Pre-season, and the transfer embargo’s of many clubs are already drawing to conclusions. In my opinion, smarter clubs like Manchester United are the one’s who get their dealings done early, Young, Jones, De Gea all in for around £60M but the USA Tour has given them an opportunity to bond and integrate themselves into the side.
Liverpool and Sunderland have also seen some wholesale changes, Newcastle finally addressed their STR issue in plenty of time and the wheels on the Aston Villa wagon are finally beginning to turn.
However, teams throwing money around is not always where the real gems can be unearthed. For this, we have to look at the shrewd skill needed to navigate the loan market. And where better to turn than to the Principle of the ‘grandest finishing school in football’ – Bolton Wanderers FC’s; Owen Coyle.
2009/2010 season, Jack Wilshere leaves a boy, and comes back a man – now he’s one of his countries best talents and looking a contender for the Arsenal arm-band one day.
2010/2011 season, Daniel Sturridge is out of favour at Chelsea, who over-look his abilities in favour of a £50M star-buy. An impressive run of 8 goals in 12 games has seen him return to Stamford Bridge as a real threat to the established front force and I see Drogba’s future looking bleak as Torres will be expected to fulfil his price tag and Anelka was, in my opinion, their only stand-out player during their poor Winter 2010-2011.
Additionally, Kyle Walker of Tottenham and Manchester United’s Danny Welbeck all gained plaudits by effective loan spells in the Premier League.
So who next? In my opinion, Owen Coyle’s brand of football makes for an attacking option to be the most likely, STR’s are needed, as is width, so if I was the manager of one of the big clubs (Man Utd, Man City, Chelsea, Arsenal) I’d be building a relationship with O.C. and hoping to turn potential into value. “I always felt it would be a win, win, win situation in both cases,” says Coyle, players are able to get that much-needed match time, when they’re not quite sharp enough to challenge at their respective clubs, and the club who receive the player are able to bolster their options and nurture young talent.
Here’s a list of my; “loans to look out for” from the bigger sides;
1) Henri Lansbury; Gunners utility midfield man, can play anywhere across the 4, though personally, I’d play him on his least favoured LM. His timing of runs into the box means he could prove an effective goal-scorer though his crossing would need to improve to fulfil that role. In other news, he kept a German u’20 side at bay from GK after a pen (conceded) and RC for the starting GK Jason Steele, and already has himself a trademark celebration, doing; ‘the dougie’ at Elland Road after scoring for the Canaries. I think it’s time he was at a Premier League side.
I’d suggest; Bolton, Wigan, WBA.
Compare him to; Freddie Ljunberg.
2) Josh McEachran; I’ll put his weaknesses aside first, he’s a bit weak and he’s still very young, 18. However, once you get past this, he’s a very composed, and an incredibly clever central midfielder. He has an incredible first touch for his experience levels, and finds himself space similar to the style in which Luka Modric does – presumably both players are conscious of their physical limitations so utilise technical skills. He also has a key eye for a through ball, and knows how to weigh a pass better than some of his team-mates. I’d say, the PL may be a step too much at this point, but playing in a Championship CM along side a strong holding midfielder, or a midfield 3, could be his best option;
I’d suggest; Portsmouth, Southampton, Peterborough, Brighton being his best options.
Compare him to; Luka Modric.
3) Federico Macheda; Struggled to live up to expectations after his heroics in 2009 vs Aston Villa, but he did show promise of what he can be. He’s strong and powerful, he’s a player who is comfortable with his back to goal – a trait he stands alone with compared to other Manchester United strikers. I feel he would play best in a formation which incorporated an attacking midfielder, but I feel he needs a strike partner too. His loan spell out at Sampdoria proved ineffective, however I don’t believe they really got the best out of him, nor did they invest enough time in him as a player. In order for Manchester United to effectively cash-in on his potential, an English PL club would need to take him on.
I’d suggest; Newcastle United, QPR, Sunderland.
Compare him to; Francesco Totti.
4) Vladimir Wiess; intelligent, quick, strong, and is able to ride a tackle. Perhaps more importantly, he is a ‘big game player’ – He was effective during the World Cup for Slovakia and tormented Celtic in Old Firm games, his imagination and clinical nature created Nikita Jelavic’s winner in the League Cup final in March 2011. He’s a natural winger, but due to his work rate he makes an effective LM too. In Jan 2010 he had a rather poor loan spell at Bolton, but largely used as a substitute and without the ability to gain momentum. Personally, I’d love to see him return to Rangers but his ambitions and ability are far above the SPL. A loan spell could be effective to advertise his skills to other PL clubs, given Man City’s buying policy it’s unlikely he has a future at The Etihad Stadium.
I’d suggest; Leeds, Swansea, Newcastle, Leicester, West Ham.
Compare to; Aidan McGeady – without the needless step-overs.
5) Danny Wilson; I’ve been vocal of Liverpool’s spending policies in the past, and I think Danny Wilson is just another example of how they have a habit of wrecklessly spending, and over-paying for talent, which leads to expectation, and at such a young age, often can lead to failure. The simple matter is, they bought Wilson aged 18, and should have loaned him back to Rangers until he was 20, in order to let him fulfil his potential and gain experience. Instead, they’ve sat him on the bench, behind the likes of Sotirios Kyrgiakos, and his growth has suffered. He’s a technical footballer, who doesn’t dive in and uses his physical strength to dispossess attackers. At the same time, he has a gritty side to him when needed, and really can assert himself when he needs to in derby games or when playing in big matches. If it weren’t for Ryan Shawcross’s inability to time a 50:50 without attempting to end the career of his opponent, I would compare the two, as their playing styles are very similar. His real value is around £4M in my opinion, but given the right coaching he could go on to great things.
I’d suggest; Blackburn, Wolves, QPR, Sunderland, Rangers.
Compare him to; Alan Hansen.
So there we go! Keep an eye out on those players and while I’m giving out advice, check out Genoa’s youngster Alexander Merkel, I’m a massive fan. Additionally Borussia Dortmund’s Mario Götze is another fabulous player that this season’s Champions League will give us a chance to view.
Let me know what you all think, or alternatively, and perhaps preferred, tweet me your opinions or any ideas to what you’d like to see written about in the future.Follow @markbritton7
Over and out.