Injuries hit Liverpool’s loan army – but Championship stars continue to be regulars

Ben Painter gives an update on how Liverpool’s loanees got on with their temporary clubs in October.

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Liverpool have a number of players out on loan across England and Scotland, with the idea of giving them more first-team minutes to improve so they can either serve the Reds in the future or impress enough to be sold on for a handsome fee.

This includes the likes of Sepp van den Berg and Rhys Williams, who could be members of Liverpool’s squad in the future if they show enough progress.

Meanwhile, Ben Davies and Ben Woodburn are examples of those who are out on loan so they can be in the shop window and secure a move elsewhere.

A lot of these players still have a point to prove and more than likely Jürgen Klopp and his team will be keeping on eye on them as well as those in charge of development at Kirkby.

Here’s how Liverpool’s loanees got on in October:

Ben Davies – Sheffield United

The Blades had five games last month and Davies was ever-present. They kicked the month off with a defeat and Davies played the full game at left-centre-back as they lost 2-1 away to Bournemouth.

Davies kept his place after the international break and they bounced back with a win, overcoming Stoke City 2-1 at Bramall Lane. Three days later, Davies again played the full game as Sheffield United lost 2-1 to Millwall, with Morgan Gibbs-White getting sent off.

Next up was a 3-2 victory over Barnsley in the Championship and Davies again played – it seems he is Slaviša Jokanović’s preferred choice of defensive partner alongside captain John Egan.

Davies and his side ended the month with a 1-0 loss to Blackpool on the 30th, a game in which he also picked up a yellow card.

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The defender played every minute of football for his side, nailing down a first team spot and getting some real game time.

Games: 8
Goals: 0
Assists: 0

Ben Woodburn – Hearts

In the first game of the month over in Scotland, Woodburn played 69 minutes at left wing in a 2-0 victory over Motherwell in the SPL.

He then played 61 minutes in the same role as Hearts drew 1-1 with Steven Gerrard’s Scottish champions Rangers thanks to a late equaliser.

Woodburn got his first goal contribution for the Jam Tarts as he set up John Souttar’s goal in a 1-1 draw against Dundee FC, he picked up a yellow card early on in the game and was taken off at halftime.

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The Welshman was dropped to the bench for Hearts’ next game, another 1-1 draw this time against St. Johnstone and he entered the field to play the last 15 at right wing.

He started from the bench again in Hearts’ final game of the month, coming on at 57 minutes in 2-1 loss to Aberdeen where he also picked up a booking.

A decent month for Woodburn – Hearts’ early momentum has dropped slightly but the Scottish side are still up there in the SPL table.

Games: 9
Goals: 0
Assists: 1

Rhys Williams – Swansea City

The young defender was unused from the bench in the Swans’ first game of the month, a 0-0 draw away at Derby County. Williams was then out of the matchday squad completely as Swansea beat Cardiff City 3-0 in the Welsh derby.

He made his first appearance and only appearance of the month in the following game, coming off the bench in the 86th minute for Ben Cabango at centre-back in a 2-1 victory over West Brom.

Manager Russell Martin did not use Williams in the 2-1 defeat to Birmingham and then did not put him on the bench in the 3-0 victory over Peterborough.

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Just four minutes of football for Williams last month, but with Swansea in fine form it appears he is not needed. Klopp and his staff are surely not happy with the amount of football Williams has received.

Games: 4
Goals: 0
Assists: 0

Sheyi Ojo – Millwall

The winger broke into the Millwall side in September and continued to play regularly last month, starting the first game on the second at left-wing and playing 70 minutes before being replaced in a 1-0 victory over Barnsley.

Next, Ojo played the full game, again on the left wing, as the Lions lost 2-0 to Luton Town, and then played 76 minutes in the same role as they bounced back with a win against Sheffield United.

Ojo got an assist in Millwall’s next outing, an equaliser in a game that ended 2-1 to Millwall against Stoke City. He then played just the first half in a disappointing 1-0 defeat to Huddersfield Town in the Championship, which was Millwall’s last game of October.

A decent run of games for Ojo, including one goal contribution. He seems to have made the left wing spot his own at The Den.

Games: 6
Goals: 0
Assists: 2

Sepp van den Berg – Preston North End

The Dutchman has nailed down the right-wing-back spot for Preston and continued playing there to start October, playing the full game as Preston lost 3-2 away at Queen’s Park Rangers.

Two weeks later, van den Berg again played all 90 minutes as North End saw out a 0-0 draw at home to Wayne Rooney’s Derby County in the Championship.

Preston then picked up their first win of the month, a 2-1 victory over Coventry at home, as the young defender played the full game. Three days later Preston were away at local rivals Blackpool and lost 2-0, and the Dutchman again played the full game.

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Preston’s next game was actually against Liverpool as they hosted the Reds in the Round of 16 of the Carabao Cup – van den Berg was given permission to play against his parent side and played the full game at centre-back in a 2-0 loss.

They bounced back with a win on the last game of the month, a 2-0 victory over Luton Town. It was a great month personally for van den Berg as he played every minute of football for the Lilywhites, albeit with a mixed bag of results.

Games: 12
Goals: 2
Assists: 0

Adam Lewis – Livingston

Lewis did not play a single minute for Livingston, due to a foot injury sustained in September, Livingston had a decent month in the SPL, however.

They lost to St Mirren 1-0, beat St. Johnstone 3-0 away, tasted victory away at Ross County, drew with Dundee United 1-1 and also managed a 0-0 stalemate with Celtic on the 30th to complete the month.

Games: 3
Goals: 0
Assists: 0

Leighton Clarkson – Blackburn Rovers

The young midfielder has generally been a squad player for Tony Mowbray this season and this was the case at the start of October as he was an unused substitute in a 2-1 defeat away at Blackpool in the Championship.

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He was also unused in a 2-2 draw with Coventry after the international break, but then started and played the full 90 minutes just three days later in a 1-0 defeat to QPR.

Clarkson returned to the bench and was unused as Rovers bounced back to beat Reading 2-0 and he also did not play in the 2-1 victory away at Derby County.

Just the one game for Clarkson last month, but he is still a young player with a lot to learn. It will good for him to be around a first team environment on a more regular basis, though Liverpool would probably like to see him playing more.

Games: 4
Goals: 0
Assists: 0

Paul Glatzel – Tranmere Rovers

Like Clarkson, Glatzel played just once for League Two side Tranmere last month, and was missing from the squad for the first five games.

He returned to the bench, but did not feature, in the 2-0 loss to Northampton Town – and then came off the bench at half time in the 2-0 defeat to Mansfield.

After getting a run of starts in September it was disappointing to see him miss so much football last month, but he seems back and ready for selection as we head into the winter period.

Games: 8
Goals: 0
Assists: 0


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