Ojo makes Fulham switch, and Awoniyi has comeback glory

The Loan Report

Sheyi Ojo – Fulham

On Wednesday, Sheyi Ojo became the sixth Liverpool player to be sent out on loan. The 20-year-old joined up with Championship side, Fulham for the entirety of the 2017/18 campaign. In a message he posted on Twitter, Ojo explained that he made the decision in order get more playing time and help aid his development as a player. He also thanked Liverpool fans for all their support and ended the post by saying, “#BeBackSoon”. Liverpool bosses may have sent Ojo to Fulham with an ulterior motive, perhaps he’ll spend some time sweet-talking Ryan Sessegnon into joining him at Anfield next season. This is, of course, just pure speculation.

Ojo obviously requires more time to embed himself into his new adoptive club, as he was merely named as a substitute on Saturday, and spent the entirety of the match watching them lose 1-0 to Sheffield Wednesday at Craven Cottage. However, we should all expect to see the young Englishman get plenty of playing time in London.

Taiwo Awoniyi – Royal Excel Mouscron

Taiwo Awoniyi was involved in a thrilling encounter when his side secured the most unlikely of victories during their home fixture with Gent. The away side were 2-0 up after half an hour, but a red card for the visitors, just a few minutes before the break, gifted Mouscron a way back into the game and they made sure they took it in emphatic style. Awoniyi, who was one of three Liverpool loanees to be yellow-carded this weekend, was ever present during the comeback.

Unsurprisingly, the second half started with Mouscron on the attack, although they found it difficult to break down the stubborn ten men of Gent. That was until the 67th minute when Awoniyi made a bursting to run to chase down a ball that had been played over the top of the backline. The Nigerian’s pace forced the Gent ‘keeper to leave his box and uncomfortably attempt to head the ball to safety. Mouscron winger, Dimi Mohamed was on hand to clear up the scraps and deftly lobbed the ball into the empty net from all of 30 yards.

The equaliser came in the 84th minute, when Awoniyi showed off his strength and hold up play to maintain possession of the ball on the left-hand side of the penalty area. He waited for a viable option to open up and threaded a pass perfectly to the edge of the area, where Omar Govea was waiting to place his first-time shot into the back of the net.

Just a few minutes later, Awoniyi was very almost the hero, when a cross just evaded his outstretched right foot. Had he been able to reach it, the resulting goal would’ve been a simple tap-in from inside the six-yard-box. The winner came not long after that, when his striker partner, Jonathan Bolingi missed his initial penalty, but was quickest to react and steered the rebound home ahead of three of his teammates, the closest of which was Awoniyi himself. The come back continues Mouscron impressive start to the season, as they sit fourth in the Belgian Jupiler League, without losing any of their first four matches.

Brooks Lennon – Real Salt Lake

Real Salt Lake travelled to Canada this weekend to take on Montreal Impact. Brooks Lennon and his side were on the wrong end of a 3-1 score line, and Lennon himself had an evening to forget. The 19-year-old ran up and down the left wing without creating many chances, but lost the ball on four occasions. Out of his only two shots of the game, neither ended up troubling the Impact goalkeeper, with one being blocked and the other sailing harmlessly outside of the post. To top it all off, Lennon was booked in the 39th minute for simulation, after he went down inside the area. Replays suggest that the referee maybe made the wrong decision as there did appear to be contact. With video technology being used in the MLS, many are questioning why the decision didn’t end up being overturned. Overall a disappointing runout for the Liverpool man, but he will be hoping he can turn his fortunes around on Thursday, when RSL host the San Jose Earthquakes.

Connor Randall – Hearts

Connor Randall faced a difficult trip to face Rangers at Ibrox on Saturday and it was clear to see that his Hearts side had only one result on their mind. It appeared as though the visitor’s sole ambition was to set up and play for a 0-0 draw. There were still chances at both ends of the field but Rangers dominated ball possession, meaning that Randall had to show the more defensive aspects of his game. The Englishman had a decent match, but for the second game running, he didn’t make any outstanding contributions before he was brought off in the 63rd minute. Hearts held on for the goalless draw and would end up making the journey home while being very content with their efforts.

Pedro Chirivella – Willem II

Yesterday, Willem II lost their second match of the Eredivisie season, when they went down 2-0 away to FC Utrecht. Chirivella could be soon getting a reputation for himself in Holland as an ill-disciplined player, as the Spaniard picked up his second yellow card in as many games. Chirivella was cautioned for a foul in the 69th minute of the match, but still went on to play the full allocation of play. The 20-year-old distributed the ball well and he finished with an 89% pass success rate, showing that he can spread the play around well, despite not creating any stand-out chances from his deep-lying central-midfield position.

Shamal George – Carlisle United

Shamal George had another afternoon on the bench when Carlisle hosted Cheltenham Town. The match finished 3-0 in favour of the home side.