The long-awaited return of the loan report is finally here at The Toffee Blues. Since the last report there has been much change, including recalls, new clubs and even permanent transfers.
Ellis Simms was recalled from his loan at Sunderland at the turn of the year, Niels Nkounkou and Tyler Onyango both changed clubs, and Nathan Broadhead was sold to Ipswich for an undisclosed fee nine days into the January transfer window.
Dele – Besiktas
In the six games the Super Eagles played before the World Cup, Dele was substituted in four of them, and only made the bench in the defeat to Galatasary. He did however grab a goal in the fourth round of the Turkish Cup.
As most leagues did around the world, the Turkish Süper Lig was suspended for the duration of the World Cup. However, Besiktas still played club friendlies throughout.
He scored in a in a 4-0 win over Istanbulspor and was brought off in the 80th minute. He was also replaced in three other matches, but did not feature in the last friendly before the season started again.
This was the beginning of a poor run of form for Dele. In their fifth round cup tie against second-tier opposition, he was booed off in the 30th minute by his own fans with Besiktas 2-0 down, his career seemingly reaching a new low.
He was then an unused substitute in the following three league games, before finally making an appearance, albeit in the 90th minute against, Konyaspor. Dele was again an unused substitute in Besiktas’s exit from the Turkish Cup.
He made his first competitive start in just under three months on 27th January, scoring in a 3-0 win over Alanyaspor and being awarded man of the match. He then also played the full ninety minutes in a draw with Faith Karagümrük.
Despite this performance, he was back on the bench for the 1-0 defeat to Sivasspor, only coming on in the 76th minute.
Hopefully he has done enough to warrant a start next game and turn his career around.
Jean-Philipe Gbamin – Trabzonspor
Another Everton midfielder who is on loan in Turkey is Jean-Philippe Gbamin, who is at Trabzonspor.
During the break, the Ivorian featured in every friendly, sometimes being used as a centre-half as well as a midfielder.
Once the league campaign was underway once more, he was again used as a centre-half, although his last start in the league was 9th January. This was due to a knee injury, in which he has only just made a return to the squad, coming off the bench in Trabzonspor’s last three games.
Jarrad Branthwaite – PSV Eindhoven
Jarrad Branthwaite has been very impressive following the restart of the Eredivisie, having started every game.
PSV’s last game was a 3-1 win against FC Twente in the KNVB Cup, in which Branthwaite scored a brace in the first fourteen minutes. But it is not just his goalscoring that has caught the eye, it is his overall defending.
Ruud van Nistelrooy said of Branthwaite after the victory, ‘he is a great talent. The boy is 20, but he has a future. He is good on the ball, can play on the left or the right of centre-back because he is two-footed. He has height and speed, so he is very complete’. He also stated that he would love to keep the defender at the club for longer.
The 20-year-old also scored again in the 6-0 win over Groningen on Saturday, meaning that he has now scored more in his past two games than Everton’s strikers have all season.
Branthwaite’s form has been so impressive that there were rumours that a number of Premier League clubs such as Liverpool and Manchester United, as well as Roma in Serie A, have sent scouts to watch him.
He will no doubt return to the Blues at the end of his loan with a vast amount of interest in him, but unless a substantial offer comes in, the Toffees do not need to sell.
Long may his good form continue for PSV.
Joao Virgínia – SC Cambuur
The Portuguese shot stopper has made seventeen appearances so far this season for SC Cambuur, who are bottom of the Eredivisie.
They were also knocked out of the KNVB Cup in the second round, with Virgínia receiving a red card in the ninety-third minute.
The 23-year-old, who spent last season on loan at Sporting Lisbon, has also spent the last three league games on the bench, being dropped due to poor form.
It is a decision that SC Cambuur fans agreed with, many saying it was time and that he needed a spell out of the team.
SC Cambuur kept their first clean sheet in three games and only their seventh of the season, in a 0-0 draw with NEC Nijmegen.
With his contract ending in June 2024, Everton may look to cash in on him at the end of his current loan.
André Gomes – Lille
After a slow start to life in Ligue 1, André Gomes has impressed at Lille following the break. The Portuguese midfielder has played in every match following the break, and scored his first goal for the club against Rennes last Saturday.
Paulo Fonseca’s side are sixth in the league, with only one defeat following the restart. Gomes has been highly influential during games, with Lille fans saying that he is the ‘kind of player who completely changes the face of the team’.
The 29-year-old looks to have rediscovered his form in a league more suited to his pace and style of play. He has dictated and controlled many games for Lille so far this season, with the game played much slower than the Premier League.
Everton fans have also been pleased to see Gomes performing well this season, with him ‘bossing games’ and putting himself about.
Although he only came on in the 74th minute in Lille’s win at the weekend, he added control to the midfield which enabled them to win the game.
If at the end of the loan spell Gomes is to leave, he will go with the backing of many Evertonians who will certainly wish him the best and hope he can get back to the form he showed during his original loan spell with the Blues.
Niels Nkounkou – Saint Étienne
The 20-year-old left-back joined Saint Étienne in Ligue 2 after being recalled by The Toffees from his loan at Cardiff City.
