Modern day football is an unforgiving place to be in. You either perform to the best of your abilities week in week out or you are frozen out from the team by the manager. While some players who had shown immense potential in the past have had to spend extended time on the bench, there are a few youngsters who are deemed talented yet not ready enough to feature consistently for the senior side.
A player moving on a loan to another club is a phenomenon that has helped such players in the past. We have seen several players who were deemed to be past their due date join another club, sometimes relatively smaller ones in order to gain footballing prominence and re-establishing their credentials. Victor Moses and Samir Nasri are two such examples of players who seem to have found joy away from their respective clubs in recent times.
In this segment, we take a look at 5 players we believe should have left their respective clubs on a loan so as to help their careers.
#1 Nathaniel Chalobah
The riches of Chelsea complemented by their comprehensive scouting network have ensured that they currently, not only have the best of the talents when it comes to the senior side but their youth side is also filled with immensely talented individuals.
It has become a ritual at the club to send out a number players on loan over the course of the last few years. One man, in particular, seems to have benefitted from those moves down the pecking order of English football or even abroad, Nathaniel Chalobah. The versatile player who can operate as a central midfielder as well as a defender spent time at Watford, Nottingham Forest, Middlesbrough, Burnley, Reading and Napoli prior to the current season and looked destined for another season away from the Stamford Bridge so as to help him with his game time.
However, Antonio Conte, who seemed impressed with his abilities decided against sending the player on loan and while Chelsea have benefitted from the depth he brings to the side, the player has definitely lost a precious early professional year thus far as he has featured in just 13 games with several of them being appearances from the bench.
While he did not get enough game time at Napoli, his last loan move, we believe Chelsea could have been more judicious in the management of the player in the current season.
#2 Ashley Young
Ashley Young might no longer be the player who tormented opposition with his pace and ability to deliver top notch crosses and that has largely to do with how he has been managed at Manchester United. The former Aston Villa man, who moved to Old Trafford in the summer of June 2011 has been deployed primarily as a full-back during his time at the club, a position not natural to him.
While he did get games under his belt during the first five years he spent in Manchester, the 31-year-old is currently struggling to find much of the same under Jose Mourinho. Perhaps the appointment of the Portuguese manager in itself should have led to the player seeking a move elsewhere as Mourinho loves defenders who can actually defend and Young does not exactly fit the profile.
Yes, it is tough to move away from a club as legendary as Manchester United and that would have been the reason Young decided to not force a move. However, at 31 years of age, Young still has three to four more good years left in him and a role in a relatively smaller club, even on a loan, could have helped him regain his stature as one of the top notch wingers in England.
At the moment, the player is bound to the Manchester giants until the end of the 2017-18 season with an option to extend. However, we believe it is not too late for Young and should he decide to move in the upcoming window, it would do his career a world of good.
#3 Carl Jenkinson
Just two seasons ago, Carl Jenkinson was a perfect example of how a loan move can help a player restore his credentials as a player to look out for. Jenkinson had been an exemplary performer for West Ham United during the 2014-15 season and followed it up with another good performance in the 2015-16 season until he was forced out of the season due to a knee injury.
After spending significant time on the medical table, it was only in March that he began training again with the Arsenal squad. Given the timeline, we believe Jenkinson had enough time to assess his options at the club. Hector Bellerin had already established himself as the club’s number one right-back and even stars like Mathieu Debuchy were forced to look for options elsewhere. That should have served as a stern reminder to Jenkinson as to where he actually featured in the pecking order.
His decision to stay at the club has not entirely gone as per plan as he has played just 408 minutes of first team football. Given the speculation around Bellerin’s future, it would have helped Jenkinson if he was playing regularly. That would have ensured a return to the first team. However, at the moment, should Bellerin decide to move away, Arsenal are likely to go into the market for a new right-back and it is unlikely that the likes of Jenkinson will be afforded regular first team opportunities.
#4 Alberto Moreno
When Alberto Moreno arrived at Merseyside, Liverpool fans heaved a sigh of relief. Liverpool had struggled to find ideal replacements for the position since the departure of John Arne Risse and while Fabio Aurelio dished out some vital performances, injuries often frustrated him as well as the fans. Moreno, who was a pivotal part of the Sevilla side that lifted the Europa League trophy prior to his move to Anfield was believed to be the long-term solution to the club’s problems at left-back.
Cut to the present and Moreno is nothing but a fringe player at the club. He has been replaced by the more reliant James Milner in defence and it does not look like he has a long-term future at the club. A move, perhaps on a loan to Spain, the country where he made his name as an attacking full-back would have done Moreno’s career a world of good. Not only would it have served as a reminder of his abilities to Jurgen Klopp, it would have also resurrected his credentials as one of the best young attacking full-backs in Europe.
The 24-year-old Spaniard still has two more years on his Liverpool contract and given that Klopp has barely used him (he has featured for just 285 minutes in the Premier League), the signs suggest Moreno should push for a move away from the Merseyside in the approaching transfer window.
#5 Fernando Reges
To say that Fernando had a stellar time in Portugal with Porto would be a dire understatement. The Brazilian, who joined Porto in June 2007 spent seven years on the club’s books and made 228 appearances for them. He played a pivotal role in the Porto midfield to help his side win 12 trophies during his time at the club and when Manchester City came calling with a big-money move in the summer of 2014, it was believed to be one of the transfers to watch out for.
The move that promised a lot has failed to live up to the expectations as the 29-year-old Brazilian has more often than not cut a sorry figure at the Etihad. He has been rash with his tackling, sometimes looking too slow for the Premier League and in general does not exude the confidence required of a top-class midfielder.
Given the same, it was only logical had the player sought to join another club, albeit on loan in the summer of 2016. He still has at least three to four more solid years in him and consistent performances at the heart of the midfield would have made him a name that Pep Guardiola, his manager at Manchester City would remember.
In the current season, the player has featured for just 689 minutes in the Premier League and the UEFA Champions League and perhaps, it has a lot more to do with the presence of better players at the club. Should he have moved in order to seek more game time, the Brazilian could have helped rejuvenate his flailing career.