Better late than never I suppose. Actually I'm late enough with this one that I've got a few more games to report on than I would have otherwise. The loan season is winding down, but we've got a whole lot of stuff to report on this week. So here we go...
Thibaut Courtois - More than anyone this week (and a half), Courtois had a few awfully tough tests. He'd start off with a quality Hannover side that needed to press the attack, and he certainly did not disappoint in that one. Atletico won 2-1 en route to a Europa League semifinal birth. He'd struggle on the weekend against Levante, allowing two goals (one of which he could have done better with) in the first 10 minutes of the contest. Yesterday would be the real teast though, as high flying Real Madrid made their way to their local rivals home. Some guy named Ronaldo left Courtois without a prayer twice in this one before bagging a hat trick on a penalty, but the big Belgian could have done more with the Real 4th. Mistakes will happen when you are peppered the way he was yesterday though, and all in all it was a solid week for the youngster.
Josh McEachran - Josh is now firmly planted in the basket at Swansea. He was an unused sub in both the loss against Newcastle and yesterday's terrible performance against QPR. He's had a tough time unseating any of the very good Swans midfielders to date, but with the team looking a bit lost for the last few games maybe Brendan Rodgers will give him a run over the weekend against Blackburn.
Ben Gordon - Gordon didn't have a particularly good game on the weekend, but in all honesty Celtic are just miles better than Killie. They'd thrash Killie by a 6-0 scoreline as they clinched the SPL title away from home, and Gordon didn't really do anything to help slow the onslaught or provide threat at the other end of the pitch. That was always going to be a tough fixture, it was disappointing to see such a lackluster display though.
Jeffrey Bruma - It appears that Michael Mancienne is now the preferred starter over Jeffrey Bruma at center back despite being generally awful this season. Regardless, Bruma has found his way back onto the pitch slotting in at right back for the last two HSV matches. On the weekend he was absolutely fantastic as HSV held Leverkusen to a draw, and he'd start there again yesterday against Hoffenheim. Hoffenheim would go on to thrash HSV, but Bruma certainly didn't do anything worthy of complaint in that one. Michael Mancienne was awful again though, so hopefully we'll see Bruma starting regularly until the end of the season. HSV sit only two points clear of relegation, being relegated would almost certainly end any chance of retaining Bruma's services again next season.
Sam Walker - Walker had another up and down week. He was excellent on the weekend, allowing only an own goal to sneak by him in a must win contest for Yeovil. He'd have a rougher go of it on Monday as the weather was absolutely awful as they squared off with Notts County (who are pushing for promotion). Yeovil now look to be safe from any threat of relegation.
Rhys Taylor - Taylor was excellnt for Rotherham this week as the club pushed towards the promotion playoff. They now sit four points adrift from a playoff date, so Taylor will have to continue his excellent play if the club hopes to have the opportunity to move up to League One.
Matej Delac - Delac is back to watching the action as the #2 keeper.
Ulises Davila - Davila again featured for the Vitesse reserves while the Eredivisie had a weekend off. There was an interesting article mentioning him and his transition to Europe here.
Tomas Kalas, Patrick van Aanholt, Kenneth Omeruo, and Milan Lalkovic - Nothing to see here, none of these teams have had a game since we last checked in due to cup play. It's worth noting that Lalkovic is back training in Cobham and his loan was terminated early. He won't feature in the loan roundup again this season, and having played official minutes for two clubs he'll be ineligible to debut for Chelsea this season either. Hopefully he gets a few minute with the reserves.
Gael Kakuta - While he didn't do anything fantastic this week, I'm pretty happy with what I saw out of Gael in the 2-0 loss against Nancy. He again started on the right wing, and he was content to try to make the simple pass for the most part. His insistence on going for the sensational pass at every available opportunity has probably been his biggest shortcoming thus far in his career, so two weeks in a row of making generally solid decisions is nice to see. I wish he could cross with his right foot though...
Kevin De Bruyne - De Bruyne had himself a great week this time out. Genk had a pair of 2-0 victories, and De Bruyne was probably the best player on the pitch for both of them. It's nice to see him going out with a bang in the Belgian playoffs, I'm sure the new manager will have to give him a serious look for our first team this summer. He's also been switching between wings for the last several weeks with some success, so it will be interesting to see if that continues. Here are the highlights from yesterday's game:
That's it for this week, but the Eredivise gets back in action this afternoon and we'll have a full weekend worth of action to report on for next week. Enjoy the games you get to see, and let's hope Josh gets some time this weekend.
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