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Loan Watch: Let’s Look at Not Liverpool FC for a Bit

Ten LFC loanees featured over the weekend in Football Not Played By Liverpool FC, which is what we all need more of right now, really.

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 Takumi Minamino of Southampton shoots during the Premier League match between Sheffield United and Southampton at Bramall Lane on March 06, 2021 in Sheffield, England
 Takumi Minamino of Southampton shoots during the Premier League match between Sheffield United and Southampton at Bramall Lane on March 06, 2021 in Sheffield, England
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Takumi Minamino played 88 minutes as he returned to the Southampton side for the club’s 2-0 win away at Sheffield United, putting in an industrious performance even if none of his three shots (his most dangerous being the lead image above) found the target. Minamino completed most of his work a bit deeper than on previous occasions, with his two successful take ons (100%) occurring close to midfield and his created chance coming from deep, as he was initially fielded out at the left of midfield in a 4-4-2, ranging across the center of the pitch.

Though Minamino failed to hit the target against Sheffield United, he has scored two in five appearances for Southampton, and has found himself quickly becoming a key player in Ralph Hassenhüttl’s side — likely more so now that Danny Ings has picked up an injury.

Another Liverpool loanee who has found himself central to his side is Harvey Elliot, who continues to impress at Blackburn Rovers. He had a quiet weekend as manager Tony Mowbray did some squad rotation following a run of poor form. Elliot was used as a substitute in Blackburn’s win away at Millwall on Saturday, coming in at the 71st minute and playing for just 19 minutes — though he did manage a key pass within this limited time frame.

At Cardiff loanee Harry Wilson featured for 86 minutes of the club’s goalless draw with Huddersfield Town, and fellow young Red Sheyi Ojo came on in the middle of the first half.

Sepp van den Berg played a full match as Preston North End drew 1-1 at home with Bournemouth; as van den Berg looks to gain experience at the senior level, full matches are valuable for his development after he went the opposite way in a loan move that sent the elusive Ben Davies to Liverpool.

Van den Berg was, however, deployed at right back rather than in the center of the defense — though fans report that the loanee “did not put a foot wrong,” with some suggesting him as Man of the Match. This spell out of position at right back is perhaps suggestive of possibilities for a different role should he his future in the Liverpool side.

Elsewhere, Adam Lewis came on as a second-half substitute for Plymouth Argyle’s 2-1 defeat away at Doncaster Rovers and Liam Millar played a part in Charlton Athletic’s goalless draw with Oxford United.

Outside of England, promising young goalkeeper Kamil Grabara managed a clean sheet as AGF Aarhus defeated our friends FC Midjylland, who currently sit second in the Danish Superliga.

Anderson Arroyo played a full match for Salamanca UDS, while Marko Grujic was held to just a five minute substitute cameo for Porto.

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