LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 18: Kevin De Bruyne of KRC Genk warms up during a KRC Genk training session ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group E match against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on October 18, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
It was a noteworthy weekend for several Chelsea loanees, with one loan spell coming to an unexpectedly early end. Kevin De Bruyne broke his toe early in the clash against Anderlecht, effectively ending his Genk career. There is no word yet on what is immediately in store for De Bruyne, but one would assume he'd be heading to London shortly to be looked at by the team doctors before taking a bit of time off. Belgium did not qualify for either the Euros or the Olympics, so De Bruyne seems a likely candidate for the clubs pre-season tour of the USA should he not be loaned out prior to that. With De Bruyne now in the basket, we'll move on to the rest of the loanees...
- Thibaut Courtois - Courtois always seems like a good one to start with, as he's always playing and generally playing very well. The big Belgian had a pair of contests since we last checked in. In the second leg of the Europa semis, Courtois was excellent as Atletico cruised into the final with another clean sheet. While he wasn't tested often in that one, he was calm and composed throughout. He was a little shakier on the weekend late in the game against Betis. After a solid game for the first 85 minutes, Courtois was a little iffy in his reaction to the second Betis goal in the game's final minutes. The highlights of the Europa game can be found here, the La Liga game are below:
- Kenneth Omeruo - Omeruo made his first start in the center of the defense this weekend, and boy was it a memorable one. Omerou would contribute a goal for his club, but he'd almost immediately give one right back with his first own goal at Den Haag. He'd eventually be sent off after a pair of bookings, meaning he'll now miss the next game on a one game suspension. As eventful as the game was for Omeruo, he really looked pretty good on the whole for a debut in the center of the defense. I'd expect this to be his position for most of next season, as he'll be rejoining Den Haag in the fall. The highlights of that one can be found here:
- Jeffrey Bruma - Bruma again started at right back and was solid defensively in the 0-0 draw. There was much rejoicing that result in Hamburg, as the point with only one game remaining has ensured that Frank Arnesen's side will not be relegated this summer. Hamburg have one game left on the schedule this coming weekend, and we'll likely see Jeffrey Bruma back in London shortly thereafter. If you can find anything worthy of calling a highlight in this one, it can be found here.
- Tomas Kalas - Kalas was generally solid in his team's 3-2 victory over the weekend, but he was a bit slow to react to the 2nd goal Vitesse conceded in this one. With the victory, Vitesse are now mathematically assured to be taking part in the playoff for the final Europa League spot for next season. Progress...
- Patrick van Aanholt, Ulises Davila - Both players were on the bench for this weekend's contest, but neither played.
- Gael Kakuta - Kakuta returned to the Dijon starting 11 over the weekend, but the club lost in fairly lackluster fashion anyway. Kakuta played in the central midfield in this one, and the trio playing there were certainly the highlight of the Dijon performance. Dijon have 4 left to play and sit just a single point clear of relegation, so hopefully Kakuta helps them to safety.
- Ben Gordon - Gordon again started and played the full 90 for Killie in their 4-3 victory. Another good performance for Gordon, he's been very solid since re-joining the Scottish club in January.
- Josh McEachran - I imagine McEachran knows how to spell "unused substitute" by this point.
- Matej Delac - See McEachran, Josh
- Sam Walker - Walker was solid in Yeovil's 3-2 victory over the weekend. One game left before he returns to London, all in all it's been a good loan spell for him.
- Rhys Taylor - Taylor was on the bench as Rotherham continue to evaluate the keepers on their books for next year. One game to go there as well, it's hard to say if we'll see Taylor in the finale or not.