Manchester United’s loan stars were in action for their respective clubs this weekend, with none of them finding the back of the net, unfortunately. Ben Pearson impressed in his first loan spell away from the club, something that will help him defined his future career. Sam Johnstone played his last match for Doncaster Rovers, with him signing for Preston North End on Monday for the remainder of the season. Michael Keane signed a permanent deal with Burnley last week, so we will not be reporting on his progress any further. Will Keane is currently linked with a loan move, with Championship sides Reading and Blackpool both interested in the young striker.
Here is how I feel the loan players fared this weekend:
Tom Cleverley – Aston Villa
Tom Cleverley played the full 90 minutes in the 1-0 defeat to Leicester City in the Barclays Premier League. The former England midfielder had an average game for the Villains. He should have scored but put it over the bar from eight yards out. He was really outplayed in midfield throughout the match. The Manchester United midfielder isn’t really showing anything different from what he has done at the Old Trafford club. It does look as if a move to Villa will not happen, with the player leaving United as a free agent in the summer.
Next Match: Liverpool – Barclays Premier League – Saturday 17th January 2015; KO 15:00
Wilfried Zaha – Crystal Palace
Wilfried Zaha played 16 minutes in the 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur in the Barclays Premier League. Zaha played well, causing some trouble for Kyle Walker. The England U21 international should have scored himself, and assisted in another, but were both saved by Hugo Lloris. However, Zaha did create the opportunity for Jason Puncheon to score the winner, with Zaha’s pass being deflected to Puncheon, who found the back of the net for Palace.
Next Match: Burnley – Barclays Premier League – Saturday 17th January 2015; KO 15:00
Reece James – Rotherham United
Reece James played 76 minutes in the 1-0 defeat to Brentford in the Sky Bet Championship. He had an average game at left back, but showed in places that he has potential if he is given a good chance. He can defend well when needed and offers a lot in attack. Playing first team football in the Championship will be good for Reece James, but his side really do need to show improvement if they want to avoid being casualty during their relegation battle this season.
Next Match: Bournemouth – Sky Bet Championship – Saturday 17th January 2015; KO 15:00
Ben Pearson – Barnsley
Ben Pearson played the full 90 minutes in the 2-0 win over Yeovil Town in the Sky Bet League One, his debut during his first loan spell away from Manchester United. Pearson played well, continuing what he has been doing for United’s U21’s this season. Pearson had a shot on goal in the 23rd minute, which was too high, but he was not afraid to shoot. Pearson will gain some good experience with Barnsley and a win on his debut will only boost his confidence.
Next Match: Doncaster Rovers – Sky Bet League One – Saturday 17th January 2015; KO 15:00
Sam Johnstone – Doncaster Rovers
Sam Johnstone played what would be his last match for Doncaster Rovers this season in the 2-2 draw with Oldham Athletic in the Sky Bet League One. The Manchester United goalkeeper has since been loaned out to fourth placed Preston North End, where he will remain for the rest of the season. His time with the South Yorkshire club has been good for his development though. Being able to play for a team currently in the promotion places, could be even better for the player.
Next Match: Leyton Orient – Skt Bet League One – Friday 16th January 2015; KO 19:45
Javier Hernandez – Real Madrid
Javier Hernandez was an unused substitute in the 3-0 victory over Espanyol in La Liga this weekend. He could make an appearance in the Copa del Rey second leg against Atlético Madrid, in which his side will need to overturn a 2-0 deficit from the first leg. The Mexican striker last featured for his side during the 2-1 defeat to Valencia, with him playing the last ten minutes of the match. Hernandez has made 14 appearances this season for Real Madrid, playing 512 minutes of football, completing 90 minutes on four occasions.
Next Match: Atlético Madrid – Copa del Rey – Thursday 15th January 2015; KO 19:00
Guillermo Varela – Real Madrid II
Guillermo Varela played the full 90 minutes in Real Madrid II’s 4-2 victory over Atlético Madrid II in the Spanish Segunda B this weekend. The Uruguayan was shown a yellow card in the 40th minute of the match for a challenge. Real Madrid II are currently in third place in the league, two points away from leaders Huesca.
Next Match: Getafe II – Segunda B – Sunday 18th January 2015; KO 15:00
Nani – Sporting Lisbon
Nani played 90 minutes in the 1-0 victory over Sporting Braga in the Primeira Liga. The Portuguese winger had a decent game and created a lot of opportunities for his team-mates, but many of them did not reach their man. Five minutes into injury time, a free-kick was awarded with Junya Tanaka scoring a superb strike to earn all three points. Nan spent nearly a month out through injury recently, but looks to be getting back on track. I still think it is likely he will exit the Old Trafford club in the summer.
Next Match: Boavista – Primeira Liga – Wednesday 14th January 2015; KO 15:00
Angelo Henriquez – Dinamo Zagreb
Angelo Henriquez was not in action this weekend due to his league currently having their winter break.
Next Match: Odd – Friendly – Tuesday 27th January 2015; KO 17:00
Vanja Milinković-Savić – FK Vojvodina
Vanja Milinković-Savić was not in action this weekend due to his league currently having their winter break.
Next Match: OFK Beograd – Super Liga – Saturday 21st February 2015, KO 12:30