So far, Leeds United’s loaned-out players have been in relatively poor form to start the season. Of course, there have been bright spots here and there, but overall, it has not been good enough. Take this week, where 7 players were not included in their teams’ starting 11 (9 if you count the two injured players). Of those who have been with their team for more than a few weeks, only Mallik Wilks, Liam Kitching, Lewie Coyle, and Alex Machuca have made a noticeable impact for their side. However, Yosuke Ideguchi, Jay-Roy Grot and Laurens de Bock all may be turning the corner and could help make the entire group look better. Let’s take a look at how they did this week.
Yosuke Ideguchi - CM, Greuther Fürth
Greuther Furth lost 2-0 during a visit to Heidenheim this past Sunday, and Ideguchi made his second consecutive start on the left side. However, he was unable to repeat the impact that he made a week ago, when he scored the go-ahead goal. Greuther will next take on Hamburger, a traditional Bundesliga power, who are currently tied for a playoff spot.
Laurens de Bock - LB, K.V. Oostende
De Bock was injured during training last week and did not appear in the squad for Oostende’s 2-1 win against Eupen. He is looking to return for their upcoming match with Standard Liege.
Jay-Roy Grot - FW, VVV-Venlo
Grot turned in another great performance last weekend during a 3-0 win over NAC Breda. He scored his first goal for VVV and was also able to record his first assist on the opening goal. He has now played well in his last three games, and, after struggling at the beginning of the season, hopefully the 21-year-old has turned a corner. Venlo also played in the KNVB Cup on Tuesday, where they beat Westlandia 3-0, though Grot and several other starters got the day off. VVV now has 11 points in their last 5 matches, and they will look to stay hot against Excelsior on Saturday.
Here is his wonderful run into space and finish from the NAC Breda match:
He also utterly destroyed right back Arno Verschueren with that quick inside cut.
Paweł Cibicki - FW, Molde FK
Cibicki got another start this week, but came off after 64 minutes in their 2-1 victory. Molde will next play Rosenborg, who currently lead the Eliteserien.
Paudie O’Connor - CB, Blackpool FC
Paudie O’Connor finally returned from his mysterious absence and remained on the bench for the entirety of Blackpool’s 0-0 draw with Luton Town. Then on Tuesday, Blackpool took down Championship side Queens Park Rangers 2-0 in the Carabao Cup, where the Irishman was again on the bench, which could indicate an upcoming start against Peterborough.
Mallik Wilks - FW, Doncaster Rovers
Mallik Wilks dominated the headlines earlier this week thanks to some snarky comments from Doncaster manager Grant McCann, but he still played well in the Rovers’ 2-1 win at home against Bradford City. Though he missed a pretty open scoring chance in the second half, he was still able to help drive the offense and get good looks on goal.
Here is a great example of Wilks’ abilities. When the ball is coming, he is able to box out the defender and opens his body to the direction that he wants to take the ball. His first touch, taken with his right foot, then stops the ball, causing the left back to lunge into him. Next, Wilks takes a great second touch with his left foot that moves the ball into space and gives him plenty of room to take a shot.
Hopefully next week, McCann will keep his mouth shut, and Wilks will continue his promising path to the Leeds first team. Doncaster next plays Plymouth, who have only managed to accrue 3 points and sit at the bottom of the league table.
Eunan O’Kane - CM, Luton Town
O’Kane is out for the year with a leg injury.
Tyler Denton, LB, Peterborough United
Denton has played in two cup matches for Peterborough so far this season. Nothing changed this week as he once again could not even make the bench.
Lewie Coyle - RB, Fleetwood Town
Fleetwood Town lost 1-0 to Southend this weekend, giving up a goal in the 53rd minute. Coyle played the full match and performed well, furthering his case to make the first team next year. He has quietly been one of Leeds’ best loaned-out players this year, and it is clear why Fleetwood wanted him back for a second season. The right back will look to start his 10th straight match against Barnsley on the 29th.
Hadi Sacko - RM, UD Las Palmas
This article’s title from HITC says all you need to know about Hadi Sacko’s season so far at Las Palmas. Once again, he failed to make the 18-man game day roster.
Vurnon Anita - CM, Willem II
The young center midfielder is yet another Leeds player who has failed to break into his temporary team’s starting eleven. Anita has made 3 appearances so far this year, all as a substitute, and he has struggled to make an impact.
Liam Kitching - LB, Harrogate Town AFC
Kitching continued his long streak of appearances for Harrogate in a 0-0 draw with Wrexham this past Saturday. For now, Harrogate is in third place, looking to gain promotion to League Two.
Alex Machuca - FW, Burgos CAM
Alex Machuca also continued his long streak of appearances when defensive midfielder Jagoba Biobide was injured during warm-ups, and the Leeds man replaced him last minute. He ended up playing for 55 minutes before being taken off. Burgos eventually pulled off a 2-1 comeback win over the visiting side Deportivo.
Adrián Balboa - FW, Terrassa FC
Balboa was a 69th minute substitute this weekend, coming on for the midfielder Imaz when Terrassa, down 1-0, needed more offense. Unfortunately, Balboa was unable to help as the result held. The Spanish side will look to bounce back against Europa next week.
Oriol Rey - CM, UB Conquense
Oriol Rey came on as a garbage-time substitute for UB Conquense this weekend, and they lost 3-0 to a far superior Barcelona B team.
Oliver Šarkić - FW, Barakaldo CF
Apologies to Šarkić, who was left off of last week’s loan round-up by mistake. Like Balboa and Oriol Rey, he has been nothing more than a bench piece so far.