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.
Newcastle United went into the international break with a clutch of senior players jetting off to represent their countries, but for some of the Toon’s prospects plying their trade away from St. James’ Park on loan, there were no pauses in domestic action.
The 2019/20 season has seen Dan Barlaser forge himself as a regular member of Paul Warne’s plans at the New York Stadium, with the 22-year-old featuring in 12 fixtures for Rotherham United across all competitions and starting in ten of those, heading into this weekend’s round of fixtures (WhoScored).
Barlaser’s most recent starting bow came last Saturday as the Millers travelled to Blackpool looking to climb up the League One standings, having taken 15 points in the opening ten games of the campaign.
Rotherham would beat the Seasiders 2-1 thanks to goals by Michael Smith and Clark Robertson, and while Barlaser did not assist either, the former Turkey youth international took control of proceedings from the engine room.
Only Rotherham ‘keeper Daniel Iversen enjoyed more time in possession than Barlaser for the visitors, with the Toon youngster enjoying 5% of all time on the ball, which he turned into 29 attempted passes, one key pass and one successful dribble, per WhoScored data.
Barlaser also contributed defensively to the result, with the Gateshead-born midfielder winning one of two attempted tackles, along with two clearances and one defensive aerial duel.
Having featured for Newcastle United’s Under 23s 29 times last season, and named on Rafa Benitez’s bench against Fulham on the final day of the Premier League season (TransferMarkt), Kelland Watts departed the North East for Stevenage this summer, and joined the League Two side on a one-season loan deal.
His move to Broadhall Way has thus far returned nine starts and two further outings from the bench in the fourth-tier, along with two appearances in the Leasing.com trophy (WhoScored), with his most recent display coming in a new role for the 19-year-old.
Watts had featured as a centre-half in each of his previous fourth-tier starts this season, but was named as one of three central midfielders in a 3-5-2 by manager Mark Sampson last Saturday against Michael Jolley’s Grimsby Town.
The new role saw Watts put on a defensively quiet showing, but displayed his creativity with a joint-game-high four key balls, although neither were converted, per WhoScored data.
Watts also delivered eight corners, only two of which found a teammate, and saw his sole shot on goal blocked, while winning five of eight aerial duels, penning three clearances and one interception to zero attempted tackles or dribbles.
Newcastle United youth striker Elias Sorensen joined League Two Carlisle on loan for the 2019/20 campaign in the hopes of earning more minutes than his limited chances at Blackpool last season, where he featured for just 32 minutes before being recalled by the Magpies (TransferMarkt).
The 20-year-old has not started a league game since August, though, and has not featured in the fourth-tier since September 21, when he came off the bench with nine minutes to spare against Bradford in a 3-1 defeat (WhoScored).
Sorensen is yet to score for Carlisle, either, but his efforts in the Leasing.com trophy against Blackpool on Tuesday night impressed boss Steven Pressley immensely, with the Cumbrians chief lauding the Toon youngster for his ‘exceptional’ performance.
In quotes by the Shields Gazette, Pressley said: “If you look at young Elias Sorensen – at times he worked exceptionally hard and didn’t get his rewards, but he kept doing it and doing it, and I thought he had an exceptional second half.
“I thought he gave a really good performance tonight. He showed great bravery, and, in football, it’s amazing, because the harder you work, the better you perform – that’s the bottom line. I think that’s one of the things he’s truly added to his game, his out of possession work.
“We’ve worked a lot on that with him, his understanding of his roles and responsibilities without the ball. He’s now doing that to great effect. As the game grew, he got stronger and stronger, and I’m really pleased with his efforts.”
Newcastle will be hoping that it is not much longer before Sorensen is starting regularly and scoring for Carlisle given his struggles to establish himself at Blackpool, but the Magpies will be buoyed to hear that Cumbrians boss Pressley has been impressed by what the young centre-forward has shown him thus far.
The Toon will need Sorensen to be a hard worker when he eventually returns to St. James’ Park, as well, if he is to establish himself in the senior fold on Tyneside, with Joelinton currently showing that the striker can often be starved of the ball to his feet.
Newcastle’s club-record signing Joelinton penned 27 touches against Manchester United the last time he took to the field in the North East, which was fewer than all bar Miguel Almiron and Jamaal Lascelles for the hosts (WhoScored).
The Brazilian offered boss Steve Bruce an outlook in attack, though, as he attempted 13 aerial duels – plus one defensive battle – while winning nine of those, the most of anyone to feature for either side.
Newcastle fans, do Barlaser, Watts and Sorensen have futures to fulfil at St. James’ Park? Let us know in the comments below…
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