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Loan Watch: Evans strikes on Walsall debut

Manchester City have a host f young players gaining valuable experience at clubs across the world

Manchester City have a host f young players gaining valuable experience at clubs across the world

George Evans announced his arrival at Walsall in thrilling style with two goals in two appearances to kick start his loan spell with the Saddlers.

Hours after agreeing a temporary move to the League One side, he was named in the starting XI to face Barnsley on Tuesday – and scored the opening goal as Walsall won 2-0 with a brilliant low finish from inside a congested 18 yard box.  

Then at the weekend he was at it again, getting his name on the scoresheet as part of helter skelter 4-4 draw with Colchester. It was quite the introduction for the young midfielder, who has already made history with City this season as the first player to represent the club at every age group up to the first team.

Speaking about his introduction to Walsall, Evans said: “The first 24 hours were great and very exciting. I got to training with Manchester City on Monday and they told me a phone call had come in from Walsall.

"I rang Jordy straight away and he had nothing but good words to say. He told me it’s a fantastic club, a close-knit club and they play really good football.”

On his debut at Barnsley, he added: “I thought we played some excellent football – I thought we were outstanding. I got a goal, which is a great start, but it’s great credit to the team. They all work really hard for each other.

“We played it out from the back and kept playing in a very positive way and I’m really looking forward to being part of this team and the challenge ahead.

“Hopefully we can keep winning and move back to the top of the table.”

You can watch his debut goal and the reaction here:

Understandably, boss Dean Smith is already refusing to rule out an attempt to extend George’s loan past the original one month period.

He revealed: “It’s an initial month and we’ll see where we are at the end of it.

“George is a player who has fitted in really well.

Walsall are now second in League One, and remain two points off top spot.

Gutted we didn't get the win but will take the point also delighted to score another goal! thanks to all supporters that travelled!! ⚽️❤️

— George Evans (@GeorgeEvans70) October 24, 2015

Elsewhere, and Bruno Zuculini has joined the ranks of City loanees, by agreeing a move to Middlesbrough until 28 November. The young Argentine spent time with Valencia and Cordoba last term and will be hoping to make his debut for Boro in their Capital One Cup clash on Wednesday - against Manchester United at Old Trafford. 

Speaking of debuts, there was one for Yaw Yeboah this week, who stepped up from Lille’s under 21s to make his first team bow against Olympique Marseille.

Unfortunately he couldn’t prevent his side from suffering a 2-1 loss, but his 15 minutes of action give the youngster something very encouraging to build on in France.

On the other side of the coin, this week brought the end of the MLS season and with it a spell in New York for Angelino and Shay Facey.

The pair have made quite the mark in the Big Apple, with both earning a place in the starting XI for Jason Kreis. Unfortunately, the season ended in disappointment with a 3-1 loss to New England Revolution, but this first exposure to first team professional football will have been invaluable for the City duo.

Facey made history with our sister club, spending the entirety of the inaugural season in New York and playing in the first games in front of a loud and raucous fan base. In all, he made 22 appearances across the year and it might have been more but for a niggling injury – he was forced off at half time against New England on his return to the XI.

Angelino was an unused sub in the final game of the campaign, but his first steps in pro football were hugely encouraging for the young Spaniard, who grabbed four assists in 14 appearances since making the move across the Atlantic in the summer.

Kreis has hinted in recent weeks he would like to keep hold of the pair for longer, but the two clubs are yet to make a decision on any extension.

James Horsfield has also returned to City after a brief spell with Doncaster. He wasn’t involved in Rovers’ two games this week, and with the club now under new management in Darren Ferguson he is now back in Manchester.

Enjoyed my time at @drfc_official wishing all the boys and the new manager best of luck through out the season pic.twitter.com/ahQ0D5iUfh

— James Horsfield (@HorsfieldJ) October 25, 2015

In Norway, Bismark Boateng was on the scoresheet as Stromsgodset clinched a 3-3 draw with league leaders Rosenborg. It’s been a good season for the Ghanaian striker and the Eliteserien outfit, who lie second in the table with just a few games remaining.

City’s contingent in the Netherlands enjoyed mixed fortunes this week. Jack Byrne played the first 77 minutes as SC Cambuur grabbed a vital draw with ADO Den Haag. They are still winless in the Eredivisie this term but the midfielder continues to show what he can do in the centre of the park.

Fans were amazing today the win is coming 👏⚽️💛💙 https://t.co/GTGSUwiyAt

— Jack Byrne (@Jackb_8) October 25, 2015

@Jackb_8 You played splendid: fast, creative, well done. Hopefully next week 90 minutes.

— Machiel Braaksma (@MachielBraaksma) October 25, 2015

He will be hoping for an influential display next week, when the local derby with Heerenveen is one of the highlights of the Dutch fixture list.

Meanwhile, there was a first start for Thomas Agyepong at FC Twente after impressing in a couple of substitute appearances. The Ghanaian is still returning from injury, but played the first hour of a 3-1 defeat to title chasing PSV.

Divine Naah sat out NAC Breda’s thumping of Sparta Rotterdam with an eye infection.

In Serie A, Olivier Ntcham played the full complement of minutes for Genoa but finished on the losing side, Empoli running out 2-0 winners. There was also disappointment for fellow Frenchman Seko Fofana, who started Bastia’s 2-0 loss to Montpellier in Ligue 1.

Enes Unal came on for the last 15 minutes to try and help Genk salvage something from their game in Belgium this weekend, but in the end his side went down 4-0 to Mouscron-Peruwelz in something of a surprise result. Genk had a man sent off on 70 minutes and conceded two stoppage time goals to give the result a rather more one-sided look than was perhaps deserved.

Finally, Jason Denayer was an unused in Galatasaray’s crunch clash with Fenerbahce. The defender has sat out the last few games with injury and wasn’t risked in this huge encounter which finished 1-1. Both sides are now one point behind league leaders Besiktas, having each played one game more.

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