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Loanee report: Huesca, Marseille, more


Let’s start at Huesca, where Dani Raba and Miguelon Llambrich are both on loan without a purchase option. Raba has scored two goals so far in five appearances, but was not in the squad today, or last week—he left the Numancia game two weeks ago after only 16 minutes’ action, but I don’t see anything on their official website about him. Miguelón has started four of their seven matches, including today’s.

How is Huesca doing? They defeated Girona 1-0 today, which has to be considered a good win against another team trying to get back to the Primera at the first time of asking. But this year’s team has played eight matches, and in seven the score has been 1-0. Yup, it’s the Segunda.

Now to Olympique Marseille, where Álvaro González is getting great reviews (the OM fans already have saluted him in a pre-game tifo, for goodness’ sake). He’s played in five of their seven matches and has picked up only one yellow card, surprisingly enough. OM are struggling because they are having problems scoring—only eight goals in seven matches— but seven goals allowed has them in the top third of the league. Anyway, it certainly looks as if this loan will become a permanent sale.

The San Jose Earthquakes are on a losing streak, which is not helping as they are now sitting just outside the playoff places. Cristian Espinosa has had good season for them, but he has as many red cards (two) as goals. The Quakes would probably like to make his loan permanent, but MLS sides don’t have a lot of money to spend in transfer fees.

And now back to Spain....Enes Unal is at Valladolid, but hasn’t found the net yet in five matches. (he’s on a loan with no purchase option; his contract with Villarreal runs until summer 2022). Battling Jaume Costa has played four times for Valencia so far, and has played pretty well according to WhoScored (they had him as one of Los Che’s best players against Athletic Club). He’s under contract with Villarreal until 2021.

But of course we finish with Alfonso Pedraza, who was apparently upset that fans in the Ceramica whistled him yesterday. There was a report that suggested some fans yelled some not--nice things at him, which if true is unfortunate.

Pedraza didn’t help himself with an interview he gave recently to one of the Spanish sports radio programs where he basically said he needed to leave Villarreal and move to a bigger club like Betis. And he famously cried upon being presented (on loan) as a Betis player. Fair enough, he’s a Cordoba native and for all I know may have been a Betis fan as a kid, but the Villarreal fanbase found him aloof and so I don’t think that went down well either.

Pedraza has only played at left back for Betis so far, which I am not convinced is his best position—he mostly played in a more advanced position for us last year. Interestingly, his WhoScored rating with Villarreal in 2018-19 and Alaves in 2017-18 was identical—6.72—which suggests that he’s off to a slow start with Betis (6.50 average so far). Still, I expect Betis will exercise their purchase option—he’s got too much promise at age 23 to do otherwise.