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The mid-season loan report (part one)

Written by George Rossiter on 30th November 2022

In the first of a two-part series, George Rossiter investigates how Fulham’s players out on loan are getting on.

In part one, we look at nine of of our players who are out on loan, and their performances, from young hopefuls to outcasts, from Girona to Maidenhead.

Ivan Cavaleiro

One of the highest profile players left out of Marco Silva’s plans for the season was Cavaleiro, who found himself in Turkey playing for mid-table side Alanyaspor. Cavaleiro has found league minutes hard to come by, making a measly five substitute appearances, equating to less than an hour on the pitch, which admittedly does include an assist in a game against Ankaragucu.

Cav also was involved in Alanyaspor’s Turkish Cup win over Sakaryaspor, playing from the start and scoring in a 3-0 win. Ultimately, if the Portuguese foward is to find his way into Silva’s plans – which seems unlikely for now – he first needs to force his way into this Alanyaspor side and make a real impression in the in the Super Lig.

Jay Stansfield

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Of all the narratives this season, Stanno returning to Exeter City to play and score goals in front of his late father’s stand, is right up there. Despite loan offers from the Championship, Stansfield made the decision to follow his heart and he’s made a brilliant impression so far. After starting the season in the first team picture at Fulham, with three Premier League appearances to his name, the 20-year old forward has since scored four goals and assisted a further four times in League One for Exeter. Exeter fan Corey Baker analyses how Stanno’s loan spell is going:

“Stansfield has been fantastic. While it took him time to adjust to consistent senior football, he has acclimatised to the physicality of League One brilliantly. Jay has been great not just scoring goals, but providing so many assists as well – his weight and choice of pass is fantastic.

“His great form has been rewarded with the EFL Young Player of the Month award and I’m sure no Exeter fan would be surprised if he was recalled in January and sent back out to a Championship team. The connection and passion he has for the club is amazing and it’s been a pleasure to watch him in red and white so far this season.”

Paulo Gazzaniga

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After starting the season at Fulham second to Marek Rodak in the goalkeeping department, Gazzaniga dropped further with the arrival of Bernd Leno, before joining Girona on loan at the end of the window. While the Argentine shot-stopper found himself on the bench to start his stint in Spain, he’s recently displaced Girona’s hugely experienced and normal first-choice keeper Martin Juan Carlos. In his four appearances to date, Gazzaniga has helped Girona accumulate eight points from a possible 12 in La Liga, conceding four goals and contributing to impressive results against Athletic Club and Real Madrid.

Rodrigo Muniz

Signed by Chris Wilder and now under the guidance of Manchester United legend Michael Carrick, Rodrigo Muniz has had an up and down time so far at the Riverside. Scoring twice from 15 appearances, mostly playing from the start, Muniz has shown glimpses of his quality. Jonny from The Boro Breakdown Podcast had this to say:

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“If I was to grade Muniz so far this season, it would be a C. Unfortunately for Rodrigo, he’s lost his place in the side to Marcus Forss since Carrick became manager, with the new boss preferring a pressing forward. Muniz has quality, and for a 21-year-old he plays with a lot of maturity. His ability to bring players into the attack, hold the ball up and his movement in the box are all good qualities and he’s unfortunate not to have scored more. Muniz is a good player who will be biding his time to get back into the starting XI, and when he does, he must take his chance.”

Jean-Pierre Tiehi

After an uninspiring loan spell last season at Rodez in France, Tiehi turned this year to the Scottish second division and Hamilton Academicals. His goalscoring record is identical to that of Muniz, bagging two in 15 for a struggling Accies side who find themselves rock bottom of the Scottish Premiership at the time of writing. Despite his side’s issues in the league, Tiehi has impressed out on loan in what is an important season for the young French striker who struggled so badly to make an impact in his two appearances in Ligue 2 last time out.

Idris Odutayo

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After an impressive showing with the first team in pre-season, hopes were high for Odutayo’s development. However, a Football League loan deal didn’t materialise and the defender found himself at Maidenhead United. Here’s what Maidenhead’s media assistant and Fulhamish’s very own Jack Stroudley had to say on his progress:

“When Odutayo signed for Maidenhead, I thought he would become a key member of the defence, but that hasn’t happened. The current partnership of De Havilland and Massey has conceded an admirable 23 goals from 20 games and formed a partnership Odutayo is yet to break into. While he mad a positive debut in the FA Cup against Eastbourne, the league debut that followed against Barnet was less to shout about and league minutes have been hard to come by since, with small stints both at centre-back and left-back. I’m sure he’ll be disappointed with how his season is going”.

Terence Kongolo

Ultimately, there’s not much different to report about Kongolo that we haven’t seen before. The Dutch defender has been in France on the books of Le Havre in Ligue 2, but has continued to be plagued by injuries and fitness issues. However, minutes have started to arrive in dribs and drabs, with Kongolo featuring for 90 minutes in his side’s Coupe De France defeat on penalties to US Alencon, as well as accumulating 10 minutes of game time in the league across three substitute appearances in Le Havre’s most recent league fixtures. While minutes on the board are positive for Kongolo, there’s a long way to go before he proves not only his fitness to Fulham and Marco Silva, but also re-establish his credentials as a viable Premier League option after so many setbacks on the side-lines.

Taye Ashby-Hammond

It’s been an extremely impressive breakthrough season for Taye Ashby-Hammond who has established himself as one of League Two’s best goalkeepers for Stevenage. As of November 25th, Taye has played 19 times for Steve Evans’ side in the league, conceding just 16 goals and accumulating seven clean sheets in the process. The Stevenage FC Podcast had their say on the keeper’s progress this year so far:

“Taye is having a fantastic season with ourselves at Boro. You could see from the opening couple of matches this season that with games and more experience at this level, Taye would turn out to be a cracking addition. He’s saved a few penalties and overall is turning out to be a terrific keeper!”

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Luca Ashby-Hammond

While Taye succeeds in League Two, his brother Luca has had somewhat of a trickier time in the National League with Aldershot. The Shots find themselves in a relegation battle in the fifth tier and have struggled at the back. While not entirely at fault for such shortcomings, Luca has seen 39 goals go past him in his 19 league appearances. The experience at this level will obviously still be of value to the young keeper, who has kept three clean sheets despite Aldershot’s woes, and he will be looking to prove himself for the future, with a number of exciting talents in his position in the Fulham ranks.

Stay tuned for part two in the next few days, featuring Joe Bryan, Anthony Knockaert, and more…

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