The Loan Lads by Paul Bickler
Hello everyone and a huge welcome to the kickoff of our weekly loan round up. This is a weekly recurring space where we’ll be evaluating all thirteen current Reds out on loan. We’ll give out a match ball to the best of the week along with midterm and final grades on the overall effectiveness of the loan. In a social media landscape rife with banter about who should be bought, we hope this is a refreshing, birds eye view of what we’ve bought, how they’re developing with a finger on the pulse and one eye toward the future.
Match ball winner: Marko Grujic
CM (23 yrs)
Germany 1. Bundesliga – Hertha Berlin (18/18)
Grujic scored an impressive near post header in the 83rd minute to draw Hertha level with Mainz at 1-1. They were unable to hold onto the draw as Mainz scored the game winner 4 minutes later from an ensuing corner. The goal was Grujic’s 2nd in his last 3 starts. He’s now started the last 5 matches playing all 90 minutes in the center of a 3-4-2-1. Grujic is perhaps the most intriguing loan prospect on a side sitting at the bottom of the Bundesliga table. His play, especially on the defensive side of the ball has improved dramatically and there are a host of interested teams after he’s excelled at both Cardiff and now in the Bundesliga. The real question is whether he’s worked himself into future first team consideration or whether Klopp and LFC brass are merely happy padding his transfer market value for a future sale.
RM/RW (22 yrs)
Scotland 1. Rangers (2/12)
Ojo got a full 90 minute run in and had himself a nice little match. Ojo assisted on the third and final goal for Rangers, on a maurading run down the middle of the park before laying it off to Barker who was brought on for the injured Ryan Kent. Yes. That Ryan Kent. Fresh off his deadline day transfer and about 24 hrs off his public lashing of his treatment at Liverpool, Kent went down with an apparent hamstring injury in the 41st. I digress. Thats 1 goal and 2 assists in 4 matches for Ojo as he’s looked an integral part of Steven Gerrard’s Rangers side.
GK (26 yrs)
Turkey 1. Super Lig – Besiktas
90 mins (3 goals conceded)
Our favorite roller coaster, Karius had another one to forget as he conceded 3 goals at the weekend. Besiktas are currently tied at 2nd worst goals conceded through the first 3 matches of the season. Whether this is down to Karius being error prone, his lack of command of the back-line or larger defensive issues remains to be seen.
CM (21 yrs)
England 2. Championship – Reading (17/24)
Ejaria played the full 90 in a 1-0 loss to Middlesbrough. He was the most accurate passer of any players logging more than 45 mins on the pitch at 90%. He is set to be sold to Reading in the summer of 2020 for 3 million pounds with fees rising to 3.5 and a 20% sell-on fee.
GK (20 yrs)
England 2. Championship – Huddersfield Town (23/24)
Conceded two in a loss to Sheffield Wednesday. Season is young but Huddersfield currently sits 2nd from the bottom tied for 2nd most goals conceded through 7 games. He’s yet to keep a clean sheet but it is a shit team, on the whole, to be fair.
Allan Rodrigues de Souza
CM/CAM (22 yrs)
Brazil 1. Serie A. (Fluminense 16/20)
Allan was credited with the game winning assist in a 1-0 win over heavily favored Corinthians. He finished the match with the most complete passes of any outfield player (66) and a stunning 94% completed pass percentage. He has not appeared for Liverpool since he was bought in 2015 and this is his 6th loan spell due to UK work permit issues. A frustrating spot for all as he has clearly been an emerging talent that has been buried in the beauracracy.
ST (19 yrs)
Scotland 1. Premiership – Kilmarnock (6/12)
The young Canadian opened the scoring in the 56th minute of Kilmarnock’s 2-0 win over Hibernian, streaking down the left flank onto a long ball and cooly slotting it home with his right foot into the far post. This is his 5th start in 5 and he is quickly emerging as an intriguing prospect out of the academy.
CAM (19 yrs)
England 3. League 1 – Oxford (17/23)
Woodburn started in the 10 of a 4-2-3-1 before being pulled in the 67th of a grinding 0-0 draw with Bolton. Woodburn has yet to get fully on track at Oxford but he’s going to get every opportunity as the club was eager to reconnect with Ex-Liverpool youth coach and current Oxford manager, Karl Robinson.
ST (22 yrs)
England 1. Premiership – Bournmouth (9/20)
Everyone’s golden boy, fresh of Bournmouth player of the month started and was subbed at the 57th minute mark for Ryan Fraser. Wilson struggled a bit with Delph & Digne assigned on keeping him isolated out wide and Bournmouth opted for a formation change as they pushed for a 2nd goal. His hot start at the club has seen him worked into the regular starting XI so the minutes should be there to build upon his performances. There’s no shortage of team’s interested in Wilson and he’s not short on talent. The jury is still very much out on whether he will be kept with a shot at the Liverpool starting XI or sold for a large sum (ala Jordan Ibe). Stay posted.
CB (22 yrs)
Germany 2. Bundesliga – VfB Stuttgart
After starting the last two matches in which Stuttgart conceded once and came away with 4 points, Phillips was dropped. Stuttgart conceded 3 in a loss to Jahn Regensburg. They still sit top of the table but let’s hope that’s enough to get Phillips back into the starting XI. After an extremely strong 2018 pre-season in the states, Liverpool is watching closely as he’s widely considered one that could push for first team football at Liverpool as they look to add depth to the squad’s backline.
ST (22 yrs)
Germany 1. Bundesliga – Mainz 05 (16/18)
Awoniyi has amassed only 33 minutes of work as a substitute over the last 5 games. And has been unable to play for Liverpool do to issues with his UK work permit. This is critical juncture in his career. It is now being widely reported that Klopp has put a two year clock on his time with the clock in which he must secure a work permit. This would require Awoniyi to accrue enough top-five European league experience along with work on the international stage. Although he’s had few chances with Mainz thus far, he did receive a call up for the Nigeria U-23’s and started both games over the international break. We’ll keep a close eye on this one.
CB (18 yrs)
England Non League – Kidderminster Harriers
Featured in a clean sheet 2-0 win over Altrincham
GK (21 yrs)
England Non League – Marine FC
Featured in a 2-1 loss to Tadcaster Albion. Whatever that is.