Originally featured on CityWatch
In a tale of two loans last week, a former pair of Manchester City loanees turned their previous loan spells away from the club into permanent deals. With his loan spell coming to an end at the end of this month, Fleetwood Town have this week decided to turn George Glendon’s stay into a permanent deal with Uwe Rösler’s side signing the 21-year old to an 18-month contract. Dropping down a division to League Two meanwhile and after 15 appearances in all competitions for League One side Bury last season, Doncaster Rovers have signed former City goalkeeper Ian Lawlor on a full-time contract until June 2019. Yet in keeping to the current league campaign, despite City’s shambolic Sunday showing against Everton, for this season’s crop of loanees it has once again been much more of a mixed bag with the club’s loan stars keen to impress ahead as we reach the halfway point of the 2016/17 season.
As Stoke’s Wilfried Bony prepares to face Togo this Monday for his native Ivory Coast in the African Cup of Nations, after suggesting it was perhaps ‘easier to play and get good results at home’ City defender Jason Denayer’s Sunderland side fell further into a relegation battle as The Black Cats slumped to a 3-1 defeat against Stoke City. With the prospect of relegation to the Championship looking more and more likely for Sunderland, Huddersfield Town could be destined for Premier League promotion but after The Terriers wasted a golden opportunity to open the scoring from an Aaron Mooy corner in the first half, Mooy’s side rued their missed opportunities and slumped to a 2-0 defeat against fellow promotion chasers Sheffield Wednesday.
In Spain it was Sevilla’s turn to throw a curveball into the La Liga title race as two late goals in the final six minutes against Real Madrid and a winner courtesy of fellow City forward Stevan Jovetic guiding Samir Nasri and his Sevilla side to a 2-1 victory over title favourites Real Madrid. In a game where Nasri impressed, despite picking up a yellow card he won’t mind too much as Sevilla move a point ahead of third-placed Barcelona and only one point behind Zidane’s side at the top of La Liga. Meanwhile with Eliaquim Mangala missing Valencia’s fourth win of the season through suspension, Valencia edge four points clear of the drop-zone and only a mere two points away from Marlos Moreno’s Deportivo la Coruña who earned a draw in a tough game against an in-form European chasing Villarreal. Despite a valuable point for Moreno’s side who are now unbeaten in five, the Colombian’s wait for a goal continues and he will be hoping he can contribute during the second half of the La Liga season as Deportivo seek to turn draws into three points in their quest for survival. Likewise for those interested in the Spanish Segunda, none of Pablo Maffeo, Pablo Marí or Angeliño featured during Girona’s 2-0 victory whilst Bruno Zuculini was also nowhere to be seen in loan side Rayo Vallecano’s 1-1 draw.
From Manchester to Melbourne City now and with Luke Brattan starting the away fixture his side looked to make it four games unbeaten against a struggling Adelaide United. Although Melbourne initially looked like doing so after taking the lead after just four minutes, a booking for Brattan and second-half substitute appearance for Anthony Caceres later and it was Adelaide who snatched a 2-1 victory with three minutes remaining; a late goal assisted by Spanish player with the surname ‘Guardiola’… Heading over to Italy now and with Torino facing Milan for the second time in five days on Monday night, Joe Hart will be glad of the extra days rest after suffering a horrific head injury in Toro’s 2-1 Coppa Italia loss last Thursday. However with Claudio Bravo’s problems of late, who knows whether a star showing this time round against Milan could force Pep into swallowing his pride and welcoming the Englishman back next season?
Following City’s decision to cut Manu Garcia’s loan short at Alaves, the Spaniard this week swapped La Liga for the Dutch Eerst Divisie and told the media that Pep Guardiola wants him to ‘return as a man’. As we wait to see whether NAC Breda grants City’s wishes and provide Garcia as well as the rest of the MCFC contingent of Ashley Smith-Brown, Thomas Agyepong and Brandon Barker playing time this week in NAC Breda’s Monday night clash against Jong Utrecht. NAC Breda will be hoping their City loanees will help guide them back to the Dutch Eredivisie to join another hotbed of City talent FC Twente next season.
In what may be seen widely as a Chelsea loanee’s vs City loanees’ mid-table clash against Vitesse and FC Twente, just like in the Premier League it was Chelsea who came out on top as Vitesse cruised to a 3-1 victory. Whilst Enes Unal and Yaw Yeboah played a full 90 minutes for the away side, Bersant Celina was substituted after an hour as Chelsea loanee Lewis Baker opened the scoring before being sent off in a comfortable win for the home side. Finally with Sinan Bytyqi set to return from an ankle injury next weekend for bottom-placed Go Ahead Eagles, Oleksandr Zinchenko was also forced to sit out his side’s 2-0 victory through injury, whilst Shay Facey watched from the sidelines as fourth-placed Heerenveen edged even closer to Zinchenko’s PSV with a 2-0 win of their own.