It was a difficult weekend for Liverpool’s loanees, but positives came in Ryan Kent scoring his first goal for Rangers and Loris Karius shining at Besiktas.
It’s been a very promising start to the season for the borrowed Reds but fortunes took a downward turn this weekend.
Disappointingly, only seven of 15 loanees played, with Ovie Ejaria and Harry Wilson out injured while Ben Woodburn, Allan Rodrigues, Taiwo Awoniyi, Anderson Arroyo and Shamal George were all unused.
However, there were still some bright moments provided by those who enjoyed game-time—especially in the case of Kent and Karius.
Here’s the full lowdown on all the action.
Kent impressed as he opened his Rangers account…
Ovie Ejaria has had most of the attention since the Reds duo moved to Rangers, but it was Kent who grabbed the headlines this weekend.
The winger produced his best performance yet for the Gers on Saturday, impressing and scoring his first goal for the club in a 4-0 thrashing of Dundee at Ibrox.
Kent doubled Rangers’ lead on 14 minutes as he finished off a neat team move he started—slotting home from inside the box after a succession of one-twos.
It was a big moment for Kent after a mixed start to life at Ibrox—highlighted by his passionate celebration—and Steven Gerrard was full of praise for the 21-year-old post-match:
“He was superb and I knew the goals would come. I knew as soon as he started relaxing in front of goal the goals would come. He’s in a terrific place.”
With his confidence sure to be boosted from the goal and Gerrard’s praise, Kent’s next task is to maintain this level of performance in upcoming games.
Meanwhile, Gerrard also confirmed Ejaria missed out due to a minor hip issue but hopes the midfielder is back for the Europa League opener against Villarreal on Thursday.
Karius was in top form for Besiktas…
After producing a mixed debut for the Turkish side before the international break, the German reconvened in much more positive form.
In fact, it was as close to a match-winning display as you will find, with Karius’ superb work ensuring his side came through Saturday’s clash against Yeni Malatyaspor with a 2-1 win.
Karius shone as he pulled off a string of excellent saves to keep his side in a winning position, denying the visitors with two great reaction stops in particular.
It was fantastic to see Karius in this kind of form after such a tough period in his career and he should take great confidence from this display going forward.
First league game at home ?
First win at home ?
Now focus on Thursday ? #LK1 #BJK pic.twitter.com/nAjEqrhgrs
— Loris Karius (@LorisKarius) September 15, 2018
Five more Reds enjoyed match action…
Starting with the European-based Reds, Marko Grujic followed an eventful first start at Hertha Berlin with a more composed second in a 2-2 draw against Wolfsburg.
Grujic featured in a two-man midfield in Hertha’s 4-2-3-1 set up and was a controlling presence in the middle of the park, though he still managed to pick up a customary booking as he played the full game.
Sheyi Ojo would have been hoping for a first start at Stade de Reims after a settling-in period during the international break, but he had to make do with a second cameo outing.
Ojo featured as a second-half sub in a 0-0 draw with Nantes on Sunday, playing the final quarter of an hour in which he was unable to provide the inspiration for a late winner.
Three Reds featured across the Football League and Scottish Premier League.
After finally linking up with Crewe after the international break, academy defender Corey Whelan made an instant debut for the League Two club on Saturday.
The Republic of Ireland U21 international was thrown straight in at left-back against Cheltenham and was in solid form on his bow as he helped keep a clean sheet in a goalless draw.
Herbie Kane’s positive run at Doncaster continued as the academy midfielder made his seventh consecutive start for the League One side in a 3-1 win over Walsall on Saturday.
In the SPL, Adam Bogdan conceded twice but still featured on the winning side as Hibernian battled to a 3-2 win over Kilmarnock.
Finally, Danny Ings has yet to return to action, as Southampton play on Monday night against Brighton, which you can see live on Sky Sports One, 8pm kick-off.
Connor Randall’s spell at Rochdale has ground to a premature halt after the full-back suffered a broken cheekbone during the international break.
The injury occurred in an EFL Cup tie against local rivals Bury and Liverpool confirmed that Randall requires surgery and will be sidelined for around 12 weeks.
Randall had just started to find his feet at Spotland, making two cup appearances for the League One club.
All at TIA wish Connor a speedy recovery.
Meanwhile, Derby boss Frank Lampard has confirmed Harry Wilson is available again after missing six games, meaning the winger could make his return on Tuesday night against Blackburn.
Liverpool’s Loanees This Week
- Karius – Played 90 mins vs. Yeni Malatyaspor
- Grujic – Played 90 mins vs. Wolfsburg
- Kent – Played 64 mins & scored vs. Dundee
- Bogdan – Played 90 mins vs. Kilmarnock
- Kane – Played 65 mins vs. Walsall
- Whelan – Played 90 mins vs. Cheltenham
- Ojo – Played 17 mins + stoppage time vs. Nantes
- Woodburn – Unused sub vs. Bristol City
- Awoniyi – Unused sub vs. Sint-Truiden
- George – Unused sub vs. Carlisle
- Arroyo – Left out of matchday squad vs. Sint-Truiden
- Allan – Left out of matchday squad vs. Borussia Dortmund
- Ejaria – Injured
- Wilson – Injured
- Ings – Monday night vs. Brighton