December saw the ending of 1 player’s loan, another player going into a break until late-January and everyone seeing game time in their clubs’ respective leagues. Dwight Gayle got all of the goals and assists this month out of our pool of loaned out players, something that most will find unsurprising.
Club: Slovan Liberec
Aarons’ time in the Czech Republic came to an end this month, playing in all 3 of his final games and starting 2 of them. Liberec picked up 1 point out of a possible 9, with a 0-0 draw in Aarons’ final game against Bohemians 1905. They sit 8th in the Fortuna Liga for the winter break, and Aarons has returned to Newcastle without registering a single goal or assist in 13 matches during his stint in the Czech Republic. There has been no reason to think that Liberec will be extending Aarons’ loan and if he doesn’t get loaned out again in January, he could be facing a second half of the season without any significant first team football.
Position: Central Midfielder/Winger
Club: Accrington Stanley
Barlaser put in a series of solid performances for Accrington this month, starting all 7 of their games. A mixed bag for his side though, as they progressed to the 3rd round of the FA Cup after beating Cheltenham Town 3-1 and beat Lincoln City 4-2 on penalties (with Barlaser missing his spot kick) to go through to the 3rd round of the EFL Trophy. In the league, Accrington pulled off a 1-1 draw with Sunderland and smashed Plymouth 3-0 but were beaten 3-0 and 4-0 by Southend and Peterborough respectively, with former Newcastle youngster Ivan Toney scoring a hat trick for Peterborough. Barlaser has now played 24 games for Accrington and has scored 2 goals, both of which came in cup games. Accrington’s promotion hopes are dissipating though, as they sit in 10th in League One, 9 points away from the playoff places with 1 game in hand.
Club: Accrington Stanley
This month, Charman received his first league appearance for Accrington so far this season, against Sunderland in their 1-1 draw (the day before his 21st birthday no less!). Charman’s introduction came right before a massive goal line scramble in Sunderland’s box that saw Connor Hall eventually bundle the ball into the goal to make it 1-1. Charman has not even featured as a substitute since the 22 minutes he played that day and has only made 3 appearances in all competitions so far for Accrington.
Position: Central Midfielder
Club: Nottingham Forest
Colback’s form for Nottingham Forest has continued to be solid, despite his team’s worrying lack of form. Colback finished all but 1 of his 6 games this month as the player with the highest pass completion rate or the player who registered the most tackles. Forest picked up a measly 5 points from 6 games, winning none of their last 5 and even, in an Arsenal-esque fashion, drawing 3-3 at Norwich City despite being 3-0 up in the 75th minute. Forest sit 10th in the Championship, 6 points off the playoff places. Colback’s future may become clearer in the coming weeks, with his contract ending in the summer and Aitor Karanka being very keen to sign him permanently. So far Colback has played 22 matches for Forest, scoring none but assisting 1.
Club: West Bromwich Albion
Once again, Dwight Gayle ends his month injured. Nevertheless, he scored 4 goals and even assisted 1 in his final game of the month before coming off early with a hamstring problem. His first goal of the month came in a West Midlands derby against Aston Villa. A long ball downfield was reached by Harvey Barnes who found Gayle in space at the back post, a cool volley under pressure saw a West Brom equaliser for 1-1. His other 3 goals came in one game, as the Baggies smashed Rotherham 4-0. The first was a free kick that Gayle won himself, then slotted it under the wall to make it 1-0. The second was a spectacular diving header, Gayle putting his head in bravely to connect with a wonderful delivery from a free kick by the touchline to make it 3-0. His third and West Brom’s fourth of the game saw Tosin Adarabioyo make a great run forward to play in Gayle whose initial attempt was blocked, but as the ball went to roll out for a corner, the goalkeeper intervened and spilt it right at the front post to gift Gayle the easiest goal he’ll ever score. His assist came in the 8th minute vs Wigan, as a loose ball forward was chased down by Gayle who did very well to beat two defenders before floating a high cross right onto the head of Jay Rodriguez and then into the back of the net. Unfortunately, that was to be Gayle’s last contribution of the game as he went off injured just 2 minutes later. West Brom are now 3rd in the Championship, 2 points away from the automatic promotion places. Gayle has played 22 games in all competitions for West Brom now, scoring 13 and registering 2 assists. He seems keen on remaining at West Brom, so any Newcastle fans hoping to see Gayle used as a swap deal for Rondon can see that as positive news.
Position: Central Midfielder
Saivet’s Bursaspor side are the second team in this article to go into a break over the winter, marking the halfway point in their season and in Saivet’s loan spell. After a gradual reintroduction to the side following a back injury, he started all 4 of Bursaspor’s games this month as the side picked up 5 points. No goals or assists for Saivet this month, as his side still sit in 11th in the table. His long-term future still remains unclear and with another 2 and a half years on his contract at Newcastle and seemingly no side willing to take Saivet on permanently, it could be another 2 years overseas after his current spell away from the club. Saivet has now played 12 games for the Turkish side, registering 1 assist.
Position: Centre Back
Yarney once again has returned to being one of the first names on the team sheet for Morecambe, featuring in every minute in 4 out of Morecambe’s 5 games this month, only missing out on Boxing Day in a 3-1 defeat at Tranmere Rovers. Morecambe picked up 5 points from the 4 games that Yarney featured in, including a 3-0 against fellow strugglers Cambridge United. They now sit in 20th, 6 points clear of the relegation zone in League Two. Yarney has featured 21 times now for Morecambe, gaining plenty of experience even if it is near the bottom of the Football League.