5 players wreaking havoc post their loan moves
The winter transfer season has unfairly hogged all the limelight, as it tends to do since its inception in 2002-03 when the widespread introduction of the synchronized transfer window concept in the game came about in response to political pressure and a desire to meet international trading standards.
Fans and managers of under-performing teams often look forward to the transfer season more favourably than the weekly matchday.
The whole club machinery is put into motion during the transfer windows, to try and solidify the squad by adding quality and losing excesses, to completely alter the core of the squad, or to bring in that marquee signing who is likely to propel the team upwards in the table and help the club win some silverware.
We take a look at the players that have been invaluable to their new clubs, considering the management paid only the wages (or slightly more), for the players' services, as they headed away from their mother clubs, in loan deals done in the past year.
Here is the list, in no particular order. See if you can find the order - in the chaos of the complexity of what loan moves have now become.
#5 Serge Gnabry (Weder Bremen to TSG 1899 Hoffenheim)
Arsene Wenger is often credited with having a keen eye when it comes to spotting talent with unfulfilled potential, and by providing opportunities to these youngsters in top level games, the Frenchmen has given the world a host of quality players, having mentored the likes of Thierry Henry, Cesc Fabregas, Robin van Persie and Aaron Ramsey
Not a bad list of mentees that, is it?
Therefore, the failure to truly get the best out of Serge Gnabry will hurt the Arsenal fans a bit, but 'The Professor' might take it a little more personally. The Arsenal manager has held on to players for long periods, choosing to loan out potential starters, rather than making a profit, but this wasn't the case with Gnabry.
Having moved on from London to his home country Germany, after Weder Bremen agreed terms with Arsenal for a £4.5 million move, the German enjoyed a purple patch scoring 11 goals in 27 matches for his country's double winners in 2004.
What resulted, was even more asinine thinking on the part of the Bremen management which somehow managed to convince itself that 11 goals from a player worth less than the board's parking space, should be sold to get the rest of the management parking space as well.
Bayern got him for £7.2 million.
Hoffenheim placed themselves in the perfect position, by anticipating his subsequent season away on loan, where the German (3 goals in 2 international caps) has come good again. He's been involved in 7 goals in 13 appearances for his new side in the Bundesliga, scoring 3 goals, including this scorcher from 45 yards out.
This was the good-old loan martini of the season with the modern buy-and-loan-out twist. All the German side did, was get the rocks.