Loan Watch: 2018/19 season review

Bielik and Nelson

Nine of our stars enjoyed loan spells over the course of the 2018/19 season - and there’s been plenty of success stories along the way.

Read on to find out how they fared.


Reiss Nelson joined Hoffenheim on a season-long loan deal back in August 2018 - and he can be pleased with his spell in Germany

The 19-year-old winger got off to a flying start, scoring six goals and assisting once in his first six league appearances, helping him to be named Bundesliga Rookie of the Month for October.

From there, Nelson continued to feature sporadically for Julian Nagelsmann’s side, but he was often limited to substitute appearances due to a number of injuries.

Nelson finished the season having made 23 Bundesliga appearances and playing five time in the Champions League. He’s also been nominated for Rookie of the Year.



Despite suffering relegation from the Premier League, Calum Chambers was a shining light in Fulham’s disappointing year-long return to the top-flight.

The 24-year-old often operated as a centre back or right back under Arsene Wenger, but due to his technical ability, he was seen as a contender to play at the base of midfield.

That proved to be the case during his loan spell, as he made 21 appearances as a defensive midfielder for the Cottagers, in addition to a further 10 as a central defender.

The highlight of his season is undoubtedly his stunning winner against Brighton & Hove Albion, a thumping volley into the top corner from the edge of the box.



Krystian Bielik has enjoyed a fine season with Charlton Athletic - and better yet, there’s still the possibility of promotion to the Championship on the horizon.

The 21-year-old has been a mainstay for the Addicks this season, anchoring the midfield and kickstarting attacking moves with smart interceptions and crunching tackles.

This has resulted in Bielik making 31 League One appearances, scoring three goals and assisting twice, helping them to a third-placed finish.

He even scored in the second leg of their semi-final play-off clash against Doncaster Rovers last Friday, setting up a final against Sunderland at Wembley.



Emiliano Martinez may have only joined Reading on loan in late January, but that didn’t stop him from becoming a fan favourite.

The 26-year-old keeper made a superb save on his Championship debut against Bolton, before keeping back-to-back clean sheets against Aston Villa and Sheffield Wednesday.

He then went on to start in each of their 16 remaining Championship fixtures, producing  a number of fine individual performances. His acrobatic qualities have endeared him to the Royals’ fans.

Photo credit: JasonPix


David Ospina joined Napoli on a season-long loan spell in August 2018 - and during that time he made 24 appearances for the Serie A side.

This includes five Champions League appearances, where he was able to keep back-to-back clean sheets against Red Star Belgrade and Liverpool.

The Columbia international also kept a clean sheet in his first - and only - Coppa Italia outing.



Despite spending over four months on loan at RB Leipzig, Emile Smith Rowe has been limited to just three Bundesliga appearances.

The 18-year-old is said to have heavily impressed manager Ralf Rangnick with his professionalism and natural ability, but due to  injury, it took him until April 13 to make his long-awaited debut.

He then on to feature in their 0-0 draw against Bayern Munich and 2-1 defeat to Werder Bremen on the final day of the season.

Smith Rowe


Despite the best efforts of Matt Macey, Plymouth Argyle suffered heartbreak on the final day of the season as they were relegated to League Two.

The 24-year-old shot-stopper delivered a number of promising performances, but it wasn’t enough to guide the Pilgrims to safety. Macey made 38 appearances across all competitions. 



Takuma Asano endured a difficult 2018/19 season with Hannover 96, who were relegated to the Bundesliga 2.

The 24-year-old forward made 13 top-flight appearances this season, but was unable to register a goal or assist.



Kelechi Nwakali made 16 LigaPro appearances for Porto B this season, helping them to a 9th place finish.

The 20-year-old has played in a variety of roles for the Portuguese side, from being a second striker to a creative midfielder.

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