November and December contained limited club action due to an international break mixed with a winter pause in play, meaning that it was best to combine these two loan trackers to provide enough content for a decent tracker. As we approach the half-way mark of the season, which players are flying high? Which players have things to build on? And which players need a complete change around come new year? Find out below...
The Gold Category
Martin Ødegaard - (Real Sociedad, La Liga)
Martin missed the start of November for Sociedad, and for his national team as they managed to scrape a Euro 2020 play-off place. He did return for the Real Madrid game at the Santiago Bernabéu, a game which I had the pleasure of watching live. The Norwegian put in a really mature performance, not shying away from the ball, and causing some real problems for his future side - although he should have definitely scored. The next game saw him restore that scoring faith, as he sent the Eibar keeper packing with a strike straight into the top corner. He also got an assist in that game from a free-kick sent in for Le Normand’s header. Real Valladolid were able to frustrate Sociedad a week later, holding them to a 0-0 draw - but not as much as Sociedad managed to frustrate Barcelona after that. Martin put in an excellent performance as they claimed a point in a 2-2 draw at home. Martin was back at it again with the statistics at Osasuna, as he recorded another assist for Oyarzabal, and scored his best goal yet from a free-kick as accurate as a slingshot. His second half was far more restraint, and that has proved to be the case on more than one occasion. If there is something he should really focus on improving over the next few games, it should be his influence throughout each match rather than in game changing segments. Still, four goal involvements in five games is a nice return for him. Onto the decade which will see him do it all...
Sergio Reguilón - (Sevilla, La Liga)
Sergio featured in every La Liga game possible throughout November and December, but continued to be saved during the Europa League. Sevilla secured a top four spot at the half-way mark, with Reguilón impressing against the likes of Atlético Madrid and Óscar Rodríguez’s Leganés. Against Villarreal, he claimed an assist in a 2-1 loss, with a low cross for Munir to finish nicely. The left-back continues to prove himself as a perfect fit for teams competing at the highest standard.
Takefusa Kubo - (Mallorca, La Liga)
Great news for Kubo, as he became a sure starter for Mallorca towards the end of the year. I’m aware that it has looked like this before, but this time it looks like he’s there to stay. He did get demoted from the senior Japan team to the under-23’s, but returned to Spain ready to bounce back. A scrambled 3-0 loss against Valladolid was long forgotten as Kubo claimed both a goal and an assist in a really positive performance against Villarreal. His performances after this tipped a little, reverting to his usual flashes of brilliance back at Barcelona (5-2 loss), Levante (2-1 loss), and Real Betis (2-1 loss). Mallorca did manage to claim a point before the year was out, in a 2-2 draw against Celta Vigo, but they didn’t finish the decade in good spirits after a 2-0 defeat to Sevilla. Humorously, Kubo did skin Sergio Reguilón cleanly during one of his flashes, but his teammate was unable to finish off Take’s good work. What will 2020 bring for this magician?
Achraf Hakimi - (Borussia Dortmund, Bundesliga)
If November had it’s own talent tracker, then Achraf would have won the star player having played so many more games than everyone else. It turns out that he came out on top in December too, taking the final award of the year! In truth he played all over the place for Dortmund during this time, bagging assists galore as a right-winger. His only goals came in his only game at standard right-back, as he scored a double in the Champions League group-stage against Inter Milan. Assists against Paderborn, Hertha Berlin, Fortuna Dusseldorf and Hoffenheim meant that he recorded as many assists in two months as Martin Ødegaard has all season... Wow! He wasn’t done there. He also scored for Morocco after getting a senior call-up for the game against Burundi (3-0 win), operating at both left winger, and at left-back against Mauritania. I’m unsure what long term benefit playing as a winger will have for Real Madrid in terms of Achraf, but it is good to see that wherever he plays, and whoever he plays against - he is far more than capable at being effective. A worthy star player.
Turnaround ✅— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) November 5, 2019
Borussia Dortmund go from 0-2 down to beat Inter Milan 3-2
That Sancho & Hakimi link-up pic.twitter.com/J3bQSKqqTu
The Silver Category
Óscar Rodríguez - (Leganés, La Liga)
Óscar proved to be worth his weight in gold for a struggling Leganés. Mellow games against the strong trio of Real Sociedad (1-1 draw), Barcelona (2-1 loss) and Sevilla (1-0 loss), returned predictable results. Óscar was at his very best against Celta Vigo, scoring two amazing goals from distance to secure a much needed 3-2 win. One came from a routine free-kick, whilst the other was in open play and dipped past the keeper. Leganés claimed four point from six during the last two games of the year, drawing 1-1 with Alavés, and beating Espanyol 2-0. Rodríguez notched an assist against the only team worse than his so far, slotting in Braithwaite to finish acutely. For Spain under-21’s, he managed to score his first goal in the 1-1 draw with Israel, and claim his first assist in the 3-0 win against Macedonia. His performances couldn’t quite match Achraf’s for the star player title, but he was certainly up there and was just as important for his side.
