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 whilst they are away from their parent side, and provide a brief update regarding their form.
Alexis Sanchez – Inter Milan
Alexis Sanchez’s struggles seemingly just go from bad to worse. After so many promising years becoming one of Europe’s most feared wingers with Barcelona and Arsenal, the South American completely ruined his career after flopping at Manchester United.
Sent out on loan to Inter Milan during the summer, the Chilean would have had high hopes of rekindling the form he displayed prior to his switch to Old Trafford, and while there is still plenty of time for him to do so, things aren’t looking too great as things stand.
One goal and one assist is not a bad return for the 30-year-old in four appearances (all competitions, via Transfermarkt), though after seeing red in his last league outing against Sampdoria at the end of September and subsequently missing Inter’s proceeding clash against Juventus, Sanchez was ruled out of action with a peroneus tendon injury and hasn’t featured for the club since.
Still, according to Giuseppe Marotta speaking to DAZN (via FOX Sports), the club are backing him to return to the attacking set-up in the New Year, retaining faith in the player.
Chris Smalling – Roma
Chris Smalling is making steady progress with Roma. Having initially struggled with muscle fatigue at the beginning of the campaign – thus missing the club’s opening three games – the 29-year-old has now played the full 90 for the Serie A giants in their last four matches.
Indeed, during the club’s draw away to Sampdoria last weekend, the former Fulham ace made the joint-most clearances (8) as well as the most tackles (2, per WhoScored) out of anyone, proving his worth in the backline.
Roma currently sit sixth in Serie A, but are only four points off third-placed Atalanta so will be looking to close that gap this weekend when AC Milan come to visit the Stadio Olimpico; Smalling will be hoping he can keep a second consecutive clean sheet against Stefano Pioli’s side on home soil.
Cameron Borthwick-Jackson – Tranmere Rovers
Unfortunately, there isn’t much to report for 22-year-old defender Cameron Borthwick-Jackson.
The left-back, who has previously spent time on loan with Leeds United and Scunthorpe, has been limited to just two league appearances so far – completely defeating the objective of him going out on loan in the first place.
Borthwick-Jackson’s current contract at United expires at the end of the season, and currently it looks as though that will be the end of his career at Old Trafford, unless he starts to see a rise in minutes at Prenton Park.
All in all, it is Smalling who looks to be making the most progress on loan at the moment.
Sanchez has made a slight impact with Inter Milan having registered a goal and assist and it is at least promising that the Serie A giants are preparing to continue with him when he returns.
United fans, do you think any of these three players have a future at the club? Let us know below!
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