Positive COVID-19 tests, injuries and falling out of favour… it’s been a tough month for many of Everton’s out-on-loan contingent.
But there have been some positives, including one youngster grabbing the captain’s armband.
Let’s take a look at how Everton’s loanees got on in March.
Moise Kean – PSG
Kean tested positive for COVID-19 at the start of March and was subsequently ruled out for most of the month.
Fortunately, he doesn’t seem to have suffered the effects of ‘long COVID’ as he returned to action and played 79 minutes on the left-wing in a 3-0 cup win at home to Lille, before playing a full 90 minutes up front in PSG’s 4-2 win at Lyon.
April will be a big month for the 21-year-old, as PSG face last season’s Champions League winners, Bayern Munich, in the quarter-finals. Things are also tight in Ligue 1, with the Parisians level on points with Lille.
Nathan Markelo – Twente
Has very much been a bit-part player for Twente this season, and has yet to start a game for the Dutch side.
Markelo made two cameo appearances from the bench in March, playing 24 millions at right-back in a draw with Willem II, before a last minute appearance at centre-mind in a goalless draw with Heerenveen.
Dennis Adeniran – Wycombe Wanderers
Adeniran has fallen completely out of favour at Wycombe. He’s not played a minute since starting in a 7-2 defeat at the end of January and made the bench just once in March.
Lewis Gibson – Reading
Made a rare start for Reading at centre-back in their 1-1 draw with QPR.
He’s not played as much as he would have liked at the Madejski Stadium this season, although Reading have lots of defensive options and remain on course for the play-offs.
Callum Connolly – Fleetwood Town
His time at Everton will surely come to an end when his contract expires in the summer, but Connolly shouldn’t be short of options having been an an ever-present for Fleetwood this season, and has captained the side for the last eight games.
It was a good month for Fleetwood and Connolly, with the Cod Army starting to find some form after a tough season, while Connolly also managed to get on the scoresheet in an impressive 2-0 win over Ipswich.
Theo Walcott – Southampton
Has been out since the end of January with a hamstring injury.
Jarrad Branthwaite – Blackburn Rovers
After playing the full 90 minutes in his first nine games for Blackburn, Branthwaite slipped out of the starting line-up in March and has had to make do with watching the action from the bench.
Here’s hoping he’ll get another chance before the end of the season.
Matthew Pennington – Shrewsbury Town
The Everton under-23s veteran has been a mainstay in Shrewsbury’s defence in March, starting five and appearing from the bench once. He even grabbed as assist against Charlton with a beautifully floated cross from the right.
Ellis Simms – Blackpool
Scored a tap-in against Wimbledon at the start of the month but his game time gradually reduced through March, as the young striker remained on the bench for the final two games.
Still got a lot of work to do if he wants to break into Everton’s senior squad.
Yannick Bolasie – Middlesbrough
After recovering from a hamstring injury, Bolasie started to find a hint of form at the Riverside in March, bagging two assists in five games. However, he was also hooked at half-time in their 1-0 defeat to Millwall.
Fitness does seem to be an ongoing issue though, as he didn’t complete more than 66 minutes in March.
Beni Baningime – Derby County
Played a full 90 minutes at the start of the month. Unfortunately that was a 4-0 defeat to Cardiff.
Didn’t make the squad for the next two games and has been stuck on the bench since.
Cenk Tosun – Besiktas
A knee injury kept him out for most of March, although he did return to the bench for a 1-1 draw with Fenerbahce.
He’s only featured twice for Besiktas since his return, but did manage to bag twice.
Jonjoe Kenny – Celtic
Has been an ever-present since making the move to Parkhead and it seems like a permanent move could be a possibility if Celtic can afford him.
Hard to see a Goodison future for Kenny, who has one year left on his contract.
Anthony Gordon – Preston North End
Not quite set Deepdale alight as we would have hoped, although the Preston fans seem impressed by him.
He made two starts and two substitute appearances in March, but he’s still yet to register a goal or assist.
This is a player definitely capable of becoming an important player at Everton, but he needs to start showing the numbers to back up the potential.
Preston have eight more games left this season and Gordon needs to seize this opportunity.