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On Loan — Boon or a Bane in the Premier League?

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How would you feel if a friend of yours borrowed your broken cycle and fixed it to an extent that he ended up using it to win several races ? And soon after winning those races imagine his plight at returning the broken cycle, at the end of the day. He’d just borrowed it right?

Imagine a similar scenario but instead with a football player.  Considering the number of players that are out on loan in the Barclays Premier League, which is obviously a lot, you wouldn’t expect all of them to make a dent in the Premier League or whichever league they’re plying their trait in.  But the truth is that some of them surely are and to name a few: Romelu Lukaku, Gareth Barry– both to Everton, Thibaut Courtouis (arguably La Liga’s best Keeper) –  To Atletico Madrid,  Ki Sung Yeung (One of Sunderlands better players this season ) ,  Suso to Almeria , Lucas Piazon to Vitesse , Gerard Deulofeu to Everton, Pepe Reina to Napoli . Now these are just a few players who are having a pretty decent season but then the question arises? Why were they loaned out in the first place?

Well every team has an explanation, some of them needed more gametime (Barry), some of them had astronomical wages which needed to be kept off the books (Reina), some of them needed to gain more experience which is often the case with most of the players.  Now an astonishing figure that arises courtesy the loan market is that a top top club like Chelsea has 26 first teamers, 21 under-21’s and 25 others out on loan. Add all of that up and you get 72 players out on loan which belong to a single club. These statistics are extraordinary, you could field 6 separate teams with a proper line up of substitutes with those players.

Chelsea's on loan XI, recently becoming famous on Social Media channel. Illustration made via TacticalPad

Chelsea’s on loan XI, recently becoming famous on Social Media channel. Illustration made via TacticalPad

Another aspect to look at it is that certain teams groom their youngsters for rougher times via the loan market but does it truly help them to the extent that the parent clubs expect? There are several players which went out on loan and came back much better, Welbeck, Ameobi, Sturridge ,Wilshere, Lukaku, Townsend (an astonishing 9 loan spells) etc. But at the same time there are certain players who’ve had their careers tank due to a loan spell like Bentley (once hailed as the new Beckham ), Josh Mceachran (was called the next big thing by the English media ), Nicklas Bendtner ( the self proclaimed superstar) etc.

Every club in the Premier League has a number of players out on loan with hopes that they’d come back better players but at the same time a few teams have loaned in a few players who are extensively aiding their cause.  Everton are rising high and just a couple of points behind Chelsea who’ve so generously gifted them Romelu Lukaku for the season despite their own striker worries. Everton at the same time sit just a point behind Manchester City who’ve also loaned Gareth Barry to them. Now considering Everton’s form and the way their loan signings have aided their cause I wouldn’t be truly surprised if they spring a surprise and manage to beat either of these teams in the league despite their lack of resources. Liverpool themselves have taken Victor Moses and Aly Cissokho on loan, both of whom have played some part in their position in the table. Liverpool at the same time have loaned out several stars such as Oussama Assaidi (whose goal deflated Chelsea the other night) and Fabio Borini (whose wonder strike sunk Newcastle a few weeks ago). Now whether this is a strategy planned by these clubs to aid their cause is something no-one can answer but the truth is that these loan signings are certainly making an impact. An impact which must be taken into consideration in probably the most uncertain Premier League season we’ve seen for a while.

Another issue which must be addressed is whether these players should be eligible to play against their parent clubs or not. Arsene Wenger recently suggested that preventing these players to play against their parent clubs questions their integrity and to an extent he might have been right. What if Everton won the league and Chelsea didn’t? Would Lukaku be expected not to celebrate? Would Barry be expected to sulk his parent clubs loss? These are questions which must be answered, these are hypothetical scenarios but at the end of the day they’re still a possibility. Whether the loan system is a boon or a bane is something which differs from player to player and club to club but one thing’s for sure, It’s certainly having a tremendous influence on the league as of now. These are uncertain times and times which the common football fan would have craved for but are these loanies truly aiding the spirit of the game?

Supporting a player but not the team isn’t exactly the way ahead. It’ll be interesting to see what the loan market comes up with in January and how much of an impact does it make to the Premier League and leagues across Europe.

Harsh Khara

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