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Chelsea Loan Round-up: Van Ginkel, Piazon goals; Abraham, Houghton injuries; Miazga makes impression; Ali makes debut; others

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ENGLAND:

Bristol City dropped to 21st place with a 2-1 loss against Leeds United, a match that also saw Tammy Abraham go off injured in the 37th minute, after injuring his thigh. Despite initial apprehensions from the player himself, the injury has not turned out to be a long-term one and Abraham, who is currently back in the care of Chelsea, should be fit in two to three weeks time. Let’s hope he picks up right where he left off when he returns from injury.

Kasey Palmer is nursing an injury as well and is expected to be back on the pitch at some point in April. Luckily for Huddersfield, Izzy Brown has made a significant impact since his arrival, seamlessly slotting in for David Wagner's side. Brown played 80 minutes in a last-gasp 3-2 victory against his former loan club, Rotherham. Wagner heavily rotated his side for their FA Cup fixture of epic proportions (on paper, at least) against Manchester City and hence Brown started on the bench but was introduced in the 72nd minute. The game itself was far less of a spectacle but to their credit, the Terriers managed to force a replay at the Etihad Stadium by holding City to a goalless draw.

Upcoming fixtures: Reading (H, 21 February), Barnsley (A, 25 February)

Fikayo Tomori finally made his league debut for Brighton and Hove Albion, although he was only on the pitch for a matter of seconds, being introduced in the 93rd minute for Anthony Knockaert.

Upcoming fixtures: Reading (H, 25 February)

Tomas Kalas missed Fulham’s 3-2 win against Nottingham Forest with a minor injury but it was Lucas Piazon who stole the show, playing the whole 90 and scoring his side’s second goal after waltzing his way into the opponent’s penalty area with some fancy footwork.

Kalas returned to the line-up against Tottenham in the FA Cup with Antonio Conte and Carlo Cudicini (and a bonus Alan Pardew) in attendance at Craven Cottage. He didn’t have the best of outings, however, as Tottenham eased their way into the quarter-finals via a hat-trick from Harry Kane. Piazon was an unused substitute in this one.

Kalas was frank in his assessment on the game, when speaking to Get West London.

"We have to admit Tottenham were too good for us. We can see where the level is to play in the Premier League and in a team like Tottenham who are third in the league. We see how much we have to work hard and now we see that if somebody thinks they are already there then we are nowhere near. It's difficult to say what I've learned. I could see he (Harry Kane) was playing and how focused you have to be against him. He's a very good player and how difficult it is to face him. We weren't good enough to stop him."

-Tomas Kalas

Upcoming fixtures: Bristol City (A, 22 February), Cardiff City (A, 25 February)

Christian Atsu played half an hour in Newcastle’s 2-2 draw against Norwich City and was an 89th minute substitute in their 2-0 win over Aston Villa.

Upcoming fixtures: Bristol City (H, 25 February)

Relegation-threatened Swindon Town are finding wins very hard to come by in League One, but at least stopped the rot of losses with a goalless draw against Oldham Athletic on Saturday. In midweek, they lost 2-1 against Northampton Town, which was their fifth consecutive loss. Charlie Colkett played the entirety of both games. Fankaty Dabo did not: he conceded a soft penalty in the Northampton game and was hauled off at half-time, then excluded from the squad for Oldham altogether. Islam Feruz missed out on the match-day squad on both occasions, perhaps due to the restriction on the number of loanees (7) allowed in a squad of 18.

Ever since arriving at Charlton, Jay Dasilva has made exactly one appearance, in which he was subbed on and off. Yikes.

Jordan Houghton has enjoyed an excellent season in League Two with current leaders, Doncaster Rovers and is second (3078) to only Jamal Blackman (3110) in terms of minutes on the pitch among the Chelsea loanees. Despite a winless streak of four games, most recently drawing 1-1 with Luton Town, Doncaster continue to sit atop the league table. Houghton was withdrawn in the 60th minute of that game due to an injury, which is feared to be long-term.  The midfielder will likely miss at least the remainder of the current season.

Doncaster manager, Darren Ferguson, expressed his concern over Houghton’s injury while praising the impact he has made this season.

