Top 5 loan signings of the 2012/13 Premier League season
When a club is not bankrolled by one amongst the many billionaire owners that have taken a fancy to the game of football, one of the best ways to find some modest success in the Premier League is to wheel and deal in the market to find some bargain buys.
One of the best options for these clubs to bring quality into their squad is by means of loaning players from clubs having much bigger aspirations, having young talent amongst the ranks whom they cannot risk to blood in competitions worth millions. Then there are others who are either disgruntled with their teams or the other way round and of course there are those who decide to test the waters of the Premier League before making a call on their long-term future.
Some find a new home and a better surrounding in which they can flourish. While some come to England for the first time perform miserably, failing to adapt to the raw physicality and pace of the game, others take to it like a fish to water.
Here are 5 of the best signings to have taken place in this year’s Premier League:
5) Andy Carroll
The 35 million signing was thrown to the deep end of things upon the arrival of Brendan Rodgers at Anfield. The ex-Swansea manager made his mind up early on the forward’s future at Liverpool as he looked to offload the striker who he was deemed unsuited to the style of play he wanted to bring to the club. The English forward found West Ham manager Sam Allardyce willing to take him on for the year on loan with a further interest to make the move permanent at the end of the season.
Carroll seems to have found his feet again for the Hammers after a dismal one and a half years at Melwood. The striker found the back of the net 7 times in the Premier League for the Londoners in the league while also being recalled for national team duties. He has revelled when made the focal point of the attack and has been instrumental to West Ham finishing comfortably in mid-table.
4) Sascha Riether
Martin Jol has worked under the radar to build a team that is full of guile and creativity. Using his depth of knowledge of the Bundesliga, the Dutchman has strengthened his squad after having three key players in the form of Danny Murphy, Clint Dempsey and Mousa Dembele leave in the early parts of the season.
Sascha Reither signed from 1. FC Köln in the summer on a loan deal has been one of the best if not the best performer for the Cottagers this season. The German has made the right-back position his own and has gone on to win the player’s player of the year this season for Fulham. While others around him have lacked consistency throughout the season, Reither put in a series of impressive displays for which he has been duly recognized.
3) Danny Rose
Rose has been one bright light for Sunderland in a season that has been blighted by mediocrity and under-achievement. The team has under-performed while talent throughout the ranks have failed to live to their billing. Rose however has been an exception at Wearside where he has had a dazzling season.
The young left-back has transformed himself into one of the stalwarts in the Sunderland side and his performances have caught the notice of his parent club Tottenham who want him back for next season. The Black Cats would do well to hold on to the enigmatic Englishman.
2) Jonathan de Guzmán
In a year of changes at Swansea, de Guzman took over the role of midfield general from Joe Allen who joined the departed Brendan Rodgers at Anfield. Since arriving from Spanish outfit Villareal in the summer. The Dutchman has been the orchestrator in chief for Michael Laudrup in his first season in England, guiding the Welsh side to a comfortable mid-table finish, whilst also leading their charge in their victorious campaign in the League Cup. The trophy was the club’s first major piece of silverware in their 100 year history, making de Guzman an instant hero at the Liberty Stadium.
1) Romelo Lukaku
Lukaku was offloaded to West Bromwich Albion at the beginning of the season by Chelsea after the teenage striker was unable to push his way into the scheme of things at Stamford Bridge. And what a year it had proved to be for the teenage prodigy. The Belgian has looked every bit the player for whom Roman Abramovich had to shell out £10 million (which can rise £17 million in add-ons) couple of seasons ago.
Blessed with immense athletic ability, pace and power the Belgian wonder kid has repaid the faith that Steve Clarke. The 20-year-old has scored 14 goals in 34 games for the Baggies and certainly would have put a smile on the faces at the hierarchy at Chelsea who opened up the bank accounts to bring the talented lad from Anderlecht.