Here's a weekly reminder that Romelu Lukaku is awesome.
The loan roundup grew this weekend, as four more youngsters went out on loan. There have also been rumors of several other loans that are forthcoming, but those won't be anything to write about until January now that the emergency loan window has shut. So what actually happened this week? Read on to find out:
- Romelu Lukaku (West Bromwich Albion): Lukaku started the game on the bench, but had a huge impact in his 20+ minute cameo. He notched his fourth goal of the season from the penalty spot, and that goal proved to be the eventual winner. He also assisted on West Brom's fourth, and did his best to break the goal frame when he rattled a shot off the woodwork. He managed three total shots (not including the penalty), and was generally excellent in both his passing and as a target. To make a long story short, he did more in 20 minutes than Fernando has done in a single game this season.
- Yossi Benayoun (West Ham United): Yossi was not a part of the 18-man squad that lost to Tottenham on Sunday. He was likely either dead or playing jazz.
- Thibaut Courtois (Atletico Madrid): Courtois had a very quiet game as Atletico Madrid just crushed Sevilla this weekend. Atletico now sit eight points clear of Real Madrid, and look like the only team that could prevent the La Liga title race from being over before Christmas.
- Michael Essien (Real Madrid): Essien did not play, as he had an allergic reaction to some medication. He's also been dealing with some bunion issues, and probably requires the assistance of Saint Hubbins.
- Kevin De Bruyne (Werder Bremen): De Bruyne had another decent game over the weekend, although Werder Bremen will be a bit disappointed with the 1-1 draw. They were leading 1-0 when they were reduced to ten men, and the game tipped notably in Wolfsburg's favor from the 62nd minute dismissal on.
- Jeffrey Bruma (Hamburger SV): Bruma was again a substitute for HSV, and went unused in the 2-0 loss. Bruma's status with HSV will be worth watching, if he's still buried on the HSV bench when the window re-opens, it would probably be in the player's best interest to find him a new home. Hopefully he just starts playing again soon, nobody wants to see mum put through this again.
- Milan Lalkovic (Vitoria SC): Lalkovic was an unused substitute on the weekend, or so his temporary club would have us believe. He hasn't been seen in a while, and rumor has is that he may have choked on vomit of unknown origin. Unfortunately, you can't really dust for vomit.
- Matej Delac (Vitoria SC): Delac was also unused over the weekend. He was, however, talking about jumping a tank a tank full of sharks while on a tricycle in the dressing room after the game.
- Tomas Kalas (Vitesse Arnhem): As usual, Tomas Kalas played the full 90 and was very impressive as Vitesse defeated league leading PSV 2-1. It's a good thing for Cesar Azpilicueta that he's playing well, because Kalas looks good.
- Patrick van Aanholt (Vitesse Arnhem): PvA wasn't as good as Kalas on Sunday, but he certainly wasn't bad. It was certainly a passable 90 minutes, and he continues to look like a legitimate option for Chelsea's backup left back job should Ryan Bertrand become the starter next year.
- Gael Kakuta (Vitesse Arnhem): Of the three Chelsea players at Vitesse, Kakuta was the on I was most impressed with against PSV. His passing was typically dangerous, but he's cut out a lot of the dumb decisions he made in his previous spells on loan. He also looks a more complete player, his movement and defensive awareness were notably improved from his spell at Dijon.
- Kenneth Omeruo (ADO Den Haag): Omeruo continues to impress in his spell in the Eredivisie, he played the full 90 minutes in a 3-0 win this weekend. As always, he was solid and hard working.
- Amin Affane (Roda JC): Amin Affane was in fine form over the past several weeks, but he went unused on the bench this weekend. Hopefully he wasn't packed up with the luggage following the game, never to be heard from again.
- Thorgan Hazard (Zulte-Waregem): Hazard started the game, but was subbed off at halftime during a very quiet day for him. I don't know if he's suffering from illness or injury, but he looked to be struggling all match and the move was not a surprise.
- Josh McEachran (Middlesbrough): Josh played only 60 minutes in Boro's loss this weekend, leaving with the game tied at 1-1. Josh was far from his best, but was still notably better than his replacement in the 3-1 loss.
- Sam Hutchinson (Nottingham Forest): Hutch has been rehabbing a knee injury, he's been spending quite a bit of his free time with his pet python, Cleopatra.
- Ben Gordon (Birmingham City): Gordon did not play this week for Birmingham. Rumor has it that he may have been involved in a bizarre gardening accident that the authorities fell would be best left unsolved.
- Nathaniel Chalobah (Watford): Chalobah started and played another solid 90 minutes for Watford. His loan deal is up in January, so I'd be on the lookout for news of an extension fairly soon. Watford may be the deepest squad in the championship, but Chalobah doesn't seem to be in any danger of losing playing time.
- Patrick Bamford (MK Dons): Bamford had a sensational debut for MK Dons, assisting on a pair of goals and drawing a penalty in the 5-1 victory.
- Conor Clifford (Crawley Town): Clifford made his debut from the bench, but made a late cameo as a substitute. His loan spell is only until January, but having now played for two different clubs this season, Clifford is ineligible to play at the senior club anywhere else. I'd look for this loan to be extended regardless of playing time, as shipping him back to Portsmouth or finishing the season with the U21 side would be the only other options.
- Todd Kane (Preston North End): Kane had an excellent debut for Preston, starting the game on the right wing before eventually moving to right back. He certainly looked right at home, and it's nice to see he's already been tried in a pair of roles for the club. That versatility should help him get minutes, and we'll take those minutes anywhere.
- Ulises Davila (CE Sabadell): Davila started again, and played another 90 solid minutes. He didn't get on the scoresheet, but he continues to look good for the Spanish club.
- Archange Nkumu (Colchester): Archange was not involved in the 5-1 loss to MK Dons, and there is no official word as to why. He's not dead, but may have quit football to join Creme Brulee.
- Sam Walker (Bristol Rovers): Sam Walker has regained the number one goaltender job at Bristol, but the results were not outstanding. He allowed three goals, and he certainly looked like a keeper that's been in and out of the lineup recently.
- Jhon Pirez (Leganes): Still no sign of Pirez for Leganes, but there was a little green globule in front of his locker mid-week. Actually, it was more of a stain than a globule.
- Anjur Osmanovic (Lärje/Angered):Despite there being some history of Chelsea loanees disappearing, the law of averages says he'll be played. We won't know until march though, as the Swedish season is over.