Loan watch: Tavares and Clarke off the mark

Nuno Tavares jumps for a header

Fourteen of our players have been in action for their respective loan clubs over the past week, with two going head-to-head in France on Sunday. 

On his Ligue 1 debut, Nuno Tavares scored from a terrific solo effort in Marseille’s 4-1 win over Reims. Nuno’s powerful low strike came just before half-time in a dominant display from Marseille at the Stade Vélodrome. They trail only to PSG in the Ligue 1 table after the first weekend of action. 

On the other side of the pitch, Folarin Balogun also kicked off his loan spell at Reims with a goal as a 64 minute substitute. His well-taken header, seven minutes from time, proved to be his side’s only goal. 

Back in England, Harry Clarke is already off the mark for Stoke City after heading home at the far post in their 2-0 win over Blackpool. With their first three points of the season, the Potters now sit in 12th place in the Championship.

In the second of our loanee head-to-heads, Charlie Patino made a brief but eye-catching debut for Blackpool against Stoke. Our 18-year-old midfielder came off the bench after 70 minutes, and his flair and composure made a big impression on Seasiders boss, Michael Appleton.

Auston Trusty put on another solid performance for Birmingham City at the weekend. The American centre-back made a series of key challenges to hold off Huddersfield Town as the Blues registered their first win of the campaign, but he did pick up a yellow card for a foul 58 minutes in.

Arthur Okonkwo registered a clean sheet in his second game between the sticks for Crewe Alexandra, as they eased to a 3-0 victory over Harrogate Town. Goals from Dan Agyei, Kelvin Mellor, and Courtney Baker-Richardson mean that Crewe currently sit in second place in League One, while elsewhere in the division Tyreece John-Jules was subbed on after 70 minutes during Ipswich Town’s 2-1 defeat of Forest Green Rovers. The win brings the Tractor Boys up into 7th place. 

In League Two, Mazeed Ogungbo played the last 36 minutes of Crawley Town’s 0-1 loss to Leyton Orient, while young goalkeeper Ovie Ejeheri made his official debut for Chelmsford City in a challenging 1-1 draw with St Albans City in the opening game of the Vanarama National League South.

North of the border, Ryan Alebiosu played the full 90 minutes as Kilmarnock were beaten 2-0 by Rangers away from home, while Alex Kirk was a last-minute substitute as Ayr United made a dramatic 3-2 comeback against Queen’s Park to settle at the top of the Scottish Championship.

Meanwhile back in continental Europe, Omar Rekik was a 78-minute substitute for Sparta Rotterdam in their opening game of the Eredivisie, where they were held to a 0-0 draw at Heerenveen, while Mika Biereth was on the bench for RKC Waalwijk’s 2-2 draw with Utrecht. 

Marcelo Flores made an appearance off the bench for Real Oviedo in their final pre-season friendly against Racing Santander. LaLiga 2 kicks off on the 12th August. 

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