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Loaning Players: Good or bad?

When a team brings in a player on loan, they may have a range of motives as to why they made the move. The same goes for the team who the player left to join. However, do loan deals really work? Are they always necessary?Using some named examples...

When a team brings in a player on loan, they may have a range of motives as to why they made the move. The same goes for the team who the player left to join. However, do loan deals really work? Are they always necessary?

Using some named examples, I’ll attempt to explain the reasons why loan deals can be both positive and negative for the clubs involved and I’ll also give my opinion on when sending a player out on loan and bringing a player in on loan is right.

When a player leaves a club for a while, it can help the player mature, regardless of which team the player plays for full time. If there is a dispute between the player and his club, a loan deal can really take the pressure off the player and give him time to get his head straight.

An example of this type of loan deal which has worked out well is Craig Bellamy’s loan move from Newcastle to Celtic back in January 2005, after the Welsh striker had a very public falling out with the then Newcastle manager, Graeme Souness.

Such was the heat of the dispute; Newcastle decided to send Bellamy out on loan to Celtic, where he scored an impressive nine goals in just 15 games with some dedicated performances.

During the summer, after months of contemplating his future, Bellamy decided to leave Newcastle for Blackburn, but the loan deal definitely helped Bellamy as he gained valuable playing time, something that he probably wouldn’t have got at Newcastle.

Bellamy….. impressed while on loan at Celtic

If you’re a “bigger” team such as Arsenal, Barcelona or Man United, a lot of the players you loan out are younger players who are looking to gain top level experience and show what they can do on the big stage. But is the form the player displays on this stage truly reliable? Gael Kakuta for example, left Chelsea for Fulham in January 2011 after struggling to get appearances.

What followed was four months of frustration for the young French winger who made a mere 7 appearances, and quite frankly gained nothing from the spell. This significantly reduced Chelsea’s faith in him, and now Kakuta is desperately trying to impress at Dijon in Ligue 1, after he spent the first 5 months of the 2011/12 season on loan at Bolton, which resulted in a similar way to his time at Fulham. 

Kakuta…. struggled while on loan at Fulham

Despite the misfortune and frustration Kakuta suffered at both Fulham and Bolton, a lot of young players who are contracted to top clubs find success at the “lesser” clubs. The team the young player goes to, often find themselves struggling and needing instant results, meaning the player has to do well and be willing to work hard in order to get playing time. Back in early 2010, Bolton were languishing towards the bottom of the Premier League table.

At the opposite end of the Premier League spectrum, Arsenal were battling for the title, and Jack Wilshere was playing in the reserve team, desperately trying to play more in the first team, but it simply wasn’t happening. So Arsenal decided to loan the central midfielder out. Then, for the season’s remaining four months, Wilshere excelled, and the season later, he became one of Arsenal’s most vital players. 

Wilshere… successful loan spell at Bolton helped him progress at Arsenal

However, as useful as some loan signings can be to a team, there’s a very fine line between a loan signing who actually benefits a team and is willing to work hard, and a youngster who knows that the club that he goes to on loan will not be his permanent club, so he may not do what is necessarily best for the club he is on loan at, instead he may have his potential future playing opportunities in mind when taking a shot or going for a tackle. 

The player being in this situation may also hinder the way the player is thought of back at his parent club. I mean, how reliable is the success or perhaps the lack of success the player has whilst out on loan with a different manager, being in a different area and with different teammates?

Some players may cope with this new way of life better than others, and in the majority of loan deals, the player has only a few months to impress and he is under a large amount of pressure. In my opinion, this is a little harsh and is a difficult method of measuring a player’s ability.

To conclude, whenever a team brings a player in on loan or a team sends one of their players out on loan, it has to be in a way so that the player develops and also the team he joins up with have to be willing to play him. The majority of loan deals are successful as they help the player develop and if the option of signing players on loan is suddenly banned by FIFA, then it would definitely have a negative impact on many teams.

For example, Portsmouth, who are currently in administration, are at this moment aiming to bring in as many loan players as possible as a matter of emergency. If it wasn’t for the possibility of loan deals, their squad would be truly on the brink due to the club’s financial constraints.

My advice to teams sending players out on loan to so called lesser teams would be for them not to decide the player’s future on this spell. You have to consider all aspects of the player’s potential before giving up on him.



Written by Joshua Sodergren
Follow him on Twitter @chelsealad1365


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