Loan Watch: Michael Keane shows his class whilst Wilfried Zaha & Nick Powell struggle to shine

Michael Keane

Manchester United’s loan stars were again in action this weekend for the respective clubs. Neither of United’s loan stars found the back of the net this weekend, but there were some performances to be proud of for some of the players, and others that need to better themselves, or their careers at their parent club could soon be over. Only Vanja Milinković-Savič, Manchester United;s 17-year-old Serbian goalkeeper did not play this weekend due to his side having their winter break – he is currently at the AON Training Complex with his United team-mates, which was part of the agreement in the deal signed during the summer.

Here is how I feel the players fared this weekend:

Michael Keane – Burnley

Michael Keane started against Southampton in the Barclays Premier League the weekend. Burnley won the match with a goal scored by Ashley Barnes, assisted by Danny Ings in the 73rd minute of the match. The Manchester United defender put in another good performance, which will have been noticed by manager Sean Dyche. Keane had a pass completion rate of 75%, winning 67% or his aerial duals. Keane showed his class with six interceptions, five in his own half, and ten clearances, seven of which were from within the Burnley box. Keane is starting to prove himself in the Barclays Premier League this season, which I am sure Louis van Gaal is also taking note of.

Next Match: Tottenham Hotspur – Barclays Premier League – Saturday 20th December 2014; KO 15:00

Wilfried Zaha – Crystal Palace

Wilfried Zaha started for Crystal Palace in their 1-1 draw with Stoke City in the Barclays Premier League this weekend. Haha was substituted just after the hour with Jason Puncheon replacing him. Zaha had no shots on goal during his hour sen on the pitch. He had a 67% pass success rate, which was not that great, making three crosses into the box – each of them failing to reach their man. He did make one interception in Palace’s half in the second minute of play. Neil Warnock recently said that he will get Zaha firing like Manchester United never could. Not sure it is going to plan. His loan spell with his former club it not showing much promise and unless he starts to shine, his future at Old Trafford may not have longevity.

Next Match: Manchester City – Barclays Premier League – Saturday 20th December 2014; KO 12:45


Tom Cleverley – Aston Villa

Tom Cleverley started for Aston Villa in their 1-0 defeat to local rivals West Bromwich Albion. The former England international, looking to rejuvenate his career, had an 85% pass success rate during the match, making four crosses on the attack, with three of them failing to reach their man. Cleverley won 50% of his tackles, fouling Silvestre Varela on the 42nd minute, for which he was shown a yellow card. Cleverley made one interception inside Villa’s box, also making one clearance and one block. Cleverley’s contract at United expires at the end of the season, so maybe in January he will make a permanent move away from the club, or he will see out the remainder of the season on loan with Villa or another club, leaving as a free agent. Cleverley will be unable to face United this weekend – he’s currently suspended for one match anyway due to amassing five yellow cards so far this season. With Alan Hutton and Kieran Richardson also suspended with Joe Cole and Ashley Westwood both on the sidelines, Villa could have a problem against the in-form United side.

Next Match: Manchester United – Barclays Premier League – Saturday 20th December 2014; KO 15:00

Nick Powell – Leicester City

Nick Powell was a substitute in the 1-0 defeat to Manchester City in the Barclays Premier League this weekend. The former Crewe Alexandra forward replaced Jamie Vardy on the 73rd minute of the match, with the home side still chasing a 1-0 deficit after Frank Lampard scored five minutes before half time. Powell had a 100% pass success rate, but only made two passes. He also put a cross into the box via a corner, which failed. Powell took on Gaël Clichy on the 88th minute, which failed. The once-promising United forward had five aerial challenges, winning just two of them. He did make a headed clearance in the box with seven minutes remaining, but his Squawka score for his appearance was -6, which was just not good. Powell needs t buck his ideas up if he wants to succeed at United and Louis van Gaal will clearly not accept failure with his players. Many had high hopes for Powell, but people are starting to see something wrong with his once-promising career.

