Eight of our Red Bulls are currently on a footballing exchange semester and are attempting to make a case for their inclusion in the first team next season while out on loan. We are taking the opportunity during the international break to see how our boys are getting on.
Our Polish central defender has quickly played his way into the hearts of Belgian fans. He went straight into the team having arrived at fourth-placed KAA Gent on loan in January and has impressed since with a series of strong performances. Kamil Piatkowski has even been called up into the Polish national team but had to turn down the call-up due to an injury suffered in league action recently.
Mamady Diambou left in January to spend the rest of the season in Lucerne, where he has since gained plenty of playing time. The midfielder has played in nine out of ten matches since for FC Luzern, albeit mostly from the substitutes' bench, having started twice. The first few months of his experience in Switzerland have therefore been very positive.
The 20-year-old striker has been an integral part of the attack of KVC Westerlo since arriving in Belgium on loan last summer, with the side currently sixth in the top flight. The nimble Malian attacker has shown that he knows how to find the opposing net. He has managed eight goals and three assists so far. Dorgeles Nene's performances have earned him another call-up to his national team. He has every chance now of competing for a spot in our attack next season.
Another to find his way to Switzerland. Joining the side placed third in the second-tier Challenge League looked a perfect chance for Antoine Bernede. Our French midfielder has been a regular for Lausanne Sport since his arrival, with the 23-year-old starting every match so far, in fact, and Toni getting both one goal and one assist.
As far as first appearances go, Roko Simic's at the end of January for FC Zürich takes some beating. The Croat smashed a pair of incredible goals after coming on as a late substitute with his side 0-2 down to rescue a point. The 19-year-old has been mostly used as a substitute since then but has not been able to net. The striker has gained some key playing time at the reigning Swiss champions, currently eighth in the table, and we are sure he will rediscover his knack for goals soon.
Kilian Ludewig has been playing for Danish top-flight side Aalborg BK since the summer. The German right-back has been in regularly action there – appearing 24 times and making 13 starts. The loan has definitely been worth it for the 23-year-old even if his side are currently bottom of the table.
The 20-year-old from Mali has been on loan to TSV Hartberg since Feburary, and has been slowly introduced to the team while gaining his first Austrian Bundesliga playing time with a series of short performances. The central midfielder started the last two matches, so we might get the chance to see Mamadou Sangare in regular action over the next few Saturdays in the Bundesliga's qualification group.
Nico Mantl joined his fellow German loanee Kilian Ludewig at Aalborg BK in January. The 23-year-old has not been able to make any competitive appearances for the Danish side yet though and has only appeared in friendly matches. The goalkeeper has been called up again for the German U21 national squad for two friendly matches to prepare for the U21 European championship in the summer.