In a new weekly series exclusive to my blog called ‘Loan Watch’, I’ll be reviewing the performances of all our Academy players for that week and there is no better time to start as the new season is in full swing so the players will have settled into their new clubs. The aim of this series is to keep Liverpool fans interested in the players who are not at the club at this current time, but still are in the clubs’ records.
Since arriving at newly promoted Spanish side Almeria, Suso has thrived in the left wing position, just as Brendan Rodgers reveals in an interview that he wants a player who can play on the left wing. In his first couple of games for his new side, the 19 year old has arguably been the La Liga newboys’ best player. In the two games he has been involved in, the winger has been involved in all 4 goals the team has scored, including two assists. This weekend, Suso started for Almeria in their 2-2 draw against Getafe and certainly proved a point to Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers as he set up the 1st and was involved in the second goal. Also, the Spain U20 international completed twice as many dribbles as any other player with 6, and also made 6 tackles, the joint-most of the whole Almeria side. Suso has got off to a flying start in his home country, potentially down to where he is playing as he will feel more comfortable. He has already won over many Almeria fans and if he continues to put in very strong shows, then there is no reason why he cannot be Rodgers’ left winger.
Former Liverpool Under 21 captain Conor Coady knew that if he was going to follow in Steven Gerrard’s and Jamie Carragher’s footsteps and become a scouser to ‘make it’ at Liverpool, he needed game time and so he was loaned out to Sheffield United for 6 months. Despite making an impressive first impression on his debut, his performances, along with his teams has slipped a bit, leaving the Blades with 4 points after 4 games. Coady did start in Saturday’s derby defeat against Bradford, but failed to make an impact in front of goal, as it looks like it will be a frustrating loan spell for the scouser. What Coady needs to do now is not let his team’s overall performances affect him, as the whole purpose of his loan spell is to persuade manager Brendan Rodgers to give him a chance with the first team.
After having a great second half of last season with Hearts, there was talk that Michael Ngoo will not be loaned out and stay with the Under 21s next season. However, that rumour was dismissed when he joined Championship new boys Yeovil Town on a season long loan. The 20 year old found life hard with the championship club at first, only making substitute appearances for the Glovers. However, in this weekend’s 3-0 defeat at the hands of Derby, Ngoo got his chance to shine earning a start for the game. As the score line suggests, the forward did make any impact on the game and was eventually substituted to leave question marks over whether he will start the next game. Although the Championship is arguably one of the toughest leagues in the world, Ngoo shouldn’t let that affect his confidence but instead should use this as a motivation whereby if he can do well in challenging leagues, then that will be the perfect platform to kick-start his Liverpool career, as appearances for the Reds has been few and far between.
A loan move was just what Jack Robinson need, as the competition for left-back was tough and even tougher today due to the signing of Aly Cissokho from Valencia. So Robinson was loaned to the Championship, where he performed so well for Wolves last season. This time however, the 19 year old England youth international was loaned to Blackpool, a very strong Championship side. Robinson has delivered very consistent performances throughout, as his side are top of the table having picked up 10 points from just 4 games. Also, Robinson has been very consistent in helping his team keep clean sheets, as the Seasiders have conceded only 2 goals in their first 4 games, and Robinson started and played all 90 minutes as well as helping his team keep a clean sheet in their 1-0 victory over Reading.
Down the pecking order in terms of strikers and little chance of breaking into the Under 21s starting line-up, Henoc Mukendi has found life at Kirkby very difficult. Because of this, Mukendi was loaned to newly promoted SPL side Partick Thistle. However, since the start of the season, the forward has found life equally as hard in Scotland, as he has appeared as an unused substitute in most of the games. It has got to a stage where he has been put in the Under 20 squad, which shows that he is also down the pecking order at Partick. Mukendi will struggle to perform at Partick as he is not being given a chance, and his Anfield future looks very unstable at this current time.
Although Krisztian Adorjan was consistently starting for Alex Inglethorpe’s Under 21s last season, the club decided that a loan move would benefit both the player and the club, so Adorjan was loaned out to Dutch club Groningen for a season. In recent weeks, he has struggled to break through and gain a starting position, but in Sunday’s thrilling 3-3 draw against the Go Ahead Eagles, Adorjan got his chance to impress the Groningen manager. He started the game very nervous, losing possession and misplacing passes at times, but soon settled into the game. In the end of the first half, he saw his effort from 18 yards smash off the crossbar after a good save from the Eagles ‘keeper. In the second half, he got his goal on his first start for the club, but he went from hero to zero just 15 minutes later as he was given a straight red after elbowing an Eagles’ player. It is believed that Adorjan will get a 3 match ban and the attitude he will show in the next few weeks are important to his Groningen career.