It was a lighter week in terms of transfers, though one major move was confirmed with Zack Steffen officially inking his deal with Manchester City. The Columbus Crew keeper still needs to obtain a work permit before joining City, however, so he will not head there until the summer and will continue to train and play with Columbus until then. In other news, there are reports in Belgium that Kenny Saief could be on his way out of Anderlecht after underperforming so far. Finally, both Tim Weah and Christian Pulisic have suitors of different types as the PSG man is likely set for a loan move, where Pulisic looks to be going to the Premier League on a permanent deal to Chelsea or Liverpool this summer. Finally, youngster Richie Ledezma is set for a medical at PSV this week. The move has long been rumoured and seems imminent, but there is no official word just yet.
The List (20 for now)
Premier League (3)
Tim Ream (Fulham)
Ream made a second consecutive start on Saturday, but it didn’t go well as the center back was hauled off at halftime with his team down 2-0 to West Ham, which would be the final score. There wasn’t much he could do on the first goal, but on the second, Ream left his marker to try and defend a cross which he lost the battle for, leaving Michail Antonio alone on the edge of the six-yard box for a simple goal. The 31-year-old did pass at 94 percent, but that’s little consolation as Fulham lost for the 12th time in 17 games, remaining at the bottom of the table in the process.
Well, Williams’ return to fitness didn’t last long. A week after making his first league start of the season, the central midfielder was ruled out for 10 weeks due to a recurrence of the ankle injury that cost him most of the first half of the season. It’s a disheartening blow for a player who had spent a few months working back to fitness, and he’ll now return to the sidelines for another extended period of time. He could be ready to return in February, but it’s too early to say for sure. Without him on Saturday, Huddersfield lost 1-0 to Newcastle.
DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United)
Like Williams, Yedlin also had to watch Newcastle’s win over Huddersfield from the stands as he served a suspension for the red card he received last weekend against Wolves. He’ll be eligible to return for next weekend’s matchup with Ream’s Fulham.
Cameron Carter-Vickers (Swansea City, on loan from Tottenham Hotspur)
Carter-Vickers came on at halftime with Swansea and Sheffield Wednesday in a scoreless deadlock and helped the Swans pull out three points in a come-from-behind 2-1 win. He wasn’t directly involved in any of the goals, although he did tally three aerial wins and three clearances while passing at a cool 91 percent.
Antonee Robinson (Wigan Athletic, on loan from Everton)
Robinson is expected to be out until late January or early February after undergoing ankle surgery. Wigan lost 1-0 without him to Ipswich on Saturday.
John Anthony Brooks (Wolfsburg)
Returning from suspension, Brooks put in a terrific performance in Wolfsburg’s 2-0 win over Nurnberg. The center back was dominant all game long, racking up eight aerial wins, six clearances, and 79 touches of the ball, of which were game-best statistics. The performance earned the 25-year-old a 7.68 whoscored.com match rating, and it helped Wolfsburg extend their current unbeaten run to four games.
Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt)
Chandler is expected to miss around six months after undergoing knee surgery. He isn’t slated to return until at least the new year.
Aron Johannsson (Werder Bremen)
Johannsson will be out around three months after having ankle surgery in mid-November. With his contract set to expire in the summer, the striker’s future is very much in doubt.
Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen)
A new addition to the main list, Sargent made his second professional appearance for Werder this week, subbing on with under 10 minutes to play and his side down 2-1, a scoreline that would hold in a respectable loss to Borussia Dortmund. Sargent had minimal impact going forward and picked up a yellow card. He saw very little of the ball, completing just one pass.
Fabian Johnson (Borussia Monchengladbach)
Johnson was a 74th-minute substitute for Gladbach but couldn’t move the needle in a scoreless game with Hoffenheim. Rumors continue to link Johnson to a few MLS sides, most notably league newcomers FC Cincinnati, whose head coach admitted this week that his side remains interested in the versatile 31-year-old. These rumors don’t seem to be going away, so there may be plenty more to this story in the coming weeks.
Weston McKennie (Schalke)
Twice this week, McKennie was an unused substitute for Schalke, who beat Lokomotiv Moscow 1-0 in the Champions League before drawing 1-1 with Augsburg.
Haji Wright (Schalke)
A second new name on the senior list, Wright subbed on at halftime for Schalke, who were down 1-0 and would go on to earn a 1-1 draw with Augsburg. Wright didn’t really move the needle much but was ever-so-slightly involved in the goal, as he challenged for and lost a header in the box that was cleared right to Daniel Caligiuri, who spanked home a low drive from
Alfredo Morales (Fortuna Dusseldorf)
Morales was back on the sidelines this week, watching from the stands as Dusseldorf beat Freiburg 2-0. His situation is a confusing one, as the midfielder started Dusseldorf’s first 10 games before being banished to the reserves, a move that, Morales told German reporters this week, nobody from the club discussed with him. It’ll be interesting to see if he ends up in a different uniform by the end of the January transfer window.
Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund)
Pulisic started in a 2-0 Champions League win over Monaco, and despite not being credited with an assist, he played a key role in both tallies. First, Pulisic made a sweet swivel and slipped in Maximilian Philipp, who squared to Raphael Guerreiro for the opener. Then, in the second half, Pulisic shook a defender and darted into the box, and his squaring effort wasn’t dealt with well, allowing Paco Alcacer to flick the ball onto Guerreiro to double the lead. Pulisic also passed at an 81 percent clip. The win –– combined with Atletico Madrid’s draw –– won Dortmund their group, so they were seeded in Monday’s UCL draw and will face Tottenham in the Round of 16. On the weekend, the winger was subbed in during stoppage time of a 2-1 win over Werder Bremen. There are multiple reports that Pulisic is soon to sign with either Chelsea or Liverpool, with one report claiming that interest from Atletico Madrid was denied by virtue of Dortmund having already agreed on a fee with an English club, but nothing has been announced yet.
Timothy Tillman (FC Nurnberg, on loan from Bayern Munich)
Tillman was not in the 18-man roster as Nürnberg fell 2-0 to Wolfsburg. Nurnberg II are on winter break until early March.
Bobby Wood (Hannover, on loan from Hamburg)
Wood was an unused sub as Hannover were trounced 4-0 by Bayern Munich.
2. Bundesliga (1)
Julian Green (Greuther Fuerth)
Green lasted 57 minutes in a 2-0 loss to St. Pauli. The left winger was removed for another option early in the second half after an uneventful hour that saw his team fall 1-0 behind. Green won two aerials but did little else of note.
Ligue 1 (3)
Matt Miazga (Nantes, on loan from Chelsea)
Nantes’ game was postponed this week due to ongoing unrest in France. In more pressing news, it has been reported that Chelsea are close to recalling Miazga from loan, which has been far from positive so far.
Jordan Siebatcheu (Rennes)
Rennes only played once this week, and Siebatcheu went the distance in a 2-0 win over FC Astana in the Europa League. Siebatcheu played 75 minutes at center forward but was not involved in either goal. The 22-year-old completed all of his passes during the contest, but there were only six of them in total as he wasn’t seeing much of the ball.
Timothy Weah (PSG)
Weah did not feature in the Champions League, and PSG’s weekend contest was cancelled.
Andrija Novakovich (Fortuna Sittard, on loan from Reading)
Novakovich started, went the distance, and provided a key assist in a 2-0 upset win at third-placed Feyenoord. Novakovich broke in on the right side of the box before putting his defender away with a feint and picking out a reverse pass that Lars Hutten converted for the opener. It was a nice piece of play from the forward for his first assist on the season.
Erik Palmer-Brown (NAC Breda, on loan from Manchester City)
Palmer-Brown was an unused sub for NAC in a goalless draw with PEC Zwolle.
Geoff Cameron (Queens Park Rangers, on loan from Stoke City)
After Cameron left last week’s game with an ankle injury, QPR announced that the veteran will miss an undetermined amount of time due to ankle ligament damage. It’s an unfortuante blow for the 33-year-old, who has been in excellent form for Rangers since joining on loan from Stoke. Without him, QPR beat Middlesbrough 2-1 this weekend.
Eric Lichaj (Hull City, Championship)
Lichaj once again missed out on Hull’s game this weekend due to a hamstring injury. The Tigers defeated Brentford 2-0 without him.
Gboly Ariyibi (Nottingham Forest, Championship)
Ariyibi did not play for the Forest senior side that lost 1-0 to Preston, though he did go 90 minutes for the U-23s in a 2-0 loss to Birmingham.
Holmes entered Derby’s 1-0 win over Wigan in the 77th minute with his side up a goal and a man. He put one shot off target, made one tackle, and did not misplace a pass as Derby moved up to fourth in the Championship table with the win.
Lynden Gooch (Sunderland, League 1)
After missing out on Sunderland’s FA Cup replay defeat to Walsall, Gooch went 84 minutes and helped the Black Cats to a 2-1 win over Bristol Rovers. Gooch was involved in the buildup to Sunderland’s first goal with a pass out wide that was crossed into the box and ended up in the net. He also collected a yellow card. There are also rumors this week that a few Championship and MLS clubs may come sniffing around in January, but other reports indicated that Gooch — who is out of a contract at the end of the season — is close to inking a new deal with the club. There should certainly be some news here before the end of January.
