It was a week of mixed fortunes for Liverpool’s loanees, as three excellent goals were scored but the majority went without game time.
The good news is that the borrowed Reds remain in good form, but the bad news is that minutes on the pitch are in increasingly short supply.
A combination of bad luck with injuries and certain Reds going unused meant a season-low five loanees played over the weekend.
Eleven Reds didn’t feature in total, four of those—Marko Grujic, Allan Rodrigues, Ryan Kent and Connor Randall—through being sidelined by injury. Five were not selected: Ben Woodburn, Adam Bogdan, Corey Whelan, Shamal George and Anderson Arroyo.
And Harry Wilson also had no game as Derby play on Monday night against rivals Nottingham Forest, which you can see live on Sky Sports 1, 8pm kick-off.
Thankfully some of those who did play were in great form to salvage the weekend, and here’s what happened.
One Red produced a stunning comeback…
The striker netted a superb brace—two brilliant headers—on his first outing under new boss Ralph Hasenhuttl to inspire the Saints to a 3-2 win against Arsenal, ending the Gunners’ 22-game unbeaten run.
The first came after 20 minutes to make it 1-0, with Ings, who played 70 minutes on his return, sending a bullet header past Bernd Leno at the near post.
And Ings followed that with an even better effort on the stroke of half-time, planting a fantastic header across goal into the far corner to make it 2-1 after the Saints had been pegged back.
As comebacks from injury go, this was just about perfect from Ings, who is far and away Southampton’s top scorer this season with seven goals.
No doubt we’ll see Ings add to that total in the coming weeks as the games come thick and fast over the festive period.
Herbie Kane just can’t stop scoring…
Kane’s hot goal-scoring streak at League One Doncaster shows no signs of cooling down.
The young midfielder netted his sixth in his last seven games to help his side cruise to a 3-0 win over local rivals Scunthorpe on Saturday.
Kane scored Donny’s second after just 10 minutes to give his side early daylight following an electric start to what was a fiery encounter.
Sensing opportunity to cause panic, Kane pounced on some poor defensive play to win possession strongly before finishing with a tidy lob over Scunthorpe’s ‘keeper.
Aside from the goal, Kane shone yet again with another excellent overall display and it earned him the man of the match award on the day to complete an outstanding afternoon.
— Doncaster Rovers FC (@drfc_official) December 15, 2018
That’s now six goals and the same number of assists in 26 outings from Kane so far this campaign, which is turning into a fantastic one for the youngster.
Just three more Reds featured…
All three were European-based loanees and it wasn’t a particularly productive time for any of the trio, with only one enjoying a starting berth.
That was Loris Karius, who made his second appearance of the week on Sunday for Besiktas, but was unable to keep a clean sheet as his side drew 2-2 against Trabzonspor.
Meanwhile, Taiwo Awoniyi was again restricted to a late cameo appearance at KAA Gent, featuring only for the final 10 minutes of a 2-0 loss to Charleroi on Friday night.
Awoniyi was sent on to find a winner with the score goalless, but it didn’t go to plan as the hosts struck two late goals to steal the win, which may not help his fight for game-time going forward.
Sheyi Ojo also continues to see limited action at Stade de Reims, playing only the closing minutes as a sub to run the clock down as his side held on for a 2-1 win over Strasbourg.
A factor behind the severe lack of action is that, just like for Klopp’s first-team, injuries are beginning to mount for the loanees.
Grujic has had particularly bad luck this season and is expected to be out until the New Year after suffering another ankle problem—a cruel blow considering his superb recent form.
Fellow Bundesliga loanee Allan Rodrigues is also sidelined until 2019 having suffered knee ligament damage.
Kent made his comeback from a hamstring injury after six games out with a 45-minute outing in Rangers’ clash with Dundee last week.
But he suffered the same injury on his return and according to Steven Gerrard, will now be out for another “couple of weeks.”
Randall enjoyed a comeback outing for Rochdale at the end of the November after recovering from a fractured cheekbone.
But the full-back hasn’t been involved in either of Dale’s last three games having picked up an unspecified knock.
Liverpool’s Loanees This Weekend
- Taiwo Awoniyi (KAA Gent) – 10 mins vs. Charleroi
- Herbie Kane (Doncaster) – 90 mins vs. Scunthorpe, goal
- Sheyi Ojo (Reims) – 2 mins + stoppage time vs. Strasbourg
- Danny Ings (Southampton) – 70 mins vs. Arsenal, two goals
- Loris Karius (Besiktas) – 90 mins vs. Trabzonspor