Everton Loan Watch: October 2018

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 02: Nikola Vlasic of PFC CSKA Moscow celebrates after scoring a goal during the Group G match of the UEFA Champions League between CSKA Moscow and Real Madrid at the Luzhniki Stadium on October 02, 2018 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Epsilon/Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 02: Nikola Vlasic of PFC CSKA Moscow celebrates after scoring a goal during the Group G match of the UEFA Champions League between CSKA Moscow and Real Madrid at the Luzhniki Stadium on October 02, 2018 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Epsilon/Getty Images) /

We detail again the progress of every Everton player who is currently out on loan.

Another month, and another loan report on Everton players who are playing for another club.

With 14 players out and about on temporary agreements, Evertonians have their work cut out in keeping up with the performance of such a sizeable group of prospects and former first-teamers.

It doesn’t help too that the group are spread so wide. Nikola Vlasic’s home-ground with CSKA Moscow is approximately 3000 km away from Luke Garbutt’s new home in Oxford at the Kassam Stadium.

This month’s update will get you up to speed. Since the September report, Matthew Pennington has departed the club on loan for Ipswich Town. He will be included in our next update.

Listed below though are the fortunes of all of Everton’s other loanees, ranging from goals against Real Madrid to games against teams with 54-year-old starting players. Find out more below.

Henry Onyekuru – Galatasaray

A so-so month in the league for Henry Onyekuru has left the youngster with the same number of goals as that which he started September with. The 21-year-old has managed three in all competitions.

Onyekuru’s international form was far more notable though, as he managed his first goal for Nigeria in a friendly-come-testimonial against Liberia. The match was played in honour of George Weah, who at 54-years-old managed to play 79 minutes of the game in Monrovia. Weah’s impressive effort could not block Onyekuru and the Super Eagles from winning 2-1.

As a result of his solid performance, Onyekuru has been called up by Nigeria for their African Cup of Nations qualifying match next month. He will likely compete with Leicester’s Kelechi Iheanacho for a place up front.

Onyekuru’s goals on the International stage are very good news for Everton fans. As covered by the Liverpool Echo, Onyekuru needs to play a certain percentage of International games before he becomes eligible for a work permit in the UK.

No matter who the opposition is, the youngster needs to keep scoring. It’s good to see that he is off the mark.

Nikola Vlasic – CSKA Moscow

Nikola Vlasic continues to impress in Russia.

Despite a competent corps of midfielders at CSKA, Vlasic is a regular starter, and has even managed to chip in three goals in all competitions. Most notably, the young Croat scored after 62 seconds last week in a smash-and-grab victory against Real Madrid in the Champions League.

It was hard to make sense of Vlasic during his time at Everton, so it’s nice to see his skill-set more clearly on show in Moscow. The 21-year-old has plenty of pace, and seems most threatening when he drifts into a central role.

This potency is somewhat surprising, seen as both Sam Allarydyce and Ronald Koeman insisted on strapping Vlasic to the flanks last year. It’s little wonder then that he struggled in his debut Everton season.

I can’t help think that the Blues will be hard-pressed to keep Vlasic next year. After a lousy start to his Everton career, it is unlikely that Vlasic will trust Marco Silva to guarantee him gametime, no matter how well his season with CSKA goes. Still it’s nice to see the youngster get his career back on track. He could still be a useful asset for Everton going forward.

Antonee Robinson and Callum Connolly – Wigan Athletic

Both of Everton’s loanees with the Latics have had a tough month.

At league level, Connolly did his first team chances no favours by conceding a careless penalty against Norwich City last week. Norwich converted the spot-kick to win an otherwise cagey encounter 1-0.

Bizarrely, the 21-year-old has been deployed at attacking-right midfield in recent weeks, where he has understandably looked out of place. To make the most out of this season, Connolly needs to find minutes in the Wigan back four. Sloppy defensive work however will do little to help his chances.

Antonee Robinson has looked solid in the Championship meanwhile, but had a nightmare week at the International break. Robinson made the USMNT for a friendly against Brazil, and was turned inside out by Douglas Costa again and again.

This was surely a bucket of cold water for the youngster, and for the Everton fans who tipped him for a Premier League place this year. One can’t help feel that the Championship is still the best place for the American full-back to develop.

Wigan are firmly in the mid-table after 12 games, but their defense is due a change after a series of disappointing losses to struggling teams. Hopefully Connolly and Robinson will ride out the storm and maintain their places.

Joe Williams – Bolton Wanderers

Last season, we covered Joe William’s inaugural Championship season with Barnsley. The young midfielder was tasked as a water-carrier by the Tykes, and looked extremely tidy.

True to form, Williams has resumed this role with Bolton – and looks to be a top-level recycler at Championship level. According to WhoScored.com, Williams is running a whopping 40.3 pass-per-game rate this season.

It’s hard to imagine Williams being permitted more creative license with Bolton – and it’s likely that a rigid role as a ball-winner and distributor might stunt his development.

To out-compete players like Idrissa Gueye and Tom Davies at the big club, Williams needs to run with the ball, and exert his influence all over the pitch. Currently he seems trapped in the middle-third of the field.

Still, Bolton manager, Phil Parkinson has been known to set up his teams to play expansive football. If Wanderers continue to struggle this year, Williams deserves a look-in in a playmaking role. 

Honorable Mentions

Shani Tarashaj has made just three appearances for Grasshoppers in the Swiss Super League. In late September, he suffered a foot injury, and has not been in the GC squad since. Sandro Ramirez is also currently injured at Real Sociedad, Spain.

More from Prince Rupert's Tower

Ashley Williams and Cuco Martina still look unconvincing at Stoke. Most recently, Williams was criticised by the Stoke Sentinel for a particularly rash challenge, and questionable marking at corners against Rotherham United.

William’s former Everton teammate Yannick Bolasie had better luck against the North Yorkshire side. Bolasie, on loan at Aston Villa, managed a goal against Rotherham two weeks ago, and scored again against Preston on Tuesday.

Elsewhere in the Championship, Muhamed Besic endeared himself to Middlesborough fans with an all-action display against Ipswich. The Bosnian scored in this match, and has featured in six games this season.

Luke Garbutt continues to start for Oxford in League One. Kevin Mirallas has played a handful of games for Fiorentina, but has failed to score or assist.