Emerson Hyndman (Hibernian, on loan from Bournemouth, Scottish Premiership)
Hyndman played 90 minutes for Hibs in a memorable 2-0 win over Celtic. Like Gooch, Hyndman was involved in his team’s first goal with a good run through the middle and pass out wide. His performance earned him a spot in the SPL Team of the Week. Hibs’ win puts them just six points back of the top of the table, though they sit in eighth place.
Caleb Stanko (SC Freiburg, Bundesliga)
Stanko continues his recovery from the long-term injury that’s kept him off the field so far this season for Freiburg, who lost 2-0 to Dusseldorf this weekend.
Terrence Boyd (Darmstadt, 2. Bundesliga)
Boyd was an unused substitute in Dartmstadt’s 2-2 draw with Erzgebirge Aue.
McKinze Gaines (Darmstadt, 2. Bundesliga)
Gaines did not make the squad for Darmstadt.
Jann George (Jahn Regensburg, 2. Bundesliga)
George played a quiet 90 minutes in Regensburg’s 2-2 draw with Sandhausen as he failed to record a shot or successful dribble.
Ken Gipson (Sandhausen, 2. Bundesliga)
Gipson did not make the Sandhausen 18-man squad for the game against Regensburg.
Andrew Wooten (Sandhausen, 2. Bundesliga)
However, Wooten did play for Sandhausen in the contest, and he made an impact in his 77 minutes, heading home an equalizer that tied the contest at one on 20 minutes. It was Wooten’s fifth goal of the season, but his first since late October.
Joe Gyau (Duisburg, 2. Bundesliga)
Gyau entered with his side down 2-1 to Hamburg in the 68th minute, but he was kept on the periphery and failed to turn the tide in Duisburg’s favor as they lost by that same scoreline.
Kevin Lankford (Heidenheim, 2. Bundesliga)
Despite returning to the 18-man squad last week, Lankford was back out of it this weekend as Heidenheim drew Ingolstadt 1-1.
Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge, Jupiler League)
Horvath kept two clean sheets this week as Brugge played Atletico Madrid and Kortrijk to scoreless draws. He only had to make three saves against Atleti, but one was a spectacular diving stop of an Antoine Griezmann try in the first half. Horvath has undergone a real resurgence since making his first league start of the season in late October and looks like he’ll be a challenge for the USMNT’s No. 1 shirt moving forward.
Brendan Hines-Ike (Kortrijk, Jupiler League)
Hines-Ike also helped his Kortrijk side keep a clean sheet against Brugge, going 90 minutes in the center of the defense.
Kenny Saief (Anderlecht, Jupiler League)
After playing 70 quiet minutes in a scoreless Europa League draw with Dinamo Zagreb, Saief wasn’t involved in Anderlecht’s 2-1 loss to Cercle Brugge over the weekend. Additionally, new reports this week indicated that Saief could be leaving the club in January, although it remains to be seen whether or not that will indeed happen.
Kekuta Manneh (St. Gallen, Swiss Super League)
Manneh was an unused substitute in St. Gallen’s 2-1 loss to Luzern.
Shaq Moore (CF Reus, on loan from Levante, Segunda Liga)
Moore played 90 minutes in Reus’ 1-1 win over Cordoba. There’s some concern that the club could be forced to fold in the coming days or weeks due to financial issues, but Moore shouldn’t be too affected seeing as he’s on loan.
Desevio Payne (Excelsior Rotterdam, Eredivisie)
Payne remains sidelined with a long-term injury.
Kyle Scott (SC Telstar, on loan from Chelsea, Eerste Divisie)
Scott did not make the Telstar 18-man squad that beat Jong AZ 2-0 before riding the bench as an unused substitute in the club’s 4-2 loss to Jong PSV.
Romain Gall (Malmo, Allsvenskan)
Needing a win to advance to the Europa League’s knockout rounds, Malmo went to Besiktas and won 1-0, putting their names in the hat for the round of 32. Gall was an unused substitute.
Josh Sargent and Haji Wright have both appeared again for their senior sides, and as such, we have moved them to the main list, so scroll up to see updates on the Bundesliga pair. In other news, Sebastian Soto has been called up to the Hannover senior side to train during winter break, though it remains to be seen whether that will net him first-team minutes in the second half of the season. Konrad de La Fuente had a solid showing against Tottenham in the UEFA Youth League (full highlights of his performance here), and despite losing 2-0, Barca advanced at the top of their group. Elsewhere in the UYL, Brandon Austin, Sergino Dest, CJ Dos Santos, and Gennaro Nigro play for teams that have qualified for the knockout stages.