Across Friday and Saturday’s fixtures, seven Arsenal loan players featured at some stage.
Jack Wilshere is being handled carefully after picking up an ankle injury in February against Manchester City. The creative midfielder made a second-half appearance against Southampton in Saturday’s evening encounter.
Wilshere came on for the final 20 minutes, which wasn’t enough to help the Cherries secure more than a point against their local rivals.
– One key pass, 72.7% pass accuracy and 16 touches
– One unsuccessful touch and one interception
Chuba Akpom made his first Brighton start during their 1-0 win over Blackburn. Unfortunately for the 21-year-old, he failed to impress and was replaced shortly before the hour mark.
Akpom’s match stats:
– 50% pass accuracy, one aerial duel won and 12 touches
– Caught offside and dispossessed twice, fouled once
Krystian Bielik started and completed the full 90 minutes during Birmingham’s 1-1 away draw with Ipswich. The 19-year-old was booked for a cynical pull to halt the run of David McGoldrick on the edge of the area, but was otherwise solid when called upon.
Marc Bola was an unused substitute during Notts County’s 3-1 win over Colchester United. The talented young fullback sustained a hamstring tweak two weeks ago and was not risked yesterday.
Kaylen Hinds started as a right-midfielder during Stevenage’s 1-0 win over Barnet. He played 72 minutes before being replaced by Kgosi Ntlhe, which suggests he’s not yet ready to last a full 90 minutes at such high intensity given his lack of regular minutes this term.
Matt Macey kept a clean sheet as Luton beat Blackpool 1-0. He was forced into action on a number of occasions, especially to deny rumoured Arsenal target Bright Osayi-Samuel and Kyle Vassell’s acrobatic effort in the latter stages.
Ismael Bennacer started and completed the full 90 minutes during Tours’ 3-1 win over Red Star on Friday evening. Their victory ensures they’re out of the relegation zone, two points above Auxerre in 18th.
Volendam ran out 4-1 winners over Waalwijk on Friday, but Aaron Eyoma – who sealed a January loan move – did not feature once again. The 19-year-old is still awaiting his opportunity to debut for his loanee side, highlighting why a move abroad was counterproductive in this instance.
Wojciech Szczesny kept his 13th league clean sheet of the season as Roma beat Empoli 2-0. Edin Dzeko netted a brace to ensure they increase pressure on leaders Juventus, who face Napoli today.
Jon Toral started and played the full match during Rangers’ 1-1 draw with Motherwell. Booked in the first-half for dissent after kicking the ball away, the Spaniard continues to divide opinion among supporters.
Some have questioned his ability and drawn comparisons to Zelalem, suggesting he’s not as good. Others feel that he isn’t suited to their style of play and given Rangers conceded early, it seemed premature for manager Pedro Caixinha to move him into central defence.
“Like I said before people started creaming themselves over him against Hamilton, Jon Toral is the worst technical player Arsenal have produced in years. Zelalem is twice the player he is,” was just one comment on a Rangers’ forum.
Mallorca lost 1-0 against Alcorcon on Friday evening and unsurprisingly, Julio Pleguezuelo was not involved once again.
The fullback made the matchday squad on this occasion but his services were not called upon. Mallorca are seriously struggling and with only two wins since the start of 2017. Their immediate future looks grim.