Rhys Williams was back in the Swansea starting XI for the first time since September, but storm damage to Prenton Park saw Paul Glatzel‘s game postponed.
Things have not gone according to plan for Williams in the Championship, with the 20-year-old struggling to build on his impressive half-season as stand-in for Jurgen Klopp.
Under Russell Martin, the centre-back has not been a staple of the side, with full-backs Kyle Naughton and Ryan Manning preferred as part of a three-man defensive line.
Prior to Saturday, Williams’ last start for the Swans came in the 2-0 loss to Brighton in the League Cup on September 22, while in the league, it came in a 3-3 draw at Luton a week previous that saw him suffer racist abuse.
He was substituted at half-time that day, with it unclear whether that was due to the situation off the pitch, but Martin then only gave him four minutes over the next 11 games.
For six of those, he was not even in the matchday squad, with Martin suggesting he could return to Liverpool in January, but the visit of Reading at the weekend gave Williams a rare chance.
Unfortunately, it came in a 3-2 defeat to Reading, and he saw himself outpaced by Andy Carroll for the away side’s second goal of the game.
Williams played the full 90 minutes, but after the game Martin was left to lament “cardinal sins” as Swansea allowed three goals from Reading players cutting back inside the pitch.
At least there was a game for him to play, however, with the impact of Storm Arwen leading to Tranmere’s meeting with Stevenage called off.
According to the League One club, high winds saw “a small section of the main stand roof being blown off,” while “a significant amount of roof signage and guttering” was also blown away.
While it was clearly the right decision to postpone the game, it will be a setback for Glatzel as he looks to build on a run of four goals and two assists in his last three starts.
Back in the Championship, Sepp van den Berg played the full 90 minutes as Preston held table-topping Fulham to a vital 1-1 draw, while Sheyi Ojo made his first start in a month as Millwall lost 2-1 to Hull.
Ben Davies completed another 90 minutes in Sheffield United’s first game under new manager Paul Heckingbottom, with Rhian Brewster scoring the opener in a 2-0 win over Bristol City.
Anderson Arroyo also played 90 minutes in Mirandes’ 1-1 draw with Real Oviedo, while Luis Longstaff came off the bench for the final 25 minutes of Queen’s Park’s 1-0 loss to Kilmarnock.
For Vitezslav Jaros, the season on loan with St Patrick’s Athletic ended in triumph, with the Irish club fighting for a penalty-shootout victory over Bohemians in the final of the FAI Cup.
The young Czech will now return to Merseyside with a winner’s medal, having spent the entire campaign as No. 1 in Dublin.
Liverpool Loan Watch Roundup
- Vitezslav Jaros (St Pat’s) – 120 mins vs. Bohemians
- Rhys Williams (Swansea) – 90 mins vs. Reading
- Ben Davies (Sheffield United) – 90 mins vs. Bristol City
- Sepp van den Berg (Preston) – 90 mins vs. Fulham
- Anderson Arroyo (Mirandes) – 90 mins vs. Real Oviedo
- Sheyi Ojo (Millwall) – 72 mins vs. Hull
- Luis Longstaff (Queen’s Park) – 25 mins vs. Kilmarnock
Unused: Leighton Clarkson, Ben Woodburn, Jake Cain
Injured: Adam Lewis
Not in action: Paul Glatzel, Jakub Ojrzynski