Manchester United’s loan stars were in action for their respective clubs this weekend. Nan was the player to talk about this weekend with him being the only player to find the back of the net. His loan spell in Portugal with his former club has brought out the best in him, but I do not think for one minute that it will last if he returns to Old Trafford next season. Sporting will not be able to afford the player, or his wages, and with him still having a further three years on his contract at United after this season, he does not need to leave either. Perhaps his performances will have got him noticed by other clubs in the market for a winger and able to afford him. Reece James was not in action for Rotherham United after his initial loan spell came to an end. The defender could have been in action for Manchester United’s U21 side on Monday evening, but the match was postponed.
Here is how I feel the loan players fared this weekend:
Tom Cleverley – Aston Villa
Tom Cleverley played 59 minutes in the 2-0 defeat to Liverpool in the Barclays Premier League. Cleverley did not have the best of games since being on loan at an Aston Villa struggling in front of goal. He had a couple of chances to score but smashed one wide of the post. Cleverley had a 76% pass success rate during the 59 minutes of the match he played in, he also crossed the ball into the box once, failing to meet his man. He really had nothing else to offer during the match, which is something that will not get him noticed by teams that could be in the market for the free agent in the summer. Will Cleverley ever be that player we all thought he could be?
Next Match: AFC Bournemouth – FA Cup – Sunday 25th January 2015; KO 15:00
Wilfried Zaha – Crystal Palace
Wilfried Zaha played 70 minutes in the 3-2 win over Burnley in the Barclays Premier League. Zaha played very well after they were 2-0 down. He played a massive part in one of the goals with some brilliant skills to beat his opponent for his cross to be put into the back of the net by Dwight Gale. Alan Pardew has stated that he intends to get the England U21 international back in form, and if he does, it will give him a better chance at United next season, especially with the fact that wingers are something United are short on right now.
Next Match: Southampton – FA Cup – Saturday 24th January 2015; KO 15:00
Ben Pearson – Barnsley
Ben Pearson wasn’t involved in the 1-0 defeat to Doncaster Rovers in the Sky Bet League One.
Next Match: MK Dons – Sky Bet League One – Saturday 24th January 2015; KO 15:00
Sam Johnstone – Preston North End
Sam Johnstone played full 90 minutes in the 2-2 draw with Leyton Orient in the Sky Bet League One. Johnstone didn’t have the best of starts on his debut after letting in a long-range shot from Dave Mooney. He made some decent saves but overall apart from the goals he let in he had decent game. Being on loan with Preston North End, rather than Doncaster Rovers will be good for Johnstone. He needs to improve and would not have done that being at the top of his game playing for the South Yorkshire side. The England U21 international needs to be challenged, which is how he will improve.
Next Match: Sheffield United – FA Cup – Saturday 24th January 2015; KO 15:00
Javier Hernandez – Real Madrid
Javier Hernandez was an unused substitute in the 2-0 victory over Getafe in La Liga. Hernandez is really not getting much game time in the Spanish capital this season, which ironically was one of the reasons he left the Old Trafford club on loan. Rumours suggest that Louis van Gaal is intent on selling the Mexican striker in the summer, even if Radamel Falcao does not earn a permanent deal at the Theatre of Dreams.
Next Match: Cordoba – La Liga – Saturday 24th January 2015; KO 15:00
Guillermo Varela – Real Madrid II
Guillermo Varela was not involved in the 1-0 victory over Getafe II in the Spanish Segunda B this weekend.
Next Match: Fuenlabrada – Segunda B – Sunday 25th January 2015; KO 15:00
Nani – Sporting Lisbon
Nani played the full match in the 4-2 win over Rio Ave in the Primeira Liga. Nani played well in the victory and bagged a goal from the penalty spot in the 30th minute. He showed real potential during the match and was really impressive. During his loan spell in Portugal, Nani has scored seven goals, assisted a further six goals and been named the Man of the Match on four occasions, all in 19 appearances, including UEFA Champions League matches.
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