It was a much better weekend for some of Everton’s players out on loan in the world, starting with two players who are looking to get off the fringes and back into the main squad next season.
Muhamed Besic has caught the eye with his assured performances on the left of midfield for Middlesbrough since his move in January. Boro are right in the mix for the hotly contested fifth and sixth spots in the Championship that ensure a place in the Premier League promotion playoffs come the end of the season.
With a cool finish to mark his first goal for the club, Besic got Boro on the way to a 2-1 win over Derby that puts them in fifth place in the Championship with just two games to play for Tony Pulis’ side.
And if you were in any doubt how much the Boro fans love our Besic, you can cringe here with Boro Fan TV -
Another player to have a good weekend, despite a heavy loss, was Ademola Lookman. RB Leipzig slipped to a heavy 5-2 defeat against Hoffenheim who leapfrogged them into fifth place in Bundesliga with just three weeks left in the season.
The young winger started out on the right wing and played the full ninety minutes, but the main highlight was this nifty little move to set up the second goal. He created four chances from open play in this game, which is more than any Everton player has in a Premier League game since October (via @Matt_Cheetham)
| Ademola Lookman - *OUR* Ademola Lookman - sets up Dayot Upamecano for RB Leipzig's second goal in a 5-2 loss to Hoffenheim... pic.twitter.com/pxfHztzCE5— Ed (@dixiessixty) April 21, 2018
Just this week Sam Allardyce came out and said the Blues could sell Lookman to Leipzig if they made the right offer, fuelling fan outrage that has been simmering from January when the 20-year-old was allowed to go out on loan despite the Blues’ woes on the left wing.
If the Hirving Lozano rumours that came out yesterday are true, then a winger corps of the Mexican international, Theo Walcott, Yannick Bolasie and Ademola Lookman appears to be a solid group for next season.
Kevin Mirallas played just under an hour in another anonymous performance as Olympiacos slipped to a 1-0 defeat to Apollon Smirnis and fell to third place in the Greek Super League, a point behind PAOK with just three games left to play.
Back in England, Matthew Pennington stepped in as an emergency right back with an injury crisis at the position for Leeds United, and did well against one of the form players of the Championship Oli McBurnie. Leeds went on to win 2-1 against Barnsley in their Yorkshire derby to climb up to 12th.
The loss keeps Barnsley in the relegation zone for now with midfielder Joe Williams out for the remainder of the season having picked up a muscle injury that saw him return to Finch Farm recently. The Tykes have a game in hand but are two points behind Bolton Wanderers just above them.
The Trotters lost 4-0 to Championship champions Wolverhampton Wanderers with Antonee Robinson having a decent game at left back for an otherwise poor Bolton side. Robinson has certainly staked his claim to be at Everton next season, especially now that it looks like Luke Garbutt will be on his way. Harry Charlsey is injured and did not feature for Bolton.
Sunderland suffered their second consecutive relegation in as many seasons after losing 2-1 against Burton Albion who keep their faint hopes of survival alive. Tyias Browning is done for the season with an injury while Brendan Galloway has not been sighted in weeks now.
Kieran Dowell was an unused substitute as Nottingham Forest lost 2-1 at Cardiff - the Reds are adrift in midtable and just playing out the schedule for nought right now. Ipswich Town also lost, 4-0 at home against Aston Villa, with Callum Connolly coming on as a late substitute.
Goalkeeper Louis Gray was on the bench as Carlisle United drew 1-1 with Luton Town. Sam Byrne didn’t make the squad for Dundalk FC in a 2-2 draw against Derry City to maintain their hold on top spot in the Irish Premier Division.
Henry Onyekuru continues his rehabilitation from a knee injury, with a spot on Nigeria’s World Cup roster in doubt. He has resumed full training with the Anderlecht squad after five months out.
Finally, Boris Mathis has returned to Everton following his spell at Northampton Town being cut short by the sacking of manager JimmyFloyd Hasselbaink.