Manchester United’s loan stars were in action for their respective clubs this weekend. Will Keane was the only loan player to find the net this weekend in what was a lacklustre weekend for most players. This midweek matches could be good with some teams fighting for promotion and play-off places, other fighting for safety in the league. Ben Amos has his loan spell extended for another month with Bolton, which should do him the world of good considering injuries to both Bolton keepers has allowed the United keeper into the first team.
Here is how I feel the loan players fared this weekend:
Tom Cleverley – Aston Villa
Tom Cleverley played 90 minutes in a 1-0 defeat to Newcastle United in the Barclays Premier League. It was not a good second league match in charge for Tim Sherwood, who saw his side lose again. Cleverley forced a save from Tim Krul in the 62nd minute of the match, which could have been the equaliser. Cleverly’s passing was not so good with only 76% of them reaching their man. Confidence is apparently the issue for Villa this season and if they do not find it fast, relegation looms and that will be a shame as Villa Park is normally a good away day. By the time United face Villa in April, it could be a crunch period for them, so they need to find their feet and fast.
Next Match: West Bromwich Albion – Barclays Premier League – Tuesday 3rd March 2015; KO 19:45
Joe Rothwell – Blackpool
Joe Rothwell was an unused substitute in the 3-1 defeat to Wigan Athletic in the Sky Bet Championship this weekend. Blackpool’s future in the second tier of English football does not look good with them expected to be relegated in the coming weeks. As Rothwell did not play this weekend, he was eligible to play for United U21 side on Monday evening, who lost to Bolton in the semi-final of the Manchester Senior Cup.
Next Match: Birmingham City – Sky Bet Championship – Wednesday 4th March 2015; KO 19:45
Ben Amos – Bolton Wanderers
Ben Amos played 90 minutes in the 1-0 victory over Brighton & Hove Albion in the Sky Bet Championship this weekend. Amos’ loan deal has been extended for a further month, which will be good for his progress and could get him a permanent deal as it is expected that Manchester United will offload the goalkeeper this summer, with many other players expected to follow suit. Amos has regressed this season, but that could be due to not playing competitive football and a spell in Bolton’s first team could bring out the best in him. With Adam Bogdan’s Bolton future not certain, they could have found their new goalkeeper.
Next Match: Reading – Sky Bet Championship – Tuesday 3rd March 2015; KO 20:00
Saidy Janko – Bolton Wanderers
Saidy Janko was an unused substitute in the 1-0 victory over Brighton & Hove Albion in the Sky Bet Championship this weekend.
Next Match: Reading – Sky Bet Championship – Tuesday 3rd March 2015; KO 20:00
Jesse Lingard – Derby County
Jesse Lingard started and played just 45 minutes in Derby County’s 2-0 defeat to Fulham in the Sky Bet Championship this weekend. Lingard has been in some good form recently, as have Derby, but Fulham proved too much for the midlands side. They still hold on to the top spot in the Championship as Middlesbrough also fell to a 2-0 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday this weekend, so they did not lose much, but the likes of Norwich City and Watford are only two points from the top of the league, so Derby have so much more to do now. A midweek win against Brighton is needed if they want to achieve automatic promotion and with the likes of Lingard and Tom Ince at the club, they should really achieve that this season.
Next Match: Brighton & Hove Albion – Sky Bet Championship – Tuesday 3rd March 2015; KO 19:45
Will Keane – Sheffield Wednesday
Will Keane played 87 minutes in the 2-0 victory over Middlesbrough in the Sky Bet Championship this weekend. Keane scored the second goal for his side in the 54th minute of the match, two minutes after team-mate Atdhe Nuhiu scored a penalty. Keane had three shots on goal during his time on the pitch, forcing a save from one and the other was off target. Keane is showing his class this season and has scored two senior goals of his career so far, which will give him the confidence to continue. Perhaps he could help his loan side push for a play-off place this season, by currently lying 14 points from sixth place, that will be an almost impossible task this season.
