Here’s a double-helping of what our loan stars have been up to in the past fortnight…
Reece Brown has joined Ipswich Town for the remainder of the season as Mick McCarthy’s side aim to remain clear of the relegation zone. After spending the first part of the season with Coventry City, the versatile defender has made five appearances at Under-21 level for the Reds.
“This is a big challenge for me and I’m excited to be signing for Ipswich,” Town’s new No 21 told Ipswich Player.
“It’s a big club with great facilities and I’m looking forward to meeting all the lads and getting started.”
Wilfried Zaha was on top form for Crystal Palace in the Eagles’ 4-1 home win over Middlesbrough at the weekend.
The winger was named Man of the Match and earned widespread praise for an outing that included two assists.
He didn’t get on the scoresheet himself, but caught the eye with a performance of trickery and direct running. Palace boss Ian Holloway said afterwards: “He is good as any chef I’ve seen, he can roast people. He’s roasted both their full-backs… they’ll be delighted to go home, to be honest.” The new-boy, however, missed out on Crystal Palace’s 1-0 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday.
Elsewhere, John Cofie played 78 minutes of Notts County’s 1-1 draw away at Walsall.
Cofie toiled with little reward in the League One fixture that one media outlet described as “a horrible game, played on a horrible pitch”. Cofie got 90 minutes under his belt for Notts County, setting up teammate Julian Kelly to score and help provide victory for caretaker boss Chris Kiwomya, who has since been given the full-time job until the end of the season.
Elsewhere, Angelo Henriquez was an unused substitute in Wigan’s 4-1 FA Cup win at Huddersfield and again failed to make it off the bench in the Latics 3-0 win over fellow-relegation battlers Reading. Federico Macheda was also warming the substitute’s bench as Stuttgart beat Hoffenheim 1-0 in the Bundesliga. Macheda did come on to help Stuttgart consolidate a 1-1 draw with Nurnberg, replacing goal scorer Ibrahima Traoré on 84 minutes. The Italian striker has made three appearances so far and is yet to find the back of the net.
Bebe will be hoping for a spot in Rio Ave’s starting XI on Monday night, as the Portuguese Superliga side host SC Braga. The forward scored the winner in his last outing and also played a key role in Rio Ave’s recent win over Sporting Lisbon. Bebe produced another promising performance as Rio Ave were beaten 2-1 by high-flying Porto. The 22-year-old was replaced by Diego Lopez after 82 minutes, bringing an end to his eighth appearance of this campaign.
Scott Wootton, on loan at Peterborough, is still recovering from a hamstring injury sustained earlier this month, but fellow Red Davide Petrucci will be keen to play his part in Posh’s match at Millwall on Tuesday evening. The Italian netted his first senior goal – a scorching half-volley – in Peterborough’s last fixture. Petrucci and Scott Wootton did not feature in Peterborough’s 0-0 draw with Birmingham.
Michael Keane has caught the eye in recent weeks at Leicester City and is likely to start tomorrow night, as the Foxes host Charlton Athletic at Filbert Street. He also kept a clean sheet as Leicester City recorded a goalless draw with Blackpool at Bloomfield Road last week, where former United favourite Paul Ince took charge of his first home match as Tangerines manager.
After the match, Keane’s temporary boss Nigel Pearson expressed his admiration for his defence, telling the BBC: “I was very pleased with how we went about it. I thought we were very solid at the back.”
Ryan Tunnicliffe was handed his Barnsley debut just a day after signing on loan, though the United youngster could do little to prevent a 5-3 defeat to Bristol City.
The 20-year-old played a full match for the Championship strugglers and almost scored on five minutes when a 25-yard shot was saved by Tom Heaton, who made a number of fine stops throughout the match.
#The former Reds goalkeeper was also on hand to thwart Tunnicliffe’s driving run in the second half, diving at his feet before a goalmouth scramble saw Chris O’Grady pull a goal back for Barnsley.
David Flitcroft’s Tykes have been in good form of late after winning eight of their last nine league and cup fixtures but Saturday’s defeat means they drop to 21st in the table, just two points above the relegation zone.
Meanwhile, Fabio enjoyed two free weekends as Queens Park Rangers were without a fixture during the FA Cup fifth round and then missed the United game due to the terms of his loan deal, but he admitted he had to contain himself when Rafael scored as he was sitting next to the QPR chairman Tony Fernandes.
Luke Giverin made his 21st appearance of the season and played for 85 minutes as Royal Antwerp lost 3-2 to Tubize, placing them 12th in the Belgian Second Division and just eight points clear of the relegation zone.
Luke McCullough was not involved as Cheltenham drew at Accrington Stanley.