Welcome to another loan round up, as this week we saw an unlikely star of the week, as Tom “TC23” Cleverley took the world renowned accolade as his Aston Villa continued to look revitalised under Tim Sherwood. After salvaging a point at home to relegation rivals QPR midweek in a 3-3 thriller, courtesy of a Christian Benteke hat-trick. Come Saturday afternoon, it was the big Belgian again aiding Sherwood, as they sprung a surprise 1-0 win at his former employers Tottenham Hotspur. The midlands side now take the momentum to Wembley at the weekend, ahead of their FA Cup semi-final against Liverpool.
Into the Championship, and with Ben Amos and Will Keane absent from their sides due to injury, it was left to Reece James’ Huddersfield leading the way, as they won 1-0 away at Nottingham Forest. Also at Bolton with Amos is Saidy Janko, who watched from the bench as they lost to high flyers Norwich with a last minute winner 2-1. Jesse Lingard’s Derby continued their stuttering form, with a 1-1 draw at Brentford, leaving them just about hanging in with a chance for the play-offs.
Moving into League One, as Sam Johnstone and Preston North End moved ever closer to securing automatic promotion to the Championship, with a 1-1 draw to table toppers Bristol City. Elsewhere Ben Pearson, fresh from talking to the Manchester United website about his enjoyment and experience on loan drew 1-1 with his Barnsley side against Chesterfield. However, with a full set of Championship and League One fixtures mid-week, there may be a further reshuffle in performances and positions of the loanees and their respective clubs.
Heading abroad, and as Nani sat out Sporting’s 2-1 win, Angelo Henriquez’s Dinamo Zagreb dropped points for the second successive game, with a 1-1 draw at Slaven. Finally, heading to Spain, and Chicharito was handed a rare start for Real Madrid, as he got on the score sheet in their 3-0 win against Eibar, closing the gap to 2 points at the top of La Liga with Barcelona. Buoyed by this performance, he will hope to feature in the Madrid derby in the mid-week Champions League. However, the same happy team spirit is not so evident for the youth Castilla side, as Guillermo Varela’s side drew 1-1, with Martin Odegaard causing controversy amid rumours of squad discontent. Given the wages and stature of the Norwegian, it is speculated that Zidane’s team is unhappy with the ‘in and out’ nature of his squad inclusion.
That’s it for this week’s round up, I’ll be back same time, and same place next week!
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