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Best Ligue 1 loan deals in 2021/22 transfer window

Sport-Club Freiburg v FC Bayern Muenchen - Bundesliga
Sport-Club Freiburg v FC Bayern Muenchen - Bundesliga
imkaulik
ANALYST

Loan signings are considered a good way of conducting business. There might be a few types of loan deals. In some cases, it is young players from bigger clubs moving to smaller clubs in search of playing time and experience. This often applies to out-of-favour players as well. There are currently loan deals with obligations to buy which help the buying club defer payments until they are in a better financial position.

On that note, let's look at a few loan deals in Ligue 1 this transfer window:

#5 Alexander Nübel

Not long ago Alexander Nübel was at Schalke and was seen as one of the best goalkeeping prospects in the world. He decided to move to Bayern Munich in 2020 and has barely played since. The move to Bayern seemed to make sense as it put him at the best club in his home country and with Neuer aging he might soon get the chance for club and country. However, even an aging Manuel Neuer is still exceptional.

So in order to get gametime, Nübel has moved on loan to Monaco. It serves Monaco as well because their number one player from last season, Benjamin Lecomte, has moved to be Jan Oblak's backup at Atletico. Like his German peers Neuer and Ter Stegen, Nübel too has the reputation of being a sweeper keeper.

#4 Cengiz Ünder

Leicester City v Slavia Praha - UEFA Europa League Round Of 32 Leg Two
Leicester City v Slavia Praha - UEFA Europa League Round Of 32 Leg Two

Cengiz Ünder broke through as a great talent at Roma but never really went on to establish himself as the player people thought he would become. He soon struggled for minutes in the Italian capital and was sent on loan to Leicester City. Even in England he never really settled in and failed to perform.

Now, at Marseille for his second consecutive loan spell, Ünder seems to have found his groove. So far he has 3 goals in 3 Ligue 1 games. It has been very interesting to see him gel on the field with Marseille's talisman Dimitri Payet. His form and consistency will be crucial if this very exciting Marseille side are to achieve something come the end of the season.

#3 Justin Kluivert

1. FC Union Berlin v RB Leipzig - Bundesliga
1. FC Union Berlin v RB Leipzig - Bundesliga

A story not too dissimilar to that of Ünder, Justin Kluivert's loan to OGC Nice is all about him trying to come good on his immense promise. Making waves for Ajax's youth team for his name and game, Kluivert has never really shown as much in professional football. At Roma he wasn't a success and he didn't do well on loan at RB Leipzig either.

So his current loan spell is all about revival. Kluivert has had a good start with a goal and an assist in 3 games. Nice manager Christopher Galtier will be hoping that Kluivert takes up an important role. Something similar to the role Jonathan David took in Galtier's Ligue 1 winning Lille team last season.

#2 William Saliba

AFC Wimbledon v Arsenal U21 - Papa John's Trophy
AFC Wimbledon v Arsenal U21 - Papa John's Trophy

Mikel Arteta's reluctance to make use of William Saliba's talents at Arsenal is very difficult to understand. For the last year or so, Arsenal have suffered numerous defensive capitulations. Saliba, though, has gone from strength to strength, first at Nice and now at Marseille.

It is difficult to guess what Arsenal's reasoning behind sending him out repeatedly is but Marseille and Jorge Sampaoli will be glad that is the case. Saliba is not only good defensively, but he's ridiculous on the ball as well, making 4.61 progressive passes per 90. He carries the ball really well too, with 5.48 progressive carries per 90 and 0.65 dribbles as well.

#1 Nuno Mendes

Luxembourg v Portugal - FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar Qualifier
Luxembourg v Portugal - FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar Qualifier

If there was any slight weakness in this expensively assembled PSG team, it was at left back. Now, with a loan of Nuno Mendes, PSG have sorted that out as well. Mendes is arguably the biggest talent coming out of the Portuguese league since Joao Felix. He has also played in the Euros for Portugal and will undoubtedly make the LB spot for his country his own for the next 10 years.

Mendes was one of the most important players as Sporting CP broke the Benfica- Porto duopoly last season. The most important and noteworthy thing about Mendes is that he prioritizes his defensive duties and this can work wonders in an attack heavy PSG side.


Edited by Aditya Singh
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