We're well into the second half of the season now, and for most of our loanees it was business as usual this week. Here's a look at how the youngsters did over the latest round(s) of fixtures:
- Gael Kakuta - SInce joining Dijon, Kakuta has become one of the most exciting young players to watch in France. This week was no exception to the recent trend, as Kakuta was again the most impressive player on the pitch as Dijon traveled to Marseille and took all three points from the contest. Kakuta found the back of the net for the winner on a penalty, but that was far from the most impressive part of the game for Gael. He was easily the most dangerous and creative player on the pitch (playing the right wing), easily outclassing anyone from the Champions League quarterfinalists. You don't have to take my word for it though, Whoscored seems to more or less agree.
- Ben Gordon - We had a fanshot about it earlier this weekend, but Ben Gordon helped Killie to their first ever Scottish League Cup over the weekend. Gordon was excellent, and he started the play that led to the only goal of the contest. I've got video highlights below, and they do not include any of the unfortunate incidents involving the Killie player's father.
- Thibaut Courtois - The big Belgian had another two fixture week, and as usual he played every minute of both affairs. He had a quiet afternoon in Turkey as Atletico dominated Besiktas en route to a place in the Europa quarters. Having kept a clean sheet midweek, Courtois was a bit unlucky as Atletico would fall 2-1 to Mallorca on the weekend. There was nothing he could have done about the own goal, and the second would be very harsh to find much fault in his work either. Judge for yourselves though...
- Milan Lalkovic - Milan was not involved over the weekend as Den Haag faced Ajax. No word if this was purely the managers decision or if his injury was still nagging a bit.
- Kenneth Omeruo - It's certainly a good side that Omeruo was again selected to start as Den Hague faced off against the most storied team in the Netherlands. Omeruo again started at right back and had a generally solid performance. He didn't get forward much at all in this one and was largely responsible for the second goal, but other than that he had a very strong defensive display. Not bad for his first crack at the Dutch giants, but certainly room to improve.
- Tomas Kalas - Kalas was his typical solid self over 90 minutes as Vitesse defeated Heracles 2-0. Nice to see Vitesse get back to the solid team defense that defined the first half of their season.
- Ulises Davila - Davila did not take part in the weekend's fixture.
- Patrick van Aanholt - PvA looked fantastic in attack but was a bit on the sketchy side defensively this week. He was subbed out after about 70 minutes of action as Vitesse looked to close up shop with the lead. Nice to see him playing, but he certainly still needs work on the defensive side of his game before he takes the backup job away from Ryan Bertrand.
- Jeffrey Bruma - Bruma started and played the full 90, but it wasn't a good display for HSV at all. They fell down 3-0 due to some generally atroucious team defending, and Bruma looked fairly handcuffed by the awful defensive displays of Michael Mancienne and Slobodan Rajkovic. He could have been better, but he certainly could have been worse. The highlights can be found here.
- Josh McEachran - Basket
- Kevin De Bruyne - Genk fell down 3-0 only minutes into the game and we therefore got a look at how De Bruyne would deal with the "parked bus". All in all, he did fairly well. Genk managed to lose only 3-2, and De Bruyne was probably the best player on the pitch for the majority of the last 75 minutes of this affair. He's continuing to look like a good buy in January.
- Sam Walker - Walker was shaky in his two fixtures this week. He allowed a stoppage time equalizer that he really should have saved midweek before looking generally shaky in a 2-1 victory over the weekend. This week was not typical of his play thus far this season, but his reflexes on crossing balls are a concern I'm certainly noticing when I see him.
- Rhys Taylor - Taylor was on the wrong end of a pair of decision this week, but it's hard to really fault him in any of the goals. If this is indeed an audition for a permanent move, he's doing quite well for himself.
- Matej Delac - Delac was again #2 for the weekend. Being #2 stinks.
That should cover all of the Chelsea youngsters for this past weekend, hopefully we'll have a few more players in action to report on next week. Enjoy some great games this week, we have a pair of them before you'll see another report. Let's go Blues!