Virtue sees red, and Sturridge finally has a temporary home

The Loan Report

Daniel Sturridge – West Brom

After much speculation for the majority of this transfer window, Daniel Sturridge’s future for the remainder of this season has finally been decided. He was linked with European clubs Sevilla and Inter Milan, as well as Newcastle United most recently, but Sturridge is on his way to West Brom for what he has described as “geographical reasons”.

Connor Randall – Hearts

Hearts were in action midweek and Connor Randall continued his run of impressive performances for the Scottish club. He played the full 90 minutes on Wednesday as his side comfortably dispatched Hamilton Academical 3-0. Randall played his part in defence and helped guide Hearts to their eighth competitive clean sheet in a row. He has become a favourite during his spell north of the border and, although there has been no talk as of yet, many would be unsurprised if this deal became permanent in the summer.

Randall ended up being rested at the weekend and played just the final six minutes of the 1-1 draw with Motherwell. The youngster will be disappointed that he couldn’t see the match home, as they conceded an injury-time equaliser, meaning the points were shared.

Ryan Kent – Bristol City

Ryan Kent played a cameo against Manchester City as his Bristol City side fought for the right to play in the League Cup final. Kent’s 17-minute burst wasn’t enough to stop the Premier League side advancing 5-3 on aggregate.

The 21-year-old started his first match in the Championship this season at the weekend and contributed to the 2-0 win over QPR. Just a few minutes before the break, Kent whipped in a testing corner to the near post and Famara Diedhiou provided the finish with a cushioned header. Although the Liverpool player was substituted just after the hour mark, this has been a highly promising start to his stay in the West Country.

Marko Grujic – Cardiff City

Marko Grujic was also in action against Manchester City this week, this time in the Fourth Round of the FA Cup. Despite the negative 2-0 scoreline, Grujic delivered a comfortable performance and looks to be settling in well at his new home. Unsurprisingly there were very little opportunities for the Serb to excel in an attacking sense, but his gutsy performance as a holding defensive midfield was to be admired.

Matty Virtue – Notts County

It was an eventful week for Matty Virtue, but for all the wrong reasons. On Tuesday night his side were in action against Crawley Town and Virtue had a chance to put the hosts ahead early on. The ball fell to him just seven yards out, but his resulting shot was blocked on the line. It went from bad to worse for him after that and he was given his marching orders in just his third appearance for the club. The 20-year-old picked up his second yellow card in stoppage time as he brought down a member of the opposition in order to stop a counter-attack. Notts County ended the game with nine-men and Crawley Town won 2-1. Virtue was suspended for their FA Cup draw with Swansea and will have to work hard to fight his way back into the starting XI.

Pedro Chirivella – Willem II

Pedro Chirivella had a quiet time in the centre of Willem II’s midfield and the side fell to a 2-0 loss at the hands of AZ Alkmaar. The Spaniard is usually a stalwart at the heart of the team, but completed just 26 passes and managed to pick up a yellow card before time was up. This was the seventh his name has been taken in the league this campaign.

Taiwo Awoniyi – Royal Excel Mouscron

Another couple of goalless performances from Taiwo Awoniyi means that he hasn’t managed to find the net in his last nine outings. A 3-0 loss on Tuesday was followed by an impressive 2-0 win over KV Mechelen on Friday, but Awoniyi will be growing increasingly concerned about his form. Five goals in 24 appearances isn’t a good enough return rate for the big striker.

Allan Rodrigues – Apollon Limassol

Allan Rodrigues was only called upon for a total of 12 minutes, Apollon’s midweek clash with APOEL. He entered the fray when the scoreline read 4-0 and the job was already done, so the rest of the match was seen out fairly comfortably. The win takes them top of the Cyprus First Division by one point, having not lost a match all season.

Andy Firth – Chester

Academy goalkeeper, Andy Firth completed a loan move to Chester in the National League. The 21-year-old is signed on a temporary contract until the end of the season and should expect to make his debut this coming Saturday.

Corey Whelan (Yeovil Town) was an unused substitute and watched as his side but on a brave, but ultimately unsuccessful, display against Manchester United in the FA Cup. Sheyi Ojo (Fulham) was sidelined with an injury and Divock Origi (Wolfsburg) also missed out this weekend with an illness.

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