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 fell to a 1-0 defeat at Chelsea on Saturday, but the weekend returned somewhat better results for a few of the Magpies’ loan contingent.
Life at loan side Wycombe Wanderers has been a struggle for Rolando Aarons, as the 23-year-old had only recorded one start in the EFL Trophy and two outings from the bench in League One heading into the weekend’s fixtures.
Chairboys boss Gareth Ainsworth made changes to his side for the visit of Sunderland to Adams Park on Saturday, though, and awarded Aarons his first start in the third-tier as his left-forward.
Aarons failed to grasp the chance with a goal or an assist before being replaced by Josh Parker deep into stoppage-time, but managed to display a slight presence in attack with one shot and one dribble as Wycombe won 1-0, however the Kingston, Jamaica-born forward was dispossessed four times and misplaced 13 of his 32 passes, per WhoScored data.
Grimsby Town boss Michael Jolley has often turned to Newcastle product Liam Gibson at left-back this season, with the 22-year-old featuring in 11 games across all competitions, including a starting role against Leyton Orient on Saturday (WhoScored).
Gibson was kept busy at home to Carl Fletcher’s Orient side as the visitors won 4-0, as the Toon prospect recorded touches up and down the Grimsby left-flank on route to the second-most touches overall with 88, as well as 7.1% of time in possession.
The Stanley-born-defender also recorded three successful tackles, two clearances, four interceptions – which was twice as many as any other player – and played 29 of his 73 passes in the final third.
Gibson’s adventures down the wing led to the left-back also completing each of his two dribbles, playing one key ball and hitting one shot on goal, albeit an effort that was blocked.
Elias Sorensen has had to be patient in his quest for regular minutes with loan side Carlisle United, as Steven Pressley’s Brunton Park natives look to climb up the League Two standings after a poor start to the campaign left the Cumbrians at the wrong end of the table.
Carlisle’s clash with Plymouth Argyle on Saturday was no different, as Sorensen was again named on the bench, but was handed a rare chance to impress when Pressley introduced the 20-year-old to proceedings with just over half an hour remaining.
It was the longest Sorensen has featured for in a League Two match since starting at Scunthorpe in August (WhoScored), and came after playing no part in defeats to Crewe Alexandre and Newport County.
Sorensen was unable to prevent Carlisle from losing 2-0 at Plymouth, though, as his sole shot on goal was off target and neither of his eight accurate passes led to a chance to score being created. The youngster also did not attempt any dribbles, lost both of his aerial duels and was caught offside once.
Aarons making a rare start for Wycombe may finally be a sign of things starting to work in his favour at the League One side, but his performance will have done little to support his case for further outings in the opening line-up outside of injuries.
The 23-year-old really ought to have done more with his time in possession than completing just 67% of his passes, and needed to stop turning over the ball as much as he did, with each of his times dispossessed coming evenly throughout the game.
Sorensen, likewise, ought to have done more with his time on the field for Carlisle at the weekend, as offering a threat in attack while the Cumbrians were already chasing the game would have done wonders for his argument for more minutes.
Newcastle fans, will Aarons’ start on Saturday act as the turning point for his career? Let us know in the comments below…Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more Newcastle notifications!