Next Match: West Ham United – Barclays Premier League – Saturday 20th December 2014; KO 15:00

Reece James – Rotherham United

Reece James made his third appearance for Rotherham United in their 0-0 draw with Nottingham Forest in the Sky Bet Championship this weekend. The Millers have drawn all three matches that James has played in since his loan spell with the club started, which expires in January and could be extended until the end of the season. James played well as a left-back with former United team-mates Tom Lawrence and Scott Wootton, with another former United player on the bench, Febian Brandy. There is no doubt that Reece James has a future; whether that will be at United with the likes of Luke Shaw, Daley Blind and Marcos Rojo all capable of playing in the left-back role – but Louis van Gaal has given him a chance in the first team and on pre-season tour, also helping him find a club where he will gain first team experience, so it could suggest the Dutchman has high hopes for the defender come forward.

Next Match: Wigan Athletic – Sky Bet Championship – Saturday 20th December 2014; KO 15:00

Sam Johnstone – Doncaster Rovers

Sam Johnstone played the full match in the 2-1 defeat at home to Gillingham this weekend; the second in a row for the Rovers who were knocked out to the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy last week at the hands of Notts County. Gillingham threatened the United shot stopper from the start of the match, having a few chances to take the lead, but due to shots off target, the score remained 0-0. Doncaster Rovers had many chances to make a difference with more that five shots on goal in the first half alone. It wasn’t until the 51st minute when Gillingham took the lead, doubling that on the 77th minute. The Rovers won a last-minute penalty, which was scored and would only be a consolation for the home side. Johnstone played well, showing his class and helping his side keep their heads. It was an unfortunate loss for the home side, who currently sit 17th in League One, with a lot to do before they can think about promotion back to the Championship next season.

Next Match: Swindon Town – Sky Bet League One – Saturday 20th December 2014; KO 15:00

Javier Hernandez – Real Madrid

Javier Hernandez was an unused substitute in the 4-1 victory over Almeíra in La Liga on Friday evening. Real Madrid are currently in Morocco where they will complete, if that is the word, for the FIFA Club World Cup, with the final being played on Saturday evening. Real Madrid have a 22-man squad for the tournament and Hernandez has travelled, so could play a part.

Next Match: Cruz Azul – FIFA Club World Cup – Tuesday 16th December 2014; KO: 19:30

Nani – Sporting Lisbon

Nani was not involved in the 1-1 draw against Moreirense in the Primeira Liga this weekend due to an injury sustained in their last league match, a 3-1 victory over Boavista. The Manchester United winger also missed the 3-1 defeat to Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League this week.

Next Match: Vizela – Taça de Portugal – Wednesday 17th December 2014; KO 20:00

Angelo Henriquez – Dinamo Zagreb

Angelo Henriquez was a substitute in this weekends 3-2 victory over Slaven Koprivnica in the 1.HNL. The Chilean striker made his appearance on the 73rd minute, replacing Marko Pjaca, who scored the first goal and bagged himself a hat-trick in the 4-3 victory over Celtic in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday evening. Henriquez did not get himself on the score sheet in this match, which incidentally was their last match of 2014 with their next game being played in February 2015. Dynamo Zagreb currently sit at the top of the 1.HNL, seven points clear of Rijeka.

Next Match: Locomotiva Zagreb – 1.HNL – Saturday 7th February 2015; KO 18:00

Guillermo Varela – Real Madrid II

Guillermo Varela played the full 90 minutes in a 3-1 victory over Real Sociedad II in the Spanish Segunda B this weekend. The Uruguayan right-back was yellow carded for a challenge on the 63rd minute of the match and a minute later, team-mate Àlvaro Medrán was shown a straight red card. Real Sociedad II equalised on the 71st minute through Iker Hernández which meant ten-man Read Madrid II had to dig deep to win the match. They put themselves ahead on the 72nd minute through Raúl de Tomás, then three minutes later, settled the match with a third through Javier Muñoz.

Next Match: Guadalajara – Spanish Segunda B – Saturday 20th December 2014, KO TBA

Vanja Milinković-Savić – FK Vojvodina

Vanja Milinković-Savić has not played since the start of December. The Serbian side are currently on their winter break with their next match coming up this weekend. The 17-year-old Serbian goalkeeper has been spending some time training with his Manchester United team-mates at the AON Training Complex, with his travelling back to Serbia at the end of the week.

Next Match: OFK Beograd – Super Liga – Saturday 21st December 2014; KO 12:30

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