Max Morland answers all your questions regarding the players that Liverpool have sent out on loan this season.
Over the past month, two of Liverpool’s 12 loanees have returned to Merseyside after having their spells away from the club cut short. Adam Bogdan suffered a torn ACL and was subsequently forced to leave Wigan Athletic after only four months. Similarly, Jack Dunn, who was on loan at League 2 side Morecambe, has had his spell cut short after a downturn in form.
Lazar Markovic’s poor form for Sporting CP has continued over recent weeks but he was handed a rare start in the Champions League clash with Legia Warsaw but failed to have any impact on the game. To further add to his troubles, the 22-year-old picked up a hip injury midway through that match and will have scans to determine the extent of the problem.
Currently, the Serbian seems to lack belief in his own abilities, and I think that the only way for the 22-year-old to return to the form that persuaded Liverpool to spend £20million two years ago is to start enjoying his football again and to play without self-doubt. Since that summer, Markovic has played for three different clubs across Europe and is yet to show any signs of a return to his scintillating form of the 13/14 season with Benfica. Markovic needs to quickly rediscover his form or else the Serbian could find it extremely difficult to get first team action in Europe’s top leagues.
Elsewhere, Lloyd Jones has had mixed fortunes over the past month, playing for League 1 side Swindon Town. Jones, who only recently recovered from a hip injury, was rested for the defeat to Luton in the EFL Cup last Tuesday, and his absence from the side was noticeable as the Robins conceded three times to a team in a lower division. The 21-year-old did, however, make a return to the team on Saturday, although, in spite of some spirited defending, Swindon slipped to a heavy 4-0 defeat at promotion hopefuls Sheffield United.
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It has been a good few weeks for Liverpool’s loanees in the Championship, where Danny Ward helped Huddersfield to two consecutive league victories, the Terriers’ first wins since October. Ward, however, had little to do in either match, and did well in the rare occasions where he was tested.
Ryan Kent, who has started Barnsley’s last three matches, was on the winning side against Norwich last weekend, and put in a good performance in his favoured wide midfield role. Kent put in a huge workload, and was subbed off in stoppage time as his side looked to close out the match. However, Barnsley could not replicate this result in their next match, where they were convincingly beaten by Sheffield Wednesday.
In Holland, young striker Taiwo Awoniyi was an unused substituted for NEC Nijmegen in their win against ADO Den Haag and it was a similar story for Allan Rodrigues, who was confined to the bench for Hertha Berlin’s 1-0 defeat at the hands of Werder Bremen.
Burnley have enjoyed a good start to their Premier League campaign and it is partly due to the team’s successes that Jon Flanagan has found first team football hard to come by thus far. The right back was finally given his chance last weekend against Stoke, but failed to impress as Stoke dominated the game. Flanagan was back on the bench last weekend as Burnley ran out 3-2 winners against Bournemouth.
In the lower divisions, young goalkeeper Ryan Fulton endured yet another difficult week, as a five-goal hammering by Peterborough consigned Chesterfield to a sixth defeat in eight games. The Spireites sit second from bottom in League 1, and are enduring a tough season, although Fulton is by no means to blame for their League position.
In League 2, left-back Sam Hart remained on the bench for the duration of Port Vale’s 3-2 defeat to Northampton, whilst Andre Wisdom has been in good form for Red Bull Salzburg since returning to the side. Despite being knocked out of the Europa League on Thursday, Wisdom has been very solid at either right-back or in his preferred centre-back position. The 23-year-old was back on the bench for Salzburg’s next League match, against Sturm Graz, although he came on with 20 minutes remaining, and helped to see out the 1-0 victory.