Loan Watch: Mixed debuts for Afolayan and Cardoso
Three of West Ham United’s on-loan players were in action at the weekend.
Oladapo Afolayan’s fine 2021 continued as he assisted Declan John’s winning goal just seven minutes into his Bolton Wanderers debut in EFL League Two.
The Hammers loanee nutmegged his man before poking the ball to Wales defender John, who smashed an unstoppable shot past David Stockdale to secure a 1-0 victory over Stevenage.
Bolton held on to secure the victory, with Afolayan playing the opening 81 minutes before being replaced. Wanderers’ win means they sit 13th in the table, seven points outside the Play-Off places.
Aji Alese was an unused substitute for leaders Cambridge United in their goalless home draw with Southend United in the same division. Academy of Football graduate Kyle Knoyle started at right-back for the U’s.
Elsewhere, in warmer climes, Xande Silva was introduced as a 59th-minute substitute for Super League Greece high-fliers Aris Thessaloniki during their home fixture with Panetolikos on Sunday.
However, the Portuguese forward and his teammates could not find a winning goal against their lowly opponents and were forced to settle for a goalless draw.
Aris sit second in the table but are 14 points behind runaway leaders Olympiacos. Silva, 23, has scored twice in 19 appearances for his club since joining Aris in October.
In Switzerland, Gonçalo Cardoso made his debut for FC Basel as a half-time substitute in his new club’s 2-0 defeat at FC Zurich.
The 20-year-old, who moved to Basel at the end of January on an 18-month loan deal, played the second 45 minutes at Letzigrund, but was unable to help his team collect any points. The loss leaves Basel second in the Swiss Super League table, 16 points behind leaders Young Boys.
In Portugal, Felipe Anderson was an unused substitute as FC Porto came from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Boavista in the Primeira Liga. Like Aris and Basel, Porto are second in the standings, seven points behind leaders Sporting Lisbon.
Finally, Winston Reid was also an unused substitute as Brentford were beaten 2-0 at home by Barnsley in the EFL Championship. Despite that result, the Bees remain second, just a point behind leaders Norwich City.