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Loan Watch: Campbell Scores Winner | Almunia Back On Bench | Vela Struggles

With many countries across Europe playing extra midweek games last week, our young loanees had an another chance to play and receive more valuable experience.  Almunia’s spell at West Ham ended after Robert Green returned from injury, and Wellington Silva continues to miss out at Levante as their coach sticks with the same team after their fantastic start to the season – until the weekend they were unbeaten and top of La Liga, above both Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Carlos Vela:

The Mexican played a total of 180 minutes for Real Sociedad, but was unable to bag himself a goal or even his team a point. During the week, they went down 3-2 at high-flying Levante; an exciting game seemed destined to end a 2-2 draw, before Ruben Suarez stepped up and scored a magnificent free kick to win the game in the 93rd minute.

At the weekend, an extremely defenside Sociedad lost 1-0 at home to Real Madrid; Argentinian Higuain scored the only goal after 9 minutes. Deciding to line up with 5 defenders resulted in Vela, the solitary striker, being isolated and unable to affect the game whatsoever. Whilst he is a willing runner, these tactics do not suit his style of play and he is much more effective when playing upfront with a partner, or even out on the left wing.

Nicklas Bendtner:

The ‘confident’ striker featured for the full 90 minutes in Sunderland’s 2-2 draw at home to Aston Villa. A fabulous Petrov curler gave Villa the lead, but it was Bendtner’s striking partner Connor Wickham who equalised for the black cats after 38 minutes. It was looking like another loss for Sunderland when Richard Dunne headed Villa in front with 5 minutes left, but Sessegnon then lost his marker, ironically Dunne, to equalise and send both teams home with a point.

Bendtner, while having a quiet game, looked promising as he attempted to build a relationship with Wickham, at that may prove a fruitful partnership for Sunderland in the future. As mentioned by Steve Bruce last week, Bendtner has the potential to be a 20 goal a season striker and the playing time he is getting this season may help him to become this.

Pedro Botelho:

The left winger played in one of Rayo Vallecano’s two games last week, but despite scoring against Malaga, the Brazilian did not play against Villarreal at the weekend. His goal, the first in their 2-0 home win, was a simple one; he headed home a Piti corner from inside the six yard box before utilising Di Maria’s ‘heart’ celebration. Tamudo got the other goal as Rayo picked up their third league win of the season. After picking up an injury late in Rayo’s win, Botelho was unavailable for their trip to El Madrigal.

Joel Campbell:

The striker played in both of Lorient’s games, but fared remarkably differently in each. He came on as a substitute during the first half of his sides 2-1 away win in the league cup against Montpellier. Campbell scored the winner in the second half (watch the goal here), just 4 minutes after Giroud had equalised for the home side.

However, the Costa Rican had a far worse game as Lorient lost 3-1 at Brest; he was hauled off at half time after failing to take advantage of his starting place. Three first half goals, one from Toure and two from Grougi, were enough to secure the win, although defender Bruno Manga did get some consolation for Lorient in the second half.

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