In our Loan Watch feature series, the Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at how a selection of players from a particular club are faring while they are away from their parent side, and provide a brief update regarding their form.
Eddie Nketiah or Patrick Bamford?
Leeds United lost on the road to Charlton Athletic on Saturday and slipped away from the top of the Championship table, and their struggles were matched by many of the Whites’ loan contingent plying their trade away from Elland Road.
The final fixtures of September saw one Leeds-owned player hooked in the 77th minute as his temporary side fell to a 1-0 home defeat, and another was hauled off in the 60th minute in a 3-0 loss, while one played 64 minutes in a 2-1 win in what was his first start of the league campaign.
Conor Shaughnessy’s season so far at loan side Mansfield Town had seen the 23-year-old feature exclusively in central midfield under John Dempster at Field Mill, but the Irishman returned to his natural position at centre-back against Plymouth Argyle on Saturday.
However, his return to the core of defence was not a move which helped his efforts in League Two, as he was hooked in the 77th-minute with Plymouth 1-0 up following Conor Grant’s early opener – a lead they would see out to the full-time whistle.
Shaughnessy was brought off with manager Dempster changing his side’s shape from a three-man defence to a 4-4-2, having won just one of five attempted tackles, recorded no interceptions and misplaced 11 of his 40 passes, per WhoScored data.
Pawel Cibicki has been on Leeds’ books since August 2017, but has not featured for the Elland Road outfit since January 30, 2018 and has never taken to the field under Marcelo Bielsa (TransferMarkt). Instead of changing that this season, the former Sweden youth international moved to ADO Den Haag on a one-season loan deal in late August, and has so far made three outings for the Eredivisie side.
Malmo-born Cibicki enjoyed his first start under Alfons Groenendijk against FC Emmen at the weekend, having been left out of his matchday squad to face AZ Alkmaar, but the 25-year-old struggled and had a full debut to forget.
Starting as the wide-left forward in a 4-3-3, Cibicki was hauled off in the 60th minute as Den Haag went on to lose 3-0, having managed just 11 touches of the ball, attempted zero dribbles, fired his only shot wide of the goal and completed just six passes, as per WhoScored data.
Laurens De Bock
Laurens De Bock had to wait until September 25 to make his Sunderland debut as Jack Ross handed him his Black Cats bow in the Carabao Cup against Sheffield United (TransferMarkt), when the League One side eliminated the Premier League Blades 1-0 at Bramall Lane.
The Belgian’s efforts clearly impressed Ross, as he named the 5 ft 8 left-back in his starting line-up at home to MK Dons on Saturday for what was De Bock’s third tier debut at the Stadium of Light.
De Bock had a solid game as he matched up against Dons’ duo Callum Brittain and Jordan Bowery, as the KSC Lokeren product won five of his seven aerial duels, recorded one interception and three clearances, along with penning one key ball from 19 accurate passes, but failed to take possession with his only attempted tackle, as per WhoScored data.
Leeds will undoubtedly be frustrated to see Cibicki struggle as much as he did in his first start in the Eredivisie, as the Swede is contracted to the Elland Road natives until 2021 and they will be hard done searching for someone willing to pay anything worthwhile for the remainder of his terms in the winter market or next summer.
Shaughnessy struggling in his first start back as a central defender will also be worrying for Whites chiefs monitoring his progress at Mansfield, as this was his chance to show that he should be considered for a defensive role more often than in what should have been an unnatural position for him in midfield.
Neither Cibicki nor Shaughnessy put together convincing arguments over their continued selection, though, and will likely find themselves under pressure to retain their places when Den Haag and Mansfield next take to the field.
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