Andriy Lunin - (Real Valladolid, La Liga)
Clean Sheets: 1
Finally! Lunin managed to make his Valladolid debut as the Copa Del Rey began at last... He played against the mighty Tolosa CF, of course keeping a clean-sheet in the process. He did also keep a clean-sheet for Ukraine against Estonia in a 1-0 win after getting the usual call-up. If anything, this just adds even more insult to the already massive amounts of insult given before. Hopefully this first performance will be his last for the club.
Javier Sánchez - (Real Valladolid, La Liga)
Javi Sánchez was not even afforded that privilege. No games for him at all yet this season, which is unacceptable regardless of a minor injury picked up at some point during the year. Hopefully he’ll be joining Lunin out of the door.
Jorge De Frutos - (Real Valladolid, La Liga)
De Frutos did feature in the Copa game against Tolosa, but only managed one more cameo during the rest of the two months. 13 minutes against Sevilla in a 1-0 loss shouldn't really be enough to keep him at the club either, but out of all three players Jorge is the most likely to stay.
According to Cadena Ser and AS, Andriy Lunin could end up at Guti’s Almeria.— Matt Wiltse (@MattWiltse4) December 10, 2019
This would be a great move, especially if they get promoted (currently in 2nd) as Madrid could just extend the loan and have Lunin pickup serious minutes in La Liga next season.
The Bronze Category
Borja Mayoral - (Levante, La Liga)
Borja scored more goals than usual for a loan tracker, although this one did cover double the time - and one of his goals came in the Copa Del Rey against fourth division side Melilla CD. He did however score against Barcelona in an amazingly helpful 3-1 win for both Levante and Real Madrid! The goal was seriously high quality, too - curled straight past Ter Stegen into the bottom corner. It then went quiet for Borja until the last league game of the year. He scored a goal and gained an assist against Celta Vigo to confirm a 3-1 win. Not much of an improve on in terms of scoring consistency, but at least it is something to build on in 2020.
Alberto Soro - (Real Zaragoza, La Liga123)
Alberto managed to return to the starting line-up full time after returning from an injury in October. Assists against Girona (3-3 draw) and Deportivo La Coruña (3-1 win), along with a goal against Huesca in a 2-1 loss helped Zaragoza to hold their position in the play-off places at the halfway mark. It is going to take one hell of a half-season to impress anyone at Real Madrid, though....
Dani Gómez - (Tenerife, La Liga123)
Minimal input again from Dani, as he scored one goal (in a 2-0 win over Sporting Gijón) in nine attempts. Not quite so impressive after starting in six of those games. He was also not retained for the Spanish under-21 youth national side. He will have to step it up in 2020 in order to avoid falling out of favour at Tenerife.
The White Category
Sergio Díaz - (Cerro Porteño, Paraguayan Primera División)
Sergio continues to impress, scoring a further goal against General Díaz (the same team he scored his first goal in years against back in September). He also recorded an assist in the 5-0 win against Nacional Asuncion. He also scored for Paraguay’s under-23 team against Colombia in a 3-1 win. At the rate he is going, not only is he going to ensure that his career continues - but he may even be able to bring back some of that €5,000,000 price tag that Real Madrid forked out for him back in 2016. He just needs to keep going either way.
Augusto Galván - (CyD Leonesa, Segunda División B)
Augusto is not really playing enough for Leonesa, and this last two months proved that he is more than capable of doing that. He scored his first goal for the club in the Copa Del Rey against Castilla’s group rivals Las Rozas. In the league however, he only featured twice for very short amounts of time against Valladolid B and Osasuna B. He looks like he is enjoying his time there, and it doesn’t seem to be worth pulling him out - but it is a shame that he isn’t playing more often. Hopefully that is something that will change in the second half of the season...
Alberto - (Fuenlabrada, La Liga123)
Still no appearances for Alberto at Fuenlabrada due to his serious injury gained whilst at Castilla last season. However, one area of significance did come when he made the bench against Peña Sport FC in a 1-0 win. This must mean that he is very close to a return now...
Moha Ramos - (Birmingham City, The Championship)
Clean Sheets: 0
It is getting to the point where I am considering Moha’s worth on this list. He only features for the youth team, and that does not look like changing as Birmingham head towards the business end of the season. Depending on January’s activities, Moha may get the early axe...
Luca Zidane - (Racing Santander, La Liga123)
Clean Sheets: 1
A strong finish to the year for many of these loanees, whilst it might be the last we get to see of others on this list depending on how January goes. I fully expect at least two of the Valladolid boys to be pulled, whilst there may also be some surprise moves elsewhere. Manu Hernando recently went on loan, joining Luca Zidane at Racing Santander - so he may well find himself replacing someone on this list. But for Martin Ødegaard, Achraf Hakimi and company, it’s just about ensuring they see out the season in good form before a very intriguing summer ahead. Join me at the end of January to see what has changed, and who started the decade off with a bang...
November/December’s Star Player: Achraf Hakimi!