Next Match: Blackburn Rovers – Sky Bet Championship – Wednesday 4th March 2015; KO 19:45
Ben Pearson – Barnsley
Ben Pearson played 90 minutes in the 1-0 victory over Gillingham in the Sky Bet League One this weekend. Pearson is getting a great spell of first team football on loan this season and his current deal is due to end on the 8th March, but it could well be extended, which would be good for the player. Pearson has adapted well to League One football and perhaps loaning him to a Championship club next season would be more beneficial for his progress, unless Louis van Gaal has any plans for him of course, which would be too soon in my opinion.
Next Match: Coventry City – Sky Bet League One – Tuesday 3rd March 2015; KO 19:45
Sam Johnstone – Preston North End
Sam Johnstone played 90 minutes in a 4-0 victory over Oldham Athletic in the Sky Bet League One this weekend. The Manchester United goalkeeper kept another clean sheet, but was booked in the 54th minute of the match. His form for Preston this season has been good and with his side currently finding themselves third in the league, a chance for promotion back into the Sky Bet Championship is up for grabs and the club may look to lure the player next season, providing he is available, of course. Johnstone of late seems to be a better option to Ben Amos, who has regressed considerably.
Next Match: Doncaster Rovers – Sky Bet League One – Tuesday 3rd March 2015; KO 19:45
Javier Hernandez – Real Madrid
Javier Hernandez played nine minutes in the 1-1 draw with Villarreal in La Liga this weekend. The Mexican striker has spent much of the new year on the bench for his loan club, which suggests he’s not really changed this season. It is a shame that he’s not getting more game time, but he’s not a better option than Karim Benzema, who he replaced in the match. Chicharito will probably be sold in the summer in his bid for first team football and that not being guaranteed at Old Trafford. He was a great signing, but last season he was frustrating, and seems to be more of the same in the Spanish capital this season.
Next Match: Athletic Club – La Liga – Saturday 7th March 2015; KO 17:00
Guillermo Varela – Real Madrid II
Guillermo Varela played 90 minutes in the 1-0 defeat to Leioa in the Spanish Segunda B this weekend. The Uruguayan has done well on loan, but this defeat sees Athletic Club take the top spot in the league, albeit on goal difference. I don’t expect the right-back to return to Old Trafford in the summer, and I do feel that Real Madrid will make his loan spell permanent in the summer. I had high hopes for the defender, but United have moved on in signing Sadiq El-Fitouri and with Saidy Janko still on the books, it looks as though United will continue without the Uruguayan.
Next Match: Socuéllamos – Segunda B – Saturday 7th February 2015; KO TBA
Nani – Sporting Lisbon
Nani played 90 minutes in the 3-0 defeat to Porto in the Primeira Division this weekend, he was booked in the 64th minute of the match. The loss sees Sporting in third place, twelve points behind league leaders Benfica. Nani has not had a good week since scoring that wonder goal last weekend. He saw his side knocked out of the UEFA Europa League on Thursday evening after failing to get out of the group stages of the UEFA Champions League before Christmas. Many want to see Nani being given another chance at Old Trafford next season, but personally, as his season is just as inconsistent on loan, he’s had his chance, but the fact he was given a lengthy contract in the summer of 2013, if will be difficult to get rid of the fallen winger, so for that reason, he might force his way into the squad next season.
Next Match: Nacional – Taça de Portugal – Thursday 5th March 2015; KO 20:15
Angelo Henriquez – Dinamo Zagreb
Angelo Henriquez played 74 minutes in the 2-0 victory over Split in the 1.HNL this weekend. The Chilean striker scored the first goal from the spot in the 17th minutes of the match, with Junior Fernándes scoring the second goal in the 34th minute of the match. This victory puts Dinamo Zagreb eleven points clear at the top of the league, which is a good position. With the likelihood that Henriquez will leave the Old Trafford club in the summer for a permanent move to the Croatian side he has scored nine goals for this season.
Next Match: Istra 1961 – 1.HNL – Tuesday 3rd Match 2015; KO 16:00
Vanja Milinković-Savić – FK Vojvodina
Vanja Milinković-Savić was not involved in the 2-1 victory over Mladost Lučani in the Super Liga this weekend.
Next Match: Crvena Zvezda – Super Liga – Saturday 7th March 2015, KO 12:30