Matthew Pennington (Ipswich Town)
Pennington had an eventful game last weekend against Birmingham City, as he started the move for Ipswich’s opener before bagging a goal to put his team 2-0 up at half-time, but was then sent off for a second yellow-card offence in the closing stages after Birmingham had pulled it back to 2-2. He was consequently suspended for his side’s 2-0 defeat at the hands of Middlesbrough in midweek.
Luke Garbutt (Oxford United)
Garbutt has established his place as a mainstay in the Oxford side in the last few weeks, but couldn’t prevent defeat in either of this week’s 2-1 defeats to AFC Wimbledon or Luton Town respectively. Oxford did lose a man in the second half of the latter affair, though.
Antonee Robinson and Callum Connolly (Wigan Athletic)
Robinson started both of Wigan’s 1-0 defeat at Norwich City and the 0-0 midweek draw at home to Swansea City, with Connolly coming on for the final fifteen minutes of each. The latter gave away the penalty in the final minutes against Norwich, as the loanees at the Latics didn’t have much luck this week despite a midweek clean sheet for Robinson.
Ashley Williams and Cuco Martina (Stoke City)
Williams was promoted to Stoke’s starting line-up at Rotherham last weekend in the midst of their defensive troubles, starting alongside Cuco Martina in defence for the 2-2 draw. However the Welshman gave away a penalty in the second half after never really getting going in the first, while Martina was relatively quiet but managed to get a few crosses in – some pinpoint, some seemingly aimed back to Goodison. Oh, Cuco.
Both kept their places in the side for their team’s 2-0 win over Bolton Wanderers, with Williams looking less rusty without having to do much despite one particular slip-up in the first-half. Martina was a trier as ever, but left Stoke fans panicking for him at times.
Muhamed Besic (Middlesbrough)
Besic was an unused substitute for last weekend’s 1-1 draw at Hull City, but made an emphatic return to the starting line-up by scoring his team’s first goal in the 0-2 win at Ipswich. He tiptoed through the Ipswich backline (which unfortunately included Matty Pennington), had an initial shot from range blocked, and unleashed a second shot closer in which flew past the keeper. Fingers crossed Besic has reclaimed his place in the starting eleven, after Tony Pulis asserted that it was the best his side had played all season so far.
Yannick Bolasie (Aston Villa)
Bolasie continued to be used as an impact sub by ill-fated cabbage-target Steve Bruce, being brought off the bench for Jonathan Kodjia in both a 1-1 draw at Bristol City, and a 3-3 draw with Preston North End.
The winger was able to score a stoppage-time winner for Villa in the latter game, though, with a rather scrappy goal from a late corner. Still, getting on the scoresheet again with a positive contribution will hopefully increase Bolasie’s chances of getting in the new manager’s starting eleven now Bruce has been sacked.
Joe Williams (Bolton Wanderers)
The young midfielder put in a strong performance in a 1-0 win over Derby County at the weekend, getting himself about the pitch with the tenacity that fans are getting used to.
Williams struggled at times in the 2-0 midweek defeat against Stoke, though, with several stray passes frustrating fans, but stepped up after some half-time words from his manager, Phil Parkinson. A young player who seems to be developing his game well in the Championship and learning a lot along the way.
Henry Onyekuru (Galatasaray)
Onyekuru came on as a substitute after an hour of his side’s 1-0 win over BB Erzurumspor, with the game 0-0 at the time. The forward was tasked with injecting some life into the game, and helped his team score ten minutes after coming on.
The Nigerian made his first Champions League start in midweek against Porto, and played the whole game but couldn’t prevent a 1-0 defeat. He looked bright when he was on the ball, but unfortunately didn’t see an awful lot of it.
Nikola Vlasic (CSKA Moscow)
Vlasic continues to be the standout player of Everton’s loanees, with his highest-profile goal to date coming as an early winner in his side’s 1-0 midweek win over Real Madrid. Vlasic is on fire at the moment, and was arguably his side’s best player again in the Champions League.
He also helped his side to a 0-1 win at Orenburg over in the Russian league last weekend, and was given more freedom as CSKA Moscow converted to a 4-2-3-1 system with Vlasic one of the attacking three behind the striker – a more advanced role than usual in a more spaced out midfield.
CSKA returned to five-at-the-back against Madrid, but Vlasic kept his advanced role in midfield just behind the striker.
Kevin Mirallas (Fioretina)
Mirallas was a second-half sub for Fiorentina’s 2-0 win over Atalanta, and was at least better than he was against them for Everton last season. Let’s not discuss that though, as Mirallas is finally finding his way into the team after a successful start last week.
Sandro Ramirez (Real Sociedad)
Sandro returned from injury in his side’s 0-1 defeat at the hands of Valencia, coming on just after half-time, but was unable to affect the game and was booked. He was strong in individual battles, though, winning four of his five duels.