Wilson dominates for Hull and Grujic bags first senior goal

The Loan Report

Harry Wilson – Hull City

Harry Wilson had a five-star weekend as he returned from a shoulder injury that saw him sidelined for three matches. He played the final half an hour of the 2-1 loss to Millwall on Tuesday night and was back with a bang. His side were 2-0 and needed some magic to get them back into the clash, and Wilson was more than happy to provide. He sent a wicked cross into the six-yard box, one that was almost impossible to defend, and Abel Hernandez was on-hand to nod in at the back post. Although it wasn’t enough to rescue anything, it was an indication of just what the young Welshman is capable of.

On Saturday, Hull beat Norwich 4-3 in a hectic encounter which had four penalties. Wilson helped get the home side off to a flyer with another assist. He played a delightful through ball into the box and Jackson Irvine provided a delicate finish to put Hull 1-0 up with just six minutes on the board. Fast-forward to the 71st minute and the scoreline read 3-3. Wilson produced a wonderful piece of solo skill to dance past one defender before cutting inside and placing the ball inside the far post. The goal secure Hull all three points and meant Wilson was crowned man of the match. One thing is for certain, the Tigers will be very relieved to have him back.

Marko Grujic – Cardiff City

Marko Grujic scored his first goal for Cardiff, and his first in competitive senior football, during midweek. Cardiff beat Barnsley 2-1 at home and Grujic doubled his side’s lead just after halftime with a beautifully struck effort from 25 yards. It was a dominant performance in midfield from the Serb, as he won seven aerials, although his passing did leave a lot to be desired. Grujic completed less than half of the 28 passes that he attempted.

On Saturday, it was another imperious display from the midfielder, on the defensive side of things. He made five tackles and six interceptions, which combined to be more than anyone else on the pitch. He also made eight clearances, which proved to be vital as his side desperately clung on to a 3-2 win over Birmingham. However, again, his passing was a little off the mark, this time completing exactly half of his attempts.

Pedro Chirivella – Willem II

While Willem II are battling to avoid relegation, they produced a magical result on Saturday by beating league leaders, PSV, 5-0. Although all the plaudits for the result will go elsewhere, Pedro Chirivella produced another consistent performance in the middle of the park. He looked after the ball well, completing 83% of his passes and wasn’t tackled once. Sitting just in front of the back four, he helped them secure an important clean sheet while starting many an attack and indirectly contributing to the five goals.

Ovie Ejaria – Sunderland

Ovie Ejaria was a glimmer of light in what was a poor week for Sunderland. He was one of the best players for his side, on both occasions, as they suffered two defeats. First up was Aston Villa on Tuesday night where they lost 3-0. Ejaria was a consistent performer in midfield and was let down by his teammates as they couldn’t turn any of his good play into chances. He was in possession, completed more passes and more dribbles than any of his teammates in a match that the club will want to forget.

The weekend saw a 1-0 loss to QPR and once again, Ejaria put in a solid performance. He was matched by his teammates this time around, but they had to play the final 40 minutes with ten men, which was ultimately their downfall. Ejaria can be happy on a personal level after two very good performances.

Sheyi Ojo – Fulham

On Tuesday night, Sheyi Ojo made his first start for Fulham since January. He enjoyed a successful run out against Sheffield United in a match that his team won 3-0 and Ojo can be happy with his efforts. Although he was substituted just before the hour mark, he looked dangerous on the ball, completing more dribbles than any of his teammates and having an impressive pass completion rate of 86%.

By the weekend, Ojo was back on the bench again and featured only as a very late substitute, as his side picked up an impressive 2-1 away over Preston North End.

Anderson Arroyo – Real Mallorca B

Real Mallorca B beat Petra 4-0 with Anderson Arroyo playing a big part once again. He is still unbeaten in all of the matches he has played for the Spanish side and has also helped them keep a clean sheet in the last four.

Corey Whelan – Yeovil Town

Corey Whelan played in two matches this week, both of which ended in losses. On Tuesday, Yeovil were beaten 1-0 by Shrewsbury in the first leg of the Football League Trophy. Before the match, Whelan picked up a man of the match trophy for his performance in the quarterfinals against Fleetwood Town. On Saturday, it was back to league action and Whelan’s side suffered a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Newport County. Yeovil currently sits comfortably at 17th in League 2, eight points clear of the relegation.

Andy Firth – Chester

Andy Firth made his professional debut with two appearances this week. His career didn’t get off to the best of starts with back-to-back 2-0 defeats against Dover and Wrexham. Although he made a handful of saves and most of the goals were unpreventable, he’ll be disappointed about the opener he conceded against Wrexham. With the ball flashing across him, Firth got a big hand on it but was not strong enough to divert the ball away from goal and it burst through him into the back of the net. Chester are now six points from safety, with seven matches left in the season.

Jon Flanagan – Bolton Wanderers

It was a busy week for Jon Flanagan, who played for most of his side’s two fixtures. First of all was a trip to Reading where they drew 1-1. Flanagan could consider himself responsible as he was beaten for pace down the wing, and Modou Barrow took full advantage of the space that he was granted. Nevertheless, it was a decent outing for Flanagan who made five tackles and saw more of the ball than any other Bolton player.

At the weekend, Bolton played out another 1-1 draw, this time with Sheffield Wednesday. Flanagan’s lack of pace was found out once again as it was another ball in behind that led to the goal. Bolton picked up a last-minute equaliser but don’t be surprised if the Liverpool man is dropped as he may have well cost his side two away victories.

Connor Randall – Hearts

Connor Randall played the full 90 minutes of the local derby against Hibernian and produced one of his worst games of the season. He has confirmed himself to be a competent right back while in Scotland, but Hearts’ insistence on playing him out of his natural position, either at wing-back or even as a central midfielder has proven to be his downfall. The 2-0 loss was a terribly disappointing night for the young Englishman, which was summed up by a gif of him attempting a pass, only for him to miss the ball completely and it ended up rolling harmlessly out of play.

Divock Origi – Wolfsburg

Divock Origi’s disastrous loan spell with Wolfsburg reached a new low at the weekend when he was substituted before half-time, despite not carrying an injury. He was once again lost up front, with the only positive from his 42 minutes on the pitch is the single aerial that he won. The match against Hoffenheim ended in a 3-0 loss. There are suggestions from many that he may have played his last match for the German side. However, Origi has said that he is completely focussed on Wolfsburg and hasn’t had any contact with Liverpool Football Club for quite some time. His negative relationship with both of these clubs makes his future beyond this year look very very uncertain.

Ryan Kent (Bristol City) and Matty Virtue (Notts County) both had to settle for a single substitute’s appearance each this week, while Taiwo Awoniyi (Royal Excel Mouscron) served the first match of his suspension. Elsewhere, Daniel Sturridge (West Bromwich Albion) is still out with an injury and both Allan Rodrigues (Apollon Limassol) and Lazar Markovic (Anderlecht) were left out of their matchday squads for tactical reasons.