Kevin Mirallas (Fiorentina)
Mirallas replaced Gerson on the right wing for the final 20 minutes of his side’s 0-0 draw with Napoli but limped off after just 12, suffering a calf injury. It’s not good news for the Belgian, but we hope he’ll be back soon, as it should only be a matter of ten days or so.
Sandro Ramirez (Real Sociedad)
Sandro replaced Adnan Januzaj again this week out on the wing for the last fifteen minutes of Sociedad’s 0-0 draw with Valencia, not getting up to much apart from a blocked shot and a yellow card for a foul shortly after coming on.
Henry Onyekuru (Galatasaray)
The Nigerian had a decent game out on the left wing for Gala’s 3-1 win over Trabzonspor, winning a penalty as well as having a couple of shots on target and one off it.
That was enough to keep his place in the side in the same position for the Europa League clash with Benfica, which Onyekuru’s side lost 2-1. He did get a couple of shots away, though, and was fouled four times when trying to get his team forward.
Nikola Vlasic (CSKA Moscow)
Vlasic was given a rest from winter break friendlies last week, but returns this weekend against Newcastle United, whom he was strongly linked with before flying out to Russia last summer.
Cuco Martina (Feyenoord)
Cuco had a very strong debut in Feyenoord’s 4-0 victory over De Graafschap, interestingly at centre-back. He made five interceptions and blocked two shots in his new position, winning high praise from manager Giovanni Van Bronckhorst. Did we miss a trick there?
Yannick Bolasie (Anderlecht)
Bolasie got a much-needed 90 minutes under his belt during Anderlecht’s 0-0 draw with SV Zulte Waregem, creating a couple of chances and receiving a yellow card.
Matthew Pennington (Ipswich Town)
Pennington gave the ball away in the lead-up to the second goal of a 3-0 defeat to Norwich City, but defended well other than that moment. He made six clearances and blocked a couple of shots. If he can wipe those errors out of his game, there’s a good player in there.
He bounced back very well in the midweek 1-1 draw with Derby County, who showed some deadline day interest in the player. Pennington made a fantastic 12 clearances, dominating in the air, and had two chances himself at the other end. Mental strength.
Luke Garbutt (Oxford United)
Garbutt lost his place in the matchday squad for the 1-1 draw with Sunderland, with six loanees now at Oxford to fit in for Karl Robinson. It’s not looking great.
Antonee Robinson and Beni Baningime (Wigan Athletic)
Two of my personal favourite loanees. With Robinson still out, Beni made his first start for the Latics at centre-mid for the 1-1 draw with Rotherham United. He grew into the game after a nervy start, winning seven of his 17 duels after putting himself about well.
Baningime was out of the squad for the 0-0 draw with Stoke City.
Ashley Williams (Stoke City)
Ashley Williams has lost his place in the Stoke defence after a shaky performance in the 2-0 defeat to Hull City, and remained on the bench for both the 1-0 defeat to West Bromwich Albion and the 0-0 draw with Wigan.
Muhamed Besic (Middlesbrough)
Besic was brought on for Lewis Wing to play the final 26 minutes of Boro’s 1-1 draw with Leeds United, and didn’t get up to much in that time. He did make two key passes, but only five accurate passes overall.
The Bosnian stayed on the bench for the 1-0 defeat to Sheffield United.
Joe Williams and Callum Connolly (Bolton Wanderers)
Connolly was a lone centre-mid at the start of Bolton’s 2-1 defeat at Preston North End, and struggled in the role before moving to left-back and faring better there. He got an assist for Clayton Donaldson’s late consolation.
He had a better game on the left of a midfield three in midweek, scoring the only goal of the 1-0 win at Birmingham City. A goal and an assist is a very good week for Connolly considering he’s only just swapped there from Wigan. Williams remains out with a thigh injury.
Kieran Dowell (Sheffield United)
Dowell had his best game yet for the Blades in their 3-3 draw with Aston Villa, playing a key part in his side’s first two goals whilst dribbling well and showing intelligence and flair on the ball. He dribbled past four people and had a shot on target before being substituted with fifteen minutes left.
He was tried out at left-midfield for the 1-0 win over Middlesbrough, finally playing 90 minutes, and arguably bettered his last performance showing some lovely footwork and drawing the foul for Daniel Ayala’s sending-off in the second-half. Dowell seems to be getting into his rhythm for the Blades now.
Mason Holgate (West Bromwich Albion)
Holgate was a constant outlet on the right both defensively and going forward during their 1-0 win at Stoke, impressing in the air as well as with his drives upfield. He lost possession a few times but made four clearances and three interceptions.
He put several crosses in during their 2-2 midweek draw with Nottingham Forest which no one could get on the end of, but played a part in his side’s first goal.
Shayne Lavery (Falkirk)
Lavery stayed on the bench for his side’s 2-1 win at Alloa Athletic.
Joe Hilton (Marine)
Hilton kept a clean sheet in another commanding performance during Marine’s 3-0 win over Mickleover Sports. He really does take charge of his defence well for a teenager.
Oumar Niasse (Cardiff City)
Niasse ran himself ragged in the 2-1 win over Southampton, winning 12 of an impressive 22 duels, despite not getting a shot away before being brought off on 83 minutes. His service was poor, to be fair.
Anthony Evans (Blackpool)
Evans made his Blackpool debut off the bench for the last 15 minutes of their 2-0 win over Walsall, before starting the 1-1 draw at Sunderland in midfield. He should have won his side a penalty after being brought down in the box by Lynden Gooch, but appeals were waved away.