Everton’s contingent of sixteen players out on loan had a better showing, for those players that saw the pitch at least.
Henry Onyekuru made it back into the Anderlecht squad this weekend, with his side picking up a critical win that solidifies their chances of playing in the Champions League again next season. The Nigerian forward was not needed as Anderlecht beat Club Bruges 2-1 away, and are in second place in the Jupiler League playoff championship. Last week news came out that Onyekuru’s loan period was actually for two years, with Everton having only a two-month window to cut that short. Anderlecht take on leaders Standard Liege next weekend, with the gap between the two sides just four points with three games left to play.
Forward Sandro Ramirez finally played the full ninety minutes for Sevilla in a 1-0 win over Real Sociedad. He lined up at the striker position in a 4-2-3-1 formation and got off three shots, all on goal as well as two key passes. Sandro won the penalty that was converted by Ever Banega for the win.
Kevin Mirallas had his loan deal at Olympiacos prematurely terminated as Olympiacos tired of his no-shows, just days before the last round of the Greek Super League. In a game that had no bearing on the final standings, his former side were thrashed 3-0 away at PAS Giannina to finish in 3rd place and will play in the Europa League qualifiers next season. As for Mirallas, it’s not clear what’s next for him with his current deal at the Blues extending until 2020 after he was surprisingly handed a new contract exactly this time last season.
Ademola Lookman had the best day of all Everton’s prospects, banging in two goals as RB Leipzig romped to a 4-1 win over Wolfsburg to remain in the contention for a spot in European football next season. The winger has thrived on the front left of RBL’s unique 4-2-2-2 formation, and the goals were due reward for the youngster.
Back in England, it was the last weekend of the Championship season with the promotion playoffs and relegation beckoning for a number of teams.
Middlesbrough’s 2-2 draw away at Ipswich meant they finish the season in fifth place, and will take on fourth-placed Aston Villa in a promotion playoff ‘semi-final’ this coming week. Muhamed Besic has been a key figure for Boro in the last few weeks, and had another good game. The Bosnian midfielder had seven shots, including one off the woodwork, and laid on four key passes as well as a couple of tackles in a much more offensive-minded showing for him than usual. Callum Connolly played most of the game in midfield for the Tractor Boys, coming up against Besic a few times too.
Barnsley lost 4-1 at Derby and were subsequently relegated. Midfielder Joe Williams has been out for the remainder of the season having picked up a muscle injury that saw him return to Finch Farm recently. The Tykes loss combined with a Bolton Wanderers win means the Trotters with Antonee Robinson and Harry Charlsey were saved from the drop.
Kieran Dowell did not feature in the Nottingham Forest matchday squad, as Bolton beat them 3-2 in a tense and pulsating game, scoring twice in the last five minutes to come from 2-1 down to win and stay in the Championship. A loss would have relegated the Trotters, so the howls of utter unbridled joy at the end of that match are completely understandable!
Leeds United won 2-0 against Queens Park Rangers to finish out the season in 13th place, with Matthew Pennington coming on as a second half substitute. There has been no further transfer talk around the defender, but the Lilywhites are expected to put in a bid for the player in the coming weeks.
Already-relegated Sunderland finished off their season beating already-champions Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-0 at home. Tyias Browning was done for the season with an injury some time ago while Brendan Galloway has not been sighted for a while.
Boris Mathis had returned to Everton a couple of weeks following a number of loan deals at Northampton Town being canceled following the sacking of manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink.
Carlisle United ended the League 2 season in 10th place following a 1-1 draw against Newport. Goalkeeper Louis Gray was not in the squad.
Sam Byrne was also not in the squad as Dundalk FC lost away at Waterford and have relinquished the top spot in the Ireland Premier Division.