The Tone on Loan
Julian Green, Hamburger SV
Match Result: 0-3 L @ Hertha Berliner SC
After missing nearly a month with a rib injury, Julian Green returned for a brief 25 minute shift against Hertha BSC. He did not have enough time to get involved in the match, touching the ball only 10 times and completing only seven passes. The bigger question surrounding Green is his place in Josef Zinnbauer's squad. Marcel Jansen started the match on the left flank, and Nicolai Müller, whether justified or not, has earned the confidence of his manager. Green has a lot to prove to Zinnbauer before he can get consistent minutes like other loan products around the Bundesliga.
Jan Kirchhoff, FC Schalke 04
Match Result: 0-1 L @ Bayer 04 Leverkusen
On the fence with knee troubles for the past five weeks, Kirchhoff finally made an appearance for Schalke in the later stages of their loss against Leverkusen. Roberto Di Matteo deployed him in midfield like his predecessor did, Kirchhoff coming on for Roman Neustädter. With the depth issues in defense, Kirchhoff's return will be a much needed depth piece for Schalke, and he could get the extended look in defense that he has not received since he left Mainz.
Buy Back Brigade
Raif Husic, SV Werder Bremen
Match Result: 0-1 L vs. 1. FC Köln
Coming into the weekend, the story surrounding Husic did not change; he was still the second choice goalkeeper to Raphael Wolf and there was no indication that was going to change. Werder Bremen's loss against Köln changed the whole dynamic though. Bremen let go of Robin Dutt, the manager who brought Husic in, and now his replacement, Viktor Skripnik, could change his status for better or for worse.
Alessandro Schöpf, 1. FC Nürnberg
Match Result: 0-3 L @ Darmstadt 98
His recent contributions on the score sheet have proved crucial for Nürnberg and Valérien Ismaël managing career, but Schöpf's presence and decision-making are still at youthful levels. His lack of spatial awareness leaves him receiving less than 50 touches per match (although Nürnberg's poor passing has something to do with that), and the mistakes he makes with the ball has left a lot to be desired. Part of the problem is that he is by far the best player on his team, not the kind of environment to develop a young talent in. The good news is that Ismaël is playing Schöpf every chance he can get, and his contributions will continue to rise as his play hopefully will.
Diego Contento, Girondins de Bordeaux
Match Result: 0-3 L @ PSG
Contento made his first appearance after missing three weeks with a thigh strain. He came off the bench to replace Grégory Sertic, receiving a brief, 12-minute cameo at left back. Willy Sagnol used Julien Faubert and Maxime Poundjé in Contento's place, but neither should supplant Contento based on their performances. The 24-year-old remains one of Bordeaux's best defenders, and Sagnol will need him if the western French club wants to climb back into Champions League contention.