City youngster James Horsfield hit a significant personal milestone in his fledgling career this week, after making his first start in the professional game for Doncaster Rovers 24 hours after his loan deal was confirmed.
Able to play in midfield or defence, the Stockport-born James started at right back in the 2-2 draw against Swindon for Doncaster – where Rob Jones is currently in temporary charge following the departure of City legend Paul Dickov.
The 20-year-old lasted the first 71 minutes of the Football League encounter and turned in a solid display for Donny, looking to support the forward line as well as do his defensive duties.
His display earned a second start in a week – and he reprised his right back role for the full 90 minutes at the weekend as his loan club ran out 2-1 winners in a local derby against Barnsley.
James will be hoping for more of the same over the next few weeks as he aims to help Doncaster climb up the League One table and make the most of his initial 28 day youth loan in Yorkshire.
Elsewhere, and there was a debut for Thomas Agyepong, who made his FC Twente bow this weekend.
The Ghanaian came on for the last 15 minutes of the 3-1 loss to AZ Alkmaar and will be hoping to build on those minutes in future weeks.
In the Netherlands, Jack Byrne played the first hour of SC Cambuur’s 1-1 draw with Roda JC. The midfielder is a popular figure with his new club and back home in Ireland, where he has been named as one of five young Irishmen to watch as his country look for positives in the youth system following Jack Grealish’s decision to declare for England.
Adrian Collins writes: “A huge talent, Byrne has been sent on loan to SC Cambuur in the Dutch Eredivisie this season, so that he can hone his skills even further on a European stage.
“Patrick Vieira, who has worked closely with him in the past, was pleased with the move, saying that he was glad he went to Holland as it will help him with the physical side of the game, but ‘on the ball, he is technically very good. He understands the game quicker than anyone else.’”
Elsewhere in Holland, Divine Naah was on the field for the full complement of minutes but could not prevent NAC Breda falling 1-0 to VVV.
To Turkey, where Jason Denayer continues his education at right back for Galatasaray. The defender played the first half of the weekend’s 2-0 victory over Istanbul Basaksehir before being withdrawn due to a niggling injury at the break.
Seko Fofana continues to be one of the first names on Bastia’s teamsheet in midfield and again chalked up 90 minutes in the narrow defeat to Angers, with only a brilliant save from the opposing keeper denying him a crucial goal.
Meanwhile, fellow Frenchman Olivier Ntcham was an unused sub for Genoa in Serie A this weekend, but his performances so far in Italy have been catching plenty of eyes. The midfielder is now said to be interesting Juventus – at least, if the Italian gossip columns are to be believed!
Across the pond, it was a disappointing week for our two City boys in New York. Shay Facey was forced to sit out NYCFC’s clash with DC United, suffering with a knee strain, while Angelino emerged from the bench to play the last half hour.
However, the Spaniard was unable to avert a last-gasp 2-1 loss to the side from the US capital, who are having an excellent season and confirmed their place in the play-offs with the victory.
Back in Europe, Bismark Boateng started on the wing and set up a goal with an excellent cross as part of a thumping 6-1 win for Stromsgodset over Sarpsborg 08.
Godsway Donyoh played the first 72 minutes in Falkenberg’s 2-1 loss to Orebro, while Enes Unal was an unused sub as Genk ran out 3-1 winners against Standard Liege.