Throughout his loan spell at Cardiff, he played the majority of games, but was part of a squad that slipped down the Championship table. He made fourteen appearances and provided one assist during his four-and-a-half month stint with the Bluebirds, before being recalled by Everton and sent on loan to France.
He has started three out of a possible four league games since joining the French outfit, who were relegated from the top division last season.
The last game against Annecy, a 3-2 home win, he played the entire 90 minutes at left-wing, providing two assists. The Saint-Étienne fans were also impressed with Nkounkou in a more advanced role, calling his display a ‘monstrous’ one.
Many Evertonians had noticed that he was always better going forward than he was defending in his limited appearances for the Toffees, maybe forward roles are the way to get the best out of him.
Tom Cannon – Preston North End
Under-21 striker Tom Cannon moved to Lancashire on loan in the January window, joining Ryan Lowe’s Preston North End. He made his debut four days later in a 4-0 defeat to Norwich City.
Cannon has started all five league games since joining, but is yet to score a goal. Yet many Preston North End fans have been very impressed with him since joining, and if his form for the under-21s is anything to go by, it will not be long until he starts scoring for his loan club
English Football League One
Ryan Astley – Accrington Stanley
The lower leagues of the football pyramid in England were some of the few leagues to play games regularly during the World Cup.
Stanley have played twenty-four games, with Astley only missing six and scoring a couple of goals in that time as well.
He has been a constant for Stanley all season, impressing in many different positions in back threes, fours and fives. Despite playing two-thirds of the games since the last report, he has been part of a side that has gone from being four points off the play-offs to 22nd in League One.
However, the Everton hierarchy will be pleased with his performances in a challenging league.
Lewis Gibson – Bristol Rovers
Gibson had a tough start to his loan spell, with injuries keeping him out the side, along with a bad run of form.
During the World Cup break, he forced himself into the starting eleven, and played the majority of games. He was either deployed as a centre-back or left-back.
He has made 17 appearances this season for Bristol Rovers, although he has missed the last five matches with an ankle injury, with manager Joey Barton saying that he is still ‘two to three weeks away’.
Lewis Dobbin – Derby County
League One also continued whilst many leagues around the world halted for the World Cup. And Lewis Dobbin has been pivotal in catapulting Derby County up to fourth place.
He has featured in every game since the last loan report, and has continued to impress the Rams faithful with his displays, with one fan writing ‘Lewis Dobbin, take a bow. Phenomenal 90 minutes today’ following the 5-0 romp of Morecambe.
After Saturday’s impressive victory over Morecambe, where the RamsTalk Podcast said he played like he was possessed by the spirit of Pele, the 20-year-old said that he still has more to come and that he can get better.
It is not just Derby fans that he has impressed, with one Morecambe fan page calling him the best opposing player they have seen this season, saying he was ‘such a threat in both games’.
He is now also adding more end product to his game, grabbing a goal late on in the 3-2 defeat to Wycombe Wanderers.
The Everton hierarchy will certainly be impressed by how he has performed during his loan spell.
Lewis Warrington – Fleetwood Town
Warrington has made twenty-seven appearances in all competitions for Fleetwood Town so far this season, scoring one goal and providing two assists.
The Cod Army reached the fifth round of the FA Cup for the first time in their history, following a 1-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday, with Warrington playing a pivotal part in the success.
The fourth round replay against Wednesday was his first start in three games, which prompted many Fleetwood fans to write on social media about the difference that the 20-year-old made.
His impressive display earned him a start in the 2-1 victory over Charlton, with many Fleetwood fans saying that he has got to start for the rest of the season. He also started in the 1-0 win over Peterborough yesterday too, with fans after the match singing his praises, with some even wanting to sign him permanently.
It is great to see another young player flourishing on loan.
Tyler Onyango – Forest Green Rovers
Tyler Onyango is another youngster who was recalled from one club and sent to another. He was recalled from Burton Albion on 18th January due to lack of game time and arguably mismanagement, then nine days later joined former Everton assistant manager Duncan Ferguson at Forest Green Rovers.
Onyango’s time at Burton Albion was certainly tough, but it was not helped that former manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and current manager Dino Maamria could not settle on one position for the 19-year-old.
He was played as an attacking midfielder, an eight and a six, and he was also unable to get a clear run of games.
Now with Ferguson at Forest Green Rovers, he has started all league games. Hopefully this loan will work out for him more than the last one.
National League North
Harry Tyrer – Chester
The phrase ‘never fall in love with a loan player’ is often talked about in football, but none more so in Harry Tyrer’s move to Chester.
Despite the Seals only winning two of their last nine league games, a run which includes six draws, Tyrer has always come away with plaudits.
Many Chester fans have called him the best goalkeeper they have ever had, with some even going as far to say he is the best in the league.
The 21-year-old is clearly loving his time at the National League club, with many videos of him online jumping into the crowd after wins and joining in songs with the fans.
Tyrer’s loan has arguably been one of the best of the season, in terms of playing time and how well he himself has acquitted himself. He is certainly a future Everton goalkeeper.