Liverpool had a busy transfer deadline day, but unfortunately for fans, this was more in terms of outgoing business, than any new arrivals. Ovie Ejaria, Harry Wilson, Lazar Markovic and Jon Flannagan all signed six-month contracts with other clubs on January 31st.
Ovie Ejaria – Sunderland
The 20-year-old midfielder joined struggling Championship side, Sunderland who previously had their eyes on Ben Woodburn to help them avoid relegation for the second successive year. However, the Welsh youngster has been retained by the Reds, in case his services are needed to cover for the departure of Philippe Coutinho. Ejaria joined Sunderland instead and enjoyed a promising debut, despite ultimately losing 2-0 at home to Ipswich. He played for the full 90 minutes in the centre of midfield and ended the match with more completed passes than any other player on the pitch. The loss leaves Sunderland two points from safety and Ejaria will be expecting to have a busy few months in the northeast.
Harry Wilson – Hull City
Harry Wilson has also joined a club in the midst of the Championship relegation battle. Hull City are just one point and one place ahead of Sunderland in 22nd position. Wilson has been snapped up in the hope he can provide some vital goals in the latter stages of the season, but played for just 21 quiet minutes in the 2-1 home loss against Preston, without registering a single shot on goal.
Jon Flanagan – Bolton Wanderers / Ryan Kent – Bristol City
Bolton Wanderers are another side that find themselves towards the bottom of the second tier. Jon Flanagan must wait for his debut as he was an unused substitute for their 1-0 win over Bristol City. Flanagan will be hoping and be expecting to get more playing time that he did during his almost pointless loan spell with Burnley last season. Ryan Kent played on the left wing for Bristol and put in a fairly average performance. He struggled to produce any attacking opportunities and Bolton found some prosperity on his side of the pitch as he was unsuccessful with six of his 10 attempted tackles.
Lazar Markovic – Anderlecht
One of the forgotten men at Anfield, many people would’ve expected Lazar Markovic to be heading off on a permanent deal during this window. However, the powers that be at Liverpool may still believe there is some use for him and instead shipped him off to Belgium for a temporary stay at third-placed Anderlecht. The Serbian was deemed not ready to make his debut at the weekend and was therefore not included in the matchday squad.
Divock Origi – Wolfsburg
It was a fifth Bundesliga goal for Divock Origi on Saturday and his first in eight league appearances. Origi was playing as a lone striker, his more natural role despite being forced out onto the wing for most of his time in Germany. The change in position was rewarded as he produced a classy finish for Wolfsburg’s only goal of the game. The Belgian curled a shot into the bottom corner from just outside the box, a strike which put his side 1-0 up over Stuttgart. However, he was lost for the rest of the match though and was officially in possession of the ball for less than a minute of play. Stuttgart pulled one back in the second half and the encounter finished 1-1.
Marko Grujic – Cardiff City
Marko Grujic put in a dominant display and really helped his side control the midfield during a feisty clash with Leeds United. Cardiff were 4-1 winners and Grujic looked very content during his 81 minutes on the pitch. Just before his number was held up, he managed to collect his second yellow card in as many Championship appearances this season for a mistimed challenge.
Daniel Sturridge – West Brom
Many fans were disgruntled with Daniel Sturridge’s loan move, but he has his heart firmly on a place at the World Cup and first team football is what he desperately needs. He made an immediate impact in the 3-0 loss to Manchester City as, despite being on the field for just 12 minutes, he registered the only two shots for his new side. He had an hour up front in the in the exciting 3-2 defeat to Southampton but only managed to muster one snapshot. Perhaps a bit of rustiness, but he has a long way to go if he wants to be on the plane to Russia come the summer.
Pedro Chirivella – Willem II
It was a marathon week for Pedro Chirivella as he played 120 minutes of cup football on Thursday night. After normal time ended with a 2-2 deadlock, Willem II needed penalties to get past Roda and into the semi-finals. Chirivella was not required to take a penalty and instead, he watched his side edge to a 5-4 victory. Normal service returned on Sunday but unfortunately, Willem II were beaten 1-0 by Sparta Rotterdam. Chirivella played 69 minutes in midfield and was at his level-headed best, looking after possession but still unable to make an attacking breakthrough.
Connor Randall – Hearts
Connor Randall had a negative week and his performances were a far cry from the recent form that has seen him become a very popular player in Scotland. In midweek Hearts lost 3-1 to Celtic, despite crushing them 4-0 in the return fixture. Randall was poor and failed to put any stops to the opposition’s attacks time and time again. He had a chance to redeem himself against St Johnstone at the weekend but was substituted at half time, as it was clear a change up in tactics was needed. Randall left the stage with the scoreline at 0-0 and it finished with the points being shared at 1-1.
Allan Rodrigues – Apollon Limassol
Apollon Limassol had their 21-game unbeaten league run ended when they lost 2-1 to APOEL. The victory took APOEL to the top of the of the pile as Apollon dropped into second. Allan had a decent 81 minutes before he was taken off in favour of a more attacking option.
Taiwo Awoniyi – Royal Excel Mouscron
Taiwo Awoniyi was dropped to the bench after a run of eight league matches without a goal. The game against Genk was one to forget though, as they finished on the wrong side of a 1-0 scoreline. Awoniyi entered the fray with an hour on the clock but failed to make any positive impact on proceedings.
Sheyi Ojo (Fulham), Corey Whelan (Yeovil Town), Matty Virtue (Notts County) and Andy Firth (Chester) all saw no action during this past week.