Kevin Mirallas (Fiorentina)
Mirallas was a late substitute in Fiorentina’s 3-3 draw with Sampdoria, replacing centre-back Vitor Hugo for just the last eight minutes. He didn’t play at centre-back, but he may as well have as he was not able to influence the game in such limited time.
Sandro Ramirez (Real Sociedad)
Sandro returned from injury for the last sixteen minutes of his side’s 2-2 draw at Rayo Vallecano, and managed a shot as well as winning all three of his duels and whipping in a couple of crosses. Fresh.
Henry Onyekuru (Galatasaray)
The Nigerian had a fantastic game in the 6-0 win over MKE Ankaragücü, bagging himself a hat-trick from the left wing. Prolific stuff from the forgotten man, who also came on for the final minutes to see out a 1-0 Turkish Cup win over Boluspor in midweek.
Nikola Vlasic (CSKA Moscow)
CSKA have had a couple of friendlies this week to keep them busy during the winter break, beating FK Ventspils 5-0 and Molde FK 2-1, Vlasic starting the latter in an unfamiliar right wing role. He didn’t get on the scoresheet this time, but got some precious game time under his belt.
Matthew Pennington (Ipswich Town)
Pennington has been shifted over to right-back for the last couple of games, and he was defensively sound as usual in the 2-0 defeat to Blackburn Rovers, with all the damage to Ipswich coming down the other flank. The 24-year-old won four of his five tackles, and ten of his 19 duels.
Luke Garbutt (Oxford United)
Garbutt was left on the bench for both the 2-1 league win over Portsmouth, and the 5-2 Football League Trophy defeat to Bury. He usually gets a game in the cup matches at least, but after being hauled off at half-time a few weeks ago, Karl Robinson has again turned a blind eye to the 25-year-old.
Antonee Robinson and Callum Connolly (Wigan Athletic)
Callum Connolly was left on the bench again for the 1-0 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday, and it shouldn’t be too long until Robinson’s back from ankle surgery.
Ashley Williams and Cuco Martina (Stoke City)
Williams was rock-solid for 94 minutes against league leaders Leeds United but conceded in the 95th, in a new-look three-at-the-back Stoke defence. Stoke still won the game 2-1, with the Welshman making four clearances, two interceptions and blocking two shots. Cuco Martina continues to be overlooked under new manager Nathan Jones.
Muhamed Besic (Middlesbrough)
Boro fans haven’t been happy with Besic lately, and neither has Tony Pulis after he brought the Bosnian off after 69 minutes of the 1-1 draw with Millwall. The Bosnian did manage 45 passes in that time with a 91% accuracy and six out of his eight attempted long balls were accurate, but the stats aren’t matching up with his performances of late.
Joe Williams (Bolton Wanderers)
Williams is still out with a thigh tendon injury so sat out the 2-0 defeat to West Bromwich Albion.
Kieran Dowell (Sheffield United)
Dowell came off the bench for the last 24 minutes of the Blades’ 1-0 defeat at Swansea City and showed moments of class again, especially a nice ball over the Swans’ defence to play in Billy Sharp, but the linesman flagged for offside.
Mason Holgate (West Bromwich Albion)
Holgate bombed up and down the right throughout the 2-0 win over Bolton, winning 15 of his 19 duels, and put in another impressive performance from full-back. You have to see the video of his booking, where he tells Bolton striker Clayton Donaldson: “I don’t even f*cking know who you are, you’re f*cking crap.”
Shayne Lavery (Falkirk)
Falkirk didn’t have a game this week, but Lavery has come off the bench for their last couple of games.
Joe Hilton (Marine)
After landing the job of Media Officer at Marine while doing my research for last week’s Loan Report, I had the pleasure of watching Joe live for the 1-1 draw with Stalybridge Celtic. The 19-year-old commanded his area well and was assured whenever needed, as well as using his feet impressively outside the box on one occasion. He wasn’t able to do much about the goal, and made a solid home debut.
Oumar Niasse (Cardiff City)
Niasse didn’t manage a shot on his Cardiff debut, and was brought off after 64 minutes of the 3-0 defeat to Newcastle United.