SITTARD, NETHERLANDS - MARCH 25: Richard Sukuta Pasu (R) of Germany and Jeffrey Bruma (L) of Netherlands battle for the ball during the U21 international friendly match between Germany and Netherlands at the trendwork arena on March 25, 2010 in Sittard, Netherlands. (Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)
It's been a quiet few weeks on the loan front with the international break, but now that we have a long spell without another international we should be set to see the kids in regular action again. From this point on I'm going to skip Yossi in the loan roundups as he's not really a piece for the future anyway. So without further adieu...
Ulises Davila - Davila was an unused substitute again, but it's hard to put much into the snub this week. Vitesse had to use 2 substitutions by half time due to injuries and were simply in damage control by the time the second half started. The way he's been playing for their reserve side would lead me to believe he'll likely feature again soon after the first 11 have been struggling to score.
Matej Delac - Delac was again the 2nd choice keeper and did not get off the bench. Word is that he will be receiving some looks in cup competition soon.
Patrick van Aanholt - PvA continues to be left off the matchday squad for Wigan even though they've been terrible defensively. Chelsea does not appear to be happy with his lack of playing time, so a recall in January followed by a different loan deal wouldn't surprise me at all.
Gael Kakuta - Owen Coyle has had nothing but good to say about Kakuta in training, but he's still seeing very limited minutes. He made a stoppage time appearance against WBA, but hardly enough to do more than remind us he's still alive.
Thibaut Courtois - After becoming the youngest keeper to ever play for the Belgian national team in midweek, Courtois had a pretty solid performance against Levante. He was fantastic for most of the match, but conceded twice late as the clubs combined for 4 goals in the last 20 minutes in the 3-2 victory. It's hard to find too much fault in either goal though, as his defense didn't really mark anyone on either of them.
Sam Walker - Sam had a bit of a nightmare this week, allowing 7 goals to get by him. Doing that the week your manager got fired is never a good thing, but hopefully Sam continues to get the nod between the posts. I can't imagine his job is in any real danger though as he's been amongst their best players (if not the best) this season.
Connor Clifford - Clifford again got the start in the center of the midfield in Yeovil's 2-2 draw. He was subbed out after 60 minutes but that appears to be match fitness related as opposed to performance related. I didn't get to see this one, but reports from the local press were generally very favorable for Clifford. It's good to see he's doing well and hopefully he continues to get runs in the first team.
- Jeffrey Bruma - Bruma was easily the highlight of the weekend on the Chelsea loan front. He returned from a minor injury that caused him to miss out on some Dutch first team action with a vengeance this week. Bruma had an absolutely fantastic defensive display, winning nearly every challenge and repeatedly intercepting the oppositions attempts to get in on goal. He also completed 84% of his passes to go along with 10 out of 12 successful long balls. This type of display is exactly what had him pressuring the first team regulars a year ago, and the way he's looked for the last month will probably have him in contention for regular minutes here next season. For what it's worth, whoscored had him rated as the top defender in the Bundesliga this week as well as being the MOTM for HSV. After watching the Chelsea/Scouse game, this one made me feel much better about the future of the high press/high line system.
- Tomas Kalas - Kalas has been exceptional this season, but he didn't have the best of games this weekend. He came into the match a little beat up from international duty, and he seems to have picked up a more severe knock to his leg during the first half of Vitesse's 4-0 defeat. He was subbed out at 43 minutes of the first half, and there is no word on how sever the injury is yet. I'll make sure to let you know as soon as we hear more. It's hard to take much from this game as everyone in defense was pretty poor and Kalas wasn't moving particularly well.
That's it on the loan front this week...there's not much going on midweek so I'll toss Coutois' performance in Europe in with next week's report instead of making you wait until Thursday for this one.