"It’s not looking good. He felt something go [in his knee]. I feel sorry for the boy because he is a great lad. If it’s bad, I hope it isn’t too bad in terms of it being a really long-term one but the signs are not great so we will have to wait and see."

"He’s been outstanding. In terms of having a player in that position, he’s been the best in the league without question. He’s been very mature in his performances and he picks up things quickly. I just hope, even if the boy misses the rest of the season, that it’s not a long term one. I have to think of the lad."

"He’ll have a scan as soon as we can get it and we’ll go from there."

-Darren Ferguson; source: Doncaster Free Press

Ferguson also expressed his desire to keep Houghton beyond just this season.

Wycombe Wanderers lost their two most recent games, against Crewe Alexandra and Carlisle United; Jamal Blackman started both.

Alex Kiwomya played 15-odd minutes in Crewe’s 2-1 win against Wycombe and was a late substitute in their 2-2 draw against Blackpool.

Nathan Baxter started as Solihull Moors lost 2-1 to Woking in midweek, but bounced back with a clean sheet against Bromley (0-1 win) on Saturday.

THE NETHERLANDS:

Lewis Baker, Nathan and Matt Miazga, all started for Vitesse, who were very unlucky to end up on the wrong side of a 0-1 result against Ajax. Vitesse looked the better side for long spells of the game and Bertrand Traore was kept at bay by debutant left-back, 18-year-old Lassana Faye. After picking up an injury, Traore was replaced by Justin Kluivert in the 66th minute.

While Baker and Nathan had unspectacular games, it was Miazga who was perhaps Vitesse’s best performer on the day. Miazga was solid in defence, comfortable on the ball and displayed a good range of passing; hopefully his shift will earn him another run in the XI. Mukhtar Ali made his senior professional debut, replacing Marvelous Nakamba in the 84th minute and though his actions on the ball were limited, he made one excellent play, turning away from two Ajax players to play the ball into space for Milot Rashica. Maybe we’ll see more of him in the weeks to come as well.

Bertrand Traore played 73 minutes of Ajax’s goalless draw against Legia Warsaw as well.

Upcoming fixtures (Vitesse): Go Ahead Eagles (A, 26 February)
Upcoming fixtures (Ajax): Legia Warsaw (H, 23 February), Heracles (H, 26 February)

Marco van Ginkel started for PSV against NEC Nijmegen and scored his fourth goal of the season, converting calmly from the penalty spot to put his side ahead in the 20th minute. Van Ginkel continues to score a goal per every 90 minutes after six appearances with PSV since January.

Upcoming fixtures: Feyenoord (H, 26 February)

Danilo Pantic was an unused substitute for Excelsior.

GERMANY:

Andreas Christensen started for Borussia Monchengladbach as usual, but endured a tough week that saw them lose 0-1 to Fiorentina and 1-2 to high-flying RB Leipzig.

Upcoming fixtures: Fiorentina (A, 23 February), Ingolstadt (A, 26 February)

Michael Hector replaced the injured Jesus Vallejo at half-time as Eintracht Frankfurt suffered a 0-2 loss against Ingolstadt. Starting center-back David Abraham was shown red in the 34th minute and is set to miss Eintracht’s next two fixtures, meaning Hector could be in for some more playing time.

Upcoming fixtures: Hertha Berlin (A, 25 February)

Baba Rahman seems to be making good progress on his recovery from injury, and according to latest reports, is on course to return by the beginning of Chelsea’s pre-season.

BELGIUM:

Cristian Cuevas played the whole of STVV’s 4-1 loss to Zulte Waregem.  So did Matej Delac, in Mouscron’s 1-2 loss to Waasland-Beveren.

OTHERS:

Jeremie Boga was an unused substitute in Granada’s 4-1 rout of Real Betis. Victorien Angban was uninvolved.

Upcoming fixtures: Ath. Bilbao (A, 26 February)

Mario Pasalic assisted Gerard Deulofeu’s winner against Fiorentina and put in another positive display in midfield, showcasing his tenacity while pressing among other things.

Upcoming fixtures: Sassuolo (A, 26 February)

Kenneth Omeruo played the whole of Alanyaspor’s 0-0 draw against Trabzonspor.

Miro Muheim was uninvolved in FC Zurich’s two fixtures last week.