LOAN signings have been the subject of quite a bit of controversy recently, especially when Manchester City’s players are involved. Let’s take Adebayor as an example, many turned their nose up at his loan signing for Spurs, seeing it as City doing their rivals a disservice as Adebayor could obviously play and score against them, but couldn’t play against his parent club, directly impacting on the race for the title. To some, loan deals are a way of ensuring you hoover up the best of the talent, to others it’s a great chance to send your kids away to get some valuable first team experience.
Whether this is the case or not, it’s not been too often we’ve been on the right end of a loan deal. We’ve loaned youngsters out with varying degrees of success ever since I can remember, we loaned Aquilani out to two different Italian clubs in an attempt to get his exorbitant wages off the bill and see if we couldn’t get him a move back to Italy, we sent Joe Cole out to Lille last season where he regained his form.
But rarely are we the ones doing the loaning in. We have been linked with two loan moves so far this window; we are rumoured to have approached Real Madrid for Nuri Sahin and Barcelona for their talented young forward Christian Tello.
I personally would like to see us pull more of these deals out of the fire rather than make catastrophic errors of judgement and sign players who do not fit or don’t settle. It’s not practical to get the best players on loan obviously.
Using Aquilani as an example, whilst he was, pound for pound arguably our worst ever signing, that wasn’t a deal we could have got done on loan. Roma simply would not have allowed it and rightly so.
But when you’re taking a gamble, why not look at the loan market? The last (first team) player we brought in on loan was one Javier Mascherano. When we signed him in the January on loan, The Chief was languishing in the West Ham reserves as Alan Pardew (who, let’s be honest, had probably never even heard of him when both he and Tevez appeared at Upton Park that crazy day) favoured Hayden Mullins. Fast forward five months and Mascherano is stood with his hands on his hips and his head down in the centre circle in Athens as we lost a European Cup final. He was one of the key components in that run to the final.
Obviously that deal was complicated because of the involvement of Kia Joor…. Kia Joorab…. That Iranian crook, and the Icelandic lunatics who were in charge of West Ham. But who is to say that similar value deals aren’t out there?
The same can be said about Tello. The young lad has all the pace and trickery but his finishing is, shall we say, erratic. But with Villa back for Barcelona, Tello might not play much if at all next season. We need another wide player in and we are looking to get one in if you believe the credible links to Theo Walcott and Adam Johnson. At such a young age Tello may or may not go on to be a superstar. But a year on loan abroad would do him no harm. It is mutually beneficial to Barcelona and us. They loan a bright young talent out, we benefit if he’s good, sign him if we like or send him back if he doesn’t cut it. Additionally if Barca like what they see they can get him back next summer that bit older, wiser and with more experience under his belt. That of course would potentially leave us jilted but that is the gamble you take.
There truly is no reason to not bring in a loan signing if the conditions are right. We sure as hell spend enough time loaning our players out, it’s about time we started to feel the benefits from the other side of the loan market.