A combination of injuries, postponements and simply not being picked made this one the least rewarding spells of the season in terms of game time.
Only four of the 15 borrowed Reds played – though that should become five with Nat Phillips set to be in action for Stuttgart on Monday night.
There was no shortage of decisive moments produced despite the lack of action though, with those who did feature turning in some excellent performances.
One of those to shine was Brewster, who notched his third goal for Swansea in an eight-goal thriller…
Super-sub Brewster hit the back of the net…
Friday was Valentine’s Day and Brewster spent the occasion doing what he loves more than anything – scoring goals.
The 19-year-old came off the bench to score in the Swans’ crazy 4-4 draw against Hull City, who were without the injured Herbie Kane (more on that later).
Sent on just after the hour-mark and with the match balanced at 3-3, Brewster made the impact boss Steve Cooper wanted as he put Swansea 4-3 up with just six minutes remaining.
It was a real poacher’s goal, which saw Brewster show killer instinct inside the box as he swivelled and hit a powerful first-time drive with his left foot, which snuck into the bottom corner.
Just as it seemed Brewster’s late strike would be the winner, Hull snatched a dramatic equaliser in the fifth minute of stoppage time to ensure the points were, perhaps deservedly, shared.
The young Red was therefore denied the match-winner accolade, but he will have been delighted to hit the net again as he bids to prove to Jurgen Klopp that he can step up at Anfield next season.
A sublime assist from Ejaria…
After enduring a quiet spell of form by his usual high standards, Ejaria was back to his best levels with a bang on Saturday.
The creative midfielder brought a welcome end to a run of seven Championship games without a goal involvement, as he delivered a brilliant assist in the Royals’ 3-0 win at Sheffield Wednesday.
Ejaria supplied the opening goal of the game, scored by Yakou Meite, with an exquisite piece of play.
Having intelligently found space between defensive lines, Ejaria produced a nice turn, drove through midfield and cut Wednesday’s defence open with an incisive pass which Meite raced onto and finished.
It set Reading on the way to an excellent win – sealed by second-half goals from George Puscas and Sam Baldock – and one that was much-needed as the Royals’ first in eight games.
The assist, alongside the three points, will now hopefully provide a confidence boost for Ejaria to produce his best levels on a consistent basis once again.
Just two more Reds featured…
After a tough start to 2020, Loris Karius’ fortunes have picked up in recent weeks, with the ‘keeper claiming his first win of the year and his maiden clean sheet in the last two games.
However, the German was unable to continue that positive upturn on Saturday as Besiktas failed in their quest for a third successive victory.
Karius’ side went down 1-0 to Istanbul Basaksehir in the Turkish Super Lig, with the loanee beaten by former Reds nemesis Demba Ba (*shudders*) in the second-half.
The only other Red to feature was academy defender Rhys Williams, who has been in fine form throughout the season on his first loan experience at National League North side Kidderminster.
Saturday afternoon saw the giant centre-back excel once again, as Williams collected a third clean sheet in his last four appearances as his side battled to a 0-0 draw at Gateshead.
Another cruel injury blow as absences mount up…
Injuries have not been kind to the loanees this season, with several having been side-lined for large chunks of the campaign.
The bad luck curse struck again this week, this time coming down on Herbie Kane, who is likely to miss the rest of the season at Hull after tearing ligaments in his ankle.
Tigers boss Grant McCann revealed the news in midweek, stating that Kane will be out for “the foreseeable future – at least two or three months”.
It’s therefore unlikely that Kane will play again this season, and it is a particularly cruel blow seeing as he had just embarked on his first experience in the Championship – and made a solid start.
Kane is the latest to have suffered a derailing set-back in a season that has seen several loaned Reds suffer heavy injury blows.
Ben Woodburn has, perhaps, had the worst luck, with two long-term setbacks having ruled him out of action since early October.
Last month, Isaac Christie-Davies had to undergo surgery just as he got himself up and running at Cercle Brugge, while Kamil Grabara is in a spell of at least a month out after a nasty head injury.
There are no reported time frames for potential returns to action but hopefully, the latter trio will all get back on the pitch before the end of the season.
Liverpool’s Loanees This Weekend
- Rhian Brewster (Swansea) – 26 mins vs. Hull, goal
- Loris Karius (Besiktas) – 90 mins vs. Istanbul Basaksehir
- Ovie Ejaria (Reading) – 90 mins vs. Sheffield Wednesday, assist
- Rhys Williams (Kidderminster) – 90 mins vs. Gateshead
- Nat Phillips (Stuttgart) – To play on Monday night vs. VFL Bochum
Injured: Herbie Kane, Ben Woodburn, Kamil Grabara, Isaac Christie-Davies
Not in action: Marko Grujic (unused), Harry Wilson (winter break), Sheyi Ojo & Dan Atherton (postponed), Taiwo Awoniyi, Anderson Arroyo (both unused)