Liverpool’s loanees failed to hit top form across the weekend as a lack of game time made for a strangely subdued spell.
It was another weekend of limited opportunity for the borrowed Reds, who are going through a tough patch in what has been an excellent season overall.
Only five loanees played as injuries, ineligibility and being left out of involvement altogether made for another heavily depleted schedule.
The lack of match action predictably contributed to precious little output being delivered in terms of goals and assists.
Moreover, individual performances didn’t hit the high level we have come to expect either, making this one of the least productive weekends of the season.
One player who did impress, though, was academy goalkeeper Dan Atherton.
The young shot-stopper continues to excel on his first loan experience in the Northern Premier League with Marine.
Atherton was in fine form once again on Saturday as he kept his third clean sheet for the club in a 1-0 win over Ramsbottom United, which took Marine to third place.
But it is still not working quite as smoothly for fellow glovesman Loris Karius in Turkey.
It has been well documented that the German has had a season of struggle, and he had another outing to forget on Friday night in Besiktas’ 2-1 victory over Ankaragucu.
Despite helping claim an important win—which moved Besiktas to fifth in the table—Karius turned in a display riddled with errors, with a real lack of confidence visible in his performance.
Karius conceded after making a real mess of what should have been a simple save—though an offside flag fortunately bailed him out to spare his blushes.
He didn’t take that lifeline though, and in the second half produced another howler which this time was punished.
Having made a rash decision to rush out from his goal, Karius brought down the Ankaragucu attacker to concede a needless late penalty.
The spot-kick was converted, but thankfully there was no further damage done as Besiktas held on to record successive wins in the SuperLig for the first time since December.
Elsewhere, it was a mixed weekend for the two Reds who have been excelling in the Championship.
Ovie Ejaria made his 50th start in a Reading shirt against Birmingham on Saturday, featuring as the Royals mounted an impressive comeback to win 3-1.
One last positive came again in non-league, namely with academy centre-back Rhys Williams.
The teenage defender continues to be a mainstay in Kidderminster’s back line, and he played the full game as his side battled to a 2-1 win at Southport on Saturday.
Liverpool’s Loanees This Weekend
- Loris Karius (Besiktas) – 90 mins vs. Ankaragucu
- Rhian Brewster (Swansea) – 90 mins vs. West Brom
- Ovie Ejaria (Reading) – 72 mins vs. Birmingham
- Rhys Williams (Kidderminster) – 90 mins vs. Southport
- Dan Atherton (Marine) – 90 mins vs. Ramsbottom, clean sheet
- Nat Phillips (Stuttgart) – To play Monday night vs. Arminia