Taiwo Awoniyi – Royal Excel Mouscron
To say that Taiwo Awoniyi has had a quiet couple of months would be a massive understatement, but he returned to form at the weekend in the most clinical of fashions. The striker picked up two goals and an assist, but it wasn’t enough to avoid a 4-3 loss in a thrilling encounter with Standard Liege. Awoniyi made it 1-1 in the first half with an impressive solo effort. He picked up the ball near the halfway line, before showing his pace and power to burst into the box and slot the ball in neatly at the near post. His assist granted Mouscron another equaliser, when he powered into the box once again. This time he squared the ball with a delicate cut back. He made it 3-2 when he was on the right side of the box once again. However, he chose to go it alone and an impressive cutback granted him acres of room to provide a comfortable finish. Obviously, he’ll be unhappy with the final result, but he’ll be raring to go and try and produce a few more similar performances, before the end of this campaign.
Harry Wilson – Hull City
Harry Wilson made his full debut for Hull and it was a very productive showing from the youngster. Playing on the left wing, he was too hot for the Nottingham Forest defenders to handle and he won a penalty early in the first half, after a high quality, first time cut back. Unfortunately, the resulting penalty was missed, but Wilson made an impact later on when he scored the second goal for the Tigers. He bravely slid in at the back post to convert a dangerous ball that was whistled across the face of goal. A bright debut for Wilson and hopefully a sign of greater things to come.
Corey Whelan – Yeovil Town
Corey Whelan was an unlikely name on the score sheet for Yeovil Town, when he bagged his first ever professional goal in the quarter-final of the Football League Trophy. Whelan found himself with room on the edge of the box after a corner and guided the ball through a crowd to produce a finish that any striker would be proud of. He was solid with his defensive duties as well, so much so that he was rewarded with the Man of the Match award. Yeovil beat Fleetwood 3-2 to book their spot in the semi-finals. Whelan also played the whole match on Saturday as well and once again looked very composed at the back. He’ll be happy with the clean sheet as is side drew 0-0 with Crewe Alexandra.
Ryan Kent – Bristol City / Ovie Ejaria – Sunderland
Two Liverpool loanees were involved in a classic match when Bristol City took on Sunderland. Perhaps Ovie Ejaria will be the happier of the two as his Sunderland side fought back from 3-0 down to rescue a point from Bristol and Ryan Kent.
Kent was a constant threat on the right wing and picked up an assist for the third goal. He quickly broke from a corner and squared a perfectly weighted pass to Famara Diedhiou, who was alone in the middle of the box. However, Sunderland fought back strongly in the second half, although they were aided by two own goals. Ejaria helped lead the charge by completing more passes than anyone else on his side and just generally looking comfortable dealing with all game situations.
Pedro Chirivella – Willem II
It was another busy week for Pedro Chirivella as Willem II had another two matches. They kicked things off with a dominant 3-0 win over VVV. Chirivella played the full 90 minutes and put in another quietly impressive display, completing 40 passes and winning the ball back 4 times. No player on the pitch made more tackles than the Spaniard. At the weekend, it was one to forget as Heracles took all three points with a 1-0 win. Chirivella made less of an impact this time around and was substituted with just over 10 minutes left on the clock.
Anderson Arroyo – Real Mallorca
The new signing was immediately shipped off to Mallorca, where he’ll play for the next 18 months to try and secure a Spanish passport and work permit. It has been reported that Arroyo will train predominately with the first time but will play for Mallorca B. The full-back played for an hour on debut and looked in good form, guiding his side to a clean sheet and a 1-0 win over CE Manacor.
Marko Grujic – Cardiff City
Cardiff City drew 1-1 with Millwall on Friday night and Marko Grujic was rightly removed from proceedings before the final whistle. The Serbian was very sloppy when in charge of the ball which resulted in 47% of his passes ending up with a Millwall player. He’ll be looking to bounce back in midweek as the start of his loan spell had been looking very promising.
Divock Origi – Wolfsburg
Divock Origi was unable to replicate last week’s form and his side were knocked out of the DFB Pokal, by Schalke, in the quarterfinals. Such was the mediocrity of his midweek performance, Origi was dropped to the bench for Sunday’s 3-1 loss to Werder Bremen. He came on for the last 20 minutes but was unable to inject any life into his teammates to spark a comeback.
Matty Virtue – Notts County
The less said about Matty Virtue’s performance against Swansea the better. The midfielder returned from suspension to suffer an 8-1 loss in the FA Cup. Despite coming up against a much stronger opposition, none of the Notts County players can be too impressed with their performances. On Saturday, Virtue was not part of the matchday squad who lost 1-0 to Barnet.
Connor Randall (Hearts) played for just 13 minutes during a 3-0 win over St Johnstone and will be eager to get back into a starting spot following a decent run of form. Elsewhere, Lazar Markovic (Anderlecht) has been embarrassingly placed on a special fitness regime at his new club, after they concluded that he was a way off being match ready. Markovic could be absent for a month or maybe more, meaning that he could make just a few appearances before his loan deal is up. Daniel Sturridge (West Brom) also faced an injury setback when he limped off, just three minutes into the contest with Chelsea. Sheyi Ojo (Fulham) is still suffering from an injury that keeps him out of match contention, whilst Allan Rodrigues (Apollon Limassol), Jon Flanagan (Bolton) and Andy Firth (Chester) were all unused substitutes during the past week.