Divock Origi made a welcome return to the scoresheet as more loan spells drew to a close for Liverpool players at home and abroad.
With the season having already drawn to a close for a number of borrowed Reds, only four remaining loanees—and Naby Keita—were in action.
Connor Randall and Anderson Arroyo missed out through injury, while Sheyi Ojo was unused.
More loan spells came to an end—as did Keita’s time at RB Leipzig—and here’s the lowdown of the action starting with the goalscorer…
Origi made a welcome return to the scoresheet…
The Belgian has emerged from a tough spell at Wolfsburg positively and capped off a pleasing upturn by finishing the regular Bundesliga season with a goal.
Origi scored the second as his side ended the 34-game campaign with a 4-1 win over Cologne on Saturday—slotting into an empty net to put his side 2-1 up for his sixth goal of the season which you can watch here.
It was a fine win but one that wasn’t enough to eliminate Wolfsburg’s relegation fears completely, confirming a disappointing 16th-placed finish.
Indeed, the season isn’t over just yet for Origi as the Wolves now face a relegation play-off against Holstein Kiel to preserve Bundesliga status.
Origi will hope to bring his improved form into those crucial matches to ensure Wolfsburg fight off relegation for the second season running.
Another two Reds played as three more loans continue…
Lazar Markovic featured in one of Anderlecht’s games—making a return to the starting XI as his side suffered a painful 3-1 grudge-match loss to Standard Liege.
Markovic was in bright form from his right-wing role but picked up a knock in the defeat which ruled him out of the penultimate game of the season against Gent on Sunday.
Having made a positive impression since getting in the team, Markovic will hope to recover in time to feature and cap off a positive spell in the final game against Genk this weekend.
Academy midfielder Matty Virtue was also in action, featuring in Notts County’s 1-1 draw at Coventry in the first leg of the League Two play-off semi-final.
Virtue played as a right midfielder and turned in a hardworking display for an hour of the draw, which he will hope earns him a start in next Friday’s return leg.
However, injury cruelly saw Anderson Arroyo miss out as Real Mallorca B won the regional Tercera Division with a 4-3 victory over runners-up Poblense.
Though he missed the final game Arroyo played a key role in the success as he featured prominently in a 12-game unbeaten run which helped his side take control of the title race.
Arroyo could yet enjoy the positive send-off—providing he recovers from injury—with Mallorca B now set for a two-legged play-off to earn promotion.
Two Reds saw loan spells come to an end…
The cameo outing was only Sturridge’s sixth appearance of his time at the Hawthorns, which was ruined by injury setbacks.
As a result, Sturridge failed to score or make any kind of impact as West Brom were relegated to the Championship.
Connor Randall didn’t feature in either of Hearts’ last two games, which brought a flat finish to a topsy-turvy spell at Tynecastle.
Randall missed matches against Hibernian and Kilmarnock with a knee injury, meaning he sat out all of the last three games as Hearts finished sixth in the Scottish Premiership.
The right-back had a mixed season but was a regular fixture playing a number of positions—including right and central midfield—as he made 27 appearances, claiming two assists.
It wasn’t quite the dream send-off at RB Leipzig for Keita, who had a bittersweet afternoon on his emotional final outing.
The Guinean at least signed off with a victory—and an important one at that with an emphatic 6-2 win at Hertha Berlin.
It ensured Leipzig will play Europa League football next season after a sixth-placed finish and means the Reds will pay a transfer fee of £52.75 million for the midfielder.
But Keita’s last outing didn’t end quite as he will have hoped, as he was forced off 15 minutes before the final whistle with an injury.
However he returned after the match to enjoy an emotional farewell with the Leipzig fans, who chanted his name.
It brought an end to a successful campaign for Keita, who was his side’s main man as he scored nine goals and posted seven assists in 39 outings.
— RB Leipzig English (@RBLeipzig_EN) May 13, 2018
Now we can all begin counting down the days until we see Keita strutting his stuff in the famous Red.
Liverpool’s Loanees This Week
- Daniel Sturridge – Played 17 mins vs. Crystal Palace in final game of season
- Naby Keita – Played 76 mins vs. Hertha Berlin in final game of season
- Connor Randall – Injured for final games of season vs. Hibernian & Kilmarnock
- Divock Origi – Played 90 mins & scored vs. Cologne
- Matty Virtue – Played 58 mins vs. Coventry in play-off first leg
- Lazar Markovic – Played 76 mins vs. Standard Liege & injured vs. Gent
- Anderson Arroyo – Injured vs. Poblense
- Sheyi Ojo – Left out of matchday squad for play-off first leg vs. Derby