A trio of City loanees are battling for the limelight this week – Jason Denayer and John Guidetti picked up their first piece of silverware in senior football while Shay Facey made history with NYCFC.
The England youth international defender made his MLS debut as a second half sub in NYCFC’s historic home opener at Yankee Stadium. Taking the field in front of 43,000 fervent spectators, Facey played his part in the club’s maiden victory over New England Revolution.
Being a part of such a momentous occasion is sure to live long in the youngster’s memory, while he will be hoping this is just the first of many games in the Big Apple as he seeks to enhance his development with a spell on the other side of the Atlantic.
Proud to make my debut infront of 43 thousand today a dream come true!!! U Fans are amazing thanks guys for your messages too 👌🙌 #NYCFC !!— Shay Facey (@ShayFacey) March 16, 2015
It was great to see @ShayFacey on the pitch today. Immense talent #NYCFC— Garrett Rodgers (@GarrettRodgers) March 16, 2015
Goals from David Villa and Patrick Mullens ensured a 2-0 victory over last term’s MLS Cup runners-up, and Jason Kreis’ men are now unbeaten in their first two games in franchise history.
Read the full match report and see pictures here.
Closer to home, and Jason Denayer and John Guidetti also enjoyed a memorable weekend as they lifted the Scottish League Cup with Celtic.
It was the first trophy of the season for the Scottish League Champions, and Denayer is hoping it isn’t the last of what has been a hugely successful loan spell to date.
He told the Glasgow Evening Times: "It is the first cup final and first win of my career, so it was a very special day for me. We want to win the Treble, so it is a good start if we are trying to achieve that.
"I would love to finish this season with Celtic with three medals. I came here to play football every week and to learn. I think I have done that. I have learned so much from playing in the team.
"To get the chance to win a cup was very good for me. It is an exciting feeling and I would like now to win the league and the Scottish Cup."
Great win today !! First trophy ⚽️🏆 pic.twitter.com/vToIfVVxUI— Jason denayer (@Jasondenayer) March 15, 2015
The defender played all 90 minutes of the 2-0 win over Dundee United, while Guidetti was a 69th minute substitute. The Swede did finish as the tournament’s joint top scorer with four goals.
Saturday was a good day for Scott Sinclair, who was part of the Aston Villa side that dismantled Sunderland 4-0 at the Stadium of Light. It was the winger’s eighth appearance of his loan spell and manager Tim Sherwood has suggested he would like to extend Scott’s stay beyond the summer.
In League One, it was Jordy Hiwula versus Devante Cole and it finished with honours even as Walsall and MK Dons played out a 1-1 draw.
Hiwula started the fixture and turned in a classy display on the left hand side that helped lead to his side’s first half goal. He also had the ball in the net himself only to have his celebrations cut short by the linesman’s flag.
Cole emerged from the bench on 88 minutes and still had time to fashion a potential match-winning chance thanks to his harrying of the Walsall defence. Although the chance went begging, manager Karl Robinson was quick to praise the young forward.
Said Robinson: "He was outstanding in the game and I'm excited by where he can go in future years."
MK Dons remain fourth and well on course for a play-off place.
Elsewhere in the same division, George Evans played the first 73 minutes of Scunthorpe’s 1-1 draw with Sheffield Wednesday. It was the midfielder’s perfectly floated free kick that helped set up the Iron’s equaliser and pull the club five points clear of the drop zone.
Greg Leigh missed out on Crewe’s 5-1 defeat to Preston North End through injury.
Meanwhile, Seko Fofana came on for Fulham after 70 minutes to help them find an equaliser against Sheffield Wednesday – that match also finishing 1-1 in Loan Watch’s most popular scoreline this week.
On the continent, Álvaro Negredo played the first 71 minutes of Valencia’s 2-0 win over Deportivo La Coruna that sent Los Che up to third in La Liga. Unfortunately the striker was withdrawn due to a knee problem, but he is yet to be fully evaluated and has not been ruled out of next weekend’s game with Elche.
Bruno Zuculini chalked up the full 90 minutes for Cordoba in their La Liga clash with Malaga this weekend, but could not prevent his side succumbing to a 2-0 loss that leaves them rooted to the bottom of the table and seven points adrift of safety.
Chidiebere Nwakali was not involved for Malaga.
In Holland, Divine Naah played 84 minutes for NAC Breda as part of the Eredivisie outfit’s 1-0 victory over Go Ahead Eagles.
Elsewhere in the Dutch top division, Karim Rekik once again missed out with a hamstring problem but will have been pleased to see his teammates emerge as 2-1 victors over Groningen.
Marcos Lopes was not involved as Lille ran out 3-0 winners over Rennes, but he tweeted a message of support for the rest of the squad and hattrick hero Origi.
Great 3-0 win with @DivockOrigi in top form! Now time to have a relaxing sunday lunch with my family #together 👌 pic.twitter.com/CqjZjmzh6M— Rony Lopes (@Rony10Lopes) March 15, 2015
Micah Richards was an unused sub in Fiorentina’s 1-1 Europa League draw with Roma, but will hope to be involved in Monday night’s league clash with AC Milan.
Sinan Bytyqi continues his recovery from a cruciate ligament injury, while Bismark Boateng (Stromsgodset) and Godsway Donyoh (Falkenberg) are awaiting the start of the Scandinavian season in April.