs. Stuttgart
- Grujic – Played 81 mins vs. Leeds
- Flanagan – Unused sub vs. Bristol City
- Kent – Played 90 mins vs. Bolton
- Ojo – Uninvolved due to injury
- Ejaria – Played 90 mins vs. Ipswich
- Wilson – Played 25 mins vs. Preston
- Randall – Played 90 mins vs. Celtic & 45 mins vs. St Johnstone
- Chirivella – Played 120 mins vs. Roda JC & 70 mins vs. Sparta Rotterdam
- Awoniyi – Played 32 mins vs. Genk
- Allan – Played 81 mins vs. APOEL
- Virtue – Left out of matchday squad vs. Crewe
- Whelan – Unused sub vs. Grimsby & Cambridge
- Firth – N/A due to no fixture
- Keita – Played 90 mins claiming assist vs. Borussia Monchengladbach