A depleted schedule, injuries and selection decisions made for a subdued weekend for Liverpool’s loanees—but the two goalkeepers impressed.
Jurgen Klopp’s borrowed men have impressed so far this season, with this latest batch of loanees delivering far more consistent displays and big moments than recent years.
The flying form has slowed slightly in recent weeks and that trend continued over the weekend, with this the least rewarding period of the season so far.
That wasn’t all down to the loaned Reds though, as only seven of 13 loanees played.
Ovie Ejaria and Rhys Williams had a weekend of no football as Reading and Kidderminster both saw their games postponed.
An ill-timed ankle injury saw Ben Woodburn miss another game at Oxford United—the setback frustratingly arriving at a time the Welshman was excelling with the League One club.
Despite that, the form of those who did feature still didn’t hit the heights that we’ve come to expect—the two loaned ‘keeper’s aside.
Indeed, the biggest positive came with Loris Karius, who continued his upturn in form at Besiktas.
The German kept a third clean sheet in four games, and this was the most important as it earned his side an Istanbul derby success with a 1-0 victory over rivals Galatasaray on Sunday.
Karius had a surprisingly trouble-free afternoon; rarely called into action until late on as Galatasaray pushed for an equaliser.
But he did what he had to with minimum fuss and an air of confidence; clearly benefitting from the improvement.
The positive form from the goalkeeper’s union continued with Kamil Grabara.
After missing Huddersfield’s midweek trip to Middlesbrough through illness, the Polish ‘keeper was back between the sticks on Saturday.
It was a huge match for Grabara to return in: a relegation six-pointer against Yorkshire rivals and bottom-of-the-table Barnsley.
Victory was essential on home turf, and Grabara helped his team earn it with a solid display as the Terriers claimed a 2-1 win to rise out of the drop zone.
The subdued spell was perhaps best epitomised by Marko Grujic‘s surprisingly ineffective outing for Hertha Berlin.
The Serbian played only the first 45 minutes of the Bundesliga side’s 3-2 loss to Hoffenheim, being withdrawn at half-time as his side trailed 2-0.
Elsewhere, Liam Millar was back in Kilmarnock’s starting XI against St Mirren, but was withdrawn early before Killie earned a late 1-0 win.
Finally, Allan Rodrigues continues to be a key component in Fluminense’s midfield and he made his 27th appearance of the season in a 1-1 draw again Chapecoense.
Liverpool’s Loanees This Weekend
- Harry Wilson (Bournemouth) – 30 mins vs. Watford
- Kamil Grabara (Huddersfield) – 90 mins vs. Barnsley
- Liam Millar (Kilmarnock) – 68 mins vs. St Mirren
- Marko Grujic (Hertha Berlin) – 45 mins vs. Hoffenheim
- Sheyi Ojo (Rangers) – 25 mins vs. Motherwell
- Allan Rodrigues (Fluminense) – 90 mins vs. Chapecoense
- Loris Karius (Besiktas) – 90 mins vs. Galatasaray, clean sheet