MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 10: Atletico Madrid fans welcome their team at Plaza Neptuno during celebrations a day after winning the Europa League Final on May 10, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. Atletico beat Athletic Bilbao 3-0 in the final in Bucharest. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Our list of players on loan has shortened considerably this week, and it will be shorter still for next week's final addition for the 2011/12 season. Tomas Kalas will certainly be worth reporting on next week, and Patrick van Aanholt and Gael Kakuta could both potentially feature one final time this season. That's for next week though, here's what we have for you today:
- Tomas Kalas - The young Czech defender had a pair of games this week, and he played the full 90 in both contests. Vitesse played a home and away against NEC in the first round of the Eredivisie Europa League playoff, and they managed to advance to the final with a 4-2 aggregate victory. Kalas had a tough first game as Vitesse pushed hard for away goals. He had very little support from the midfield in the 3-2 loss, but Vitesse were in great shape for the return leg with a pair of away goals. They'd take a more conservative approach in the second leg, winning 2-0 in what was an excellent game for Kalas. Video higlights of the first game game are available after the jump, the second leg can be found here.
- Patrick van Aanholt - PvA was an unused sub in both legs of the playoff. He'll likely be on the bench again come Thursday's first leg of the final.
- Thibaut Courtois - The big Belgian had a very big week, and he certainly didn't disappoint. First up was Athletic Bilbao in the Europa League final, and Courtois brought his A game for this one. He'd be under pressure for a large amount of the game, as Atletico jumped on top of Bilbao early en route to a 3-0 victory. He'd then have an equally important game over the weekend against relegation threatened Villareal, with an Atletico win giving them a chance at the Champions League. He'd again impress in the 1-0 victory, but Atletico woud finish behind Malaga as they would also win. Atletico will return to the Europa League next year, making them a very nice destination for another loan. Here's the Europa League highlights:
- Gael Kakuta - Kakuta was again unused this weekend as Dijon tried to avoid relegation. Dijon did manage to score for the first time in 6 matches, but a 1-1 draw still sees them needing a win and some help to avoid being relegated. The decision to not use Kakuta is a bit baffling, he's been one of the best players on the squad all spring. They play Rennes on Sunday, with Rennes still in contention for Europa.
- Ben Gordon - Gordon wrapped up his loan spell in Scotland with another 90 minutes. Killie won 2-1 and sound like they want to keep Gordon around on a permanent basis next year. Very good work for Gordon this spring, it will be interesting to see what the club does with him.
- Josh McEachran - Josh's loan spell was disappointing to say the least, and he ended it unused as Swansea beat Liverpoolol to end their season. I'm sure he'll feature in the club's preseason tour of the US.
- Matej Delac - Delac finished his loan spell on the bench as usual. Hopefully Chelsea and Delac manage to find a better situation for the young keeper, although the new U21 league would make sense if he can get a work permit.