The Madrid loanees reflect Espanyol’s poor season

Espanyol are embarking on a new era. Chen Yansheng’s arrival is having the kind of effect the Marshall Plan had on post-war Europe, saving the Catalan club from financial ruin and providing the team with the resources needed to compete for a Champions League place over the next three years. That’s the plan anyway. However, that optimism is a mere pipedream for now as life for Los Pericos is far from rosy at the moment: four points above the relegation zone with a trip to the Santiago Bernabeu just around the corner. The outlook is grim for those of the ‘glass half full’ variety.

Following Sergio Gonzalez’s sacking, Galca’s appointment and the wear and tear produced by the trilogy of derbies at the start of the month, the team have lost their verve and still look like a work in progress with 21 league fixtures already in the bag. Casting an eye on the players on loan from Real Madrid is usually a good indicator of how well Espanyol are doing. While last season saw the emergence of Lucas Vazquez as one of the team’s top performers, the players on loan from the Spanish capital this season have not had the same effect. Burgui has barely featured and when he has it’s been as a punitive measure against another squad member. Marco Asensio has shown glimpses of his quality, but the ability he showcased at the beginning of the season to catch opponents off guard has tailed off in tandem with the team’s performances. Asensio is still yet to score. These are concerns the fans will be hoping to eradicate with Chen, the new deity at the Cornellà-El Prat.