Nikola Vlašić

Loan Watch: Vlašić and Masuaku secure wins

As a January chill took hold of English football once again at the weekend, only two West Ham United loanees featured across Europe in the most recent round of fixtures. 

Both of them were able to claim huge league victories as Nikola Vlašić and Arthur Masuaku assisted Torino and Beşiktaş to three points in their respective divisions. 

In Italy, Croatia playmaker Vlašić started for Torino in an impressive 1-0 Serie A win away to Fiorentina, secured thanks to Aleksei Miranchuk’s finish on 33 minutes. 

The home side enjoyed almost two-thirds of the possession, and created significantly more goal attempts, but visitors Torino took the victory when the only goal of the game was struck by Russian Miranchuk. 

The 27-year-old, who appeared at London Stadium for Atalanta in the Betway Cup in August 2021, took control of the ball on the edge of the penalty area and curled home with his left foot, earning Torino a seventh league win of the season. 

The result moves Vlašić and Torino up to eighth in the Serie A table at the season's midway point.

Masuaku secures clean sheet in Beşiktaş-Fenerbahçe derby

In Turkey, Masuaku started and helped Beşiktaş to a 2-0 victory away to Kayserispor.

The visitors took the lead inside two minutes at the Kadir Has Stadium when former Southampton winger Nathan Redmond superbly controlled the ball outside the area, before unleashing a wicked strike into the top corner. 

Masuaku went close to a second for Beşiktaş not long after, only for his own powerful shot to go just wide of the far post. 

The three points were secured before half-time as Salih Uçan into the far corner from just inside the penalty area, after a poor Kayserispor clearance. 

The victory keeps Beşiktaş fourth in the Turkish Super Lig, two points behind West Ham's UEFA Europa Conference League rivals İstanbul Başakşehir, but with a game in-hand. 

The cold snap made its mark on English football over the weekend, meaning a host of other West Ham loanees were unable to feature. 

Mipo Odubeko and Port Vale had been due to take on Morecambe, while Thierry Nevers and his Bradford City teammates were due to play away to Carlisle, but both EFL matches were postponed due to frozen pitches. 

Similarly, Jacob Knightbridge and Harrow Borough saw their Southern League fixture against Danny Ings' former club Dorchester Town postponed; the second consecutive fixture Harrow have been forced to reschedule because of the freezing conditions.