With the January transfer window just two weeks away it is a time for Clubs to take the opportunity to sign new players and release others as they bid to a fulfil the dream of a successful season or in some cases to help save their season!
Loan signings are rife in football these days, but who are some of the best short-term captures of all time?
Romelu Lukaku – Chelsea to West Brom (2012-13) and Chelsea to Everton (2013-14)
The Belgium striker was loaned out to West Bromwich Albion in August 2012 and scored his first league goal eight days later, coming on as a substitute in the 77th minute in a 3–0 win against Liverpool. He scored 17 goals in 38 appearances, in all competitions, and was a major reason for The Baggies excellent Premier League campaign.
Despite being loaned out by the club, Lukaku outscored all of his Chelsea teammates in the Premier League that season, finishing as the sixth-highest goal scorer of the 2012–13 campaign.
Lukaku returned to Chelsea, but on the final day of the 2013 Summer transfer window Chelsea loaned him out again, this time to Everton on a season-long loan. The striker made his debut for the Toffees away to West Ham United on 21 September 2013, scoring the winning goal in a 3–2 victory for Everton.
His final (on loan) goal for the club came on the last day of the 2013-14 season in a 2–0 win over Hull City. Lukaku found the net 15 times in 31 league games to help Everton to fifth place with a club record of 72 Premier League points.
On 30 July 2014, Everton announced that Lukaku had signed a five-year permanent deal with the club, for a record fee of £28 million.
Jimmy Glass - Swindon Town to Carlisle United (1999)
Jimmy Glass joined Carlisle from Swindon towards the end of the 1998/99 season, after a goalkeeper crisis struck the club, with the Surrey born stopper going on to play just three league games while on loan with the Cumbrian club.
His moment of fame came on 8 May 1999, in the final match of the 1998–99 season against Plymouth Argyle, which Carlisle needed to win to avoid relegation to the Conference. With the score 1–1 and with just seconds remaining, Carlisle won a corner. Glass came up from his own penalty area and promptly scored a dramatic last gasp volleyed winner.
Carlisle got the win they needed and Scarborough were relegated to the Football Conference instead after a 1–1 draw with Peterborough. Scarborough's match had already finished before Glass scored, and their fans had already been celebrating on the pitch at the McCain Stadium.
Within weeks of joining Chelsea in July 2011 Courtois was loaned out to Atlético Madrid, where he went on to make 154 appearances in all competitions and won four major trophies during his spell there in what was a remarkable journey from a young prospect to now arguably one of the best goalkeepers in the world.
It’s safe to say Courtois' three-year spell with Atlético ranks as one of the best loan signings in recent time.
La Liga (2013-14), Copa del Rey (2012-13), Europa League (2011-12) and UEFA Super Cup (2012) crowns were all won during his time in the Spanish capital and it could well have ended in even greater success had Atlético held on against rivals Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League Final last season.
Ironically his UEFA Super Cup win in 2012 with Atlético was against his parent club Chelsea as the Madrid based outfit defeated The Blues 4–1 in the Final held in Monaco.
Daniel Sturridge - Chelsea to Bolton Wanderers (2011)
Sturridge moved to Bolton on a six-month loan deal in January 2011, after struggling to win a starting berth up front at Stamford Bridge. He made his debut two days later, making an immediate impact by coming off the bench to score an injury-time winner on his debut against Wolves, the first of four goals in his first four games for the club, the others coming against Tottenham, Everton and Newcastle.
The on-loan Chelsea forward continued to make an impact at Bolton and finished his loan spell with eight goals in 12 Premier League appearances at the club.
Jermain Defoe – West Ham to Bournemouth (2000-2001)
London born Jermain Defoe was a member of the West Ham United under-19 team that won the Premier Academy League title in 1999–00, and went on to make his first-team debut for The Hammers in a League Cup game against Walsall in September 2000, scoring the only goal in a 1–0 win.
However the West Ham United manager at the time, Harry Redknapp decided to send 18-year-old Defoe out on loan to then second division club AFC Bournemouth, to gain some regular first-team football.
During his time on the south coast the striker scored in 10 consecutive league games, as well as finding the net on both his FA Cup and Football League Trophy debuts for The Cherries.
In total, Defoe bagged an impressive 18 goals in just 27 games for Bournemouth before heading back to Upton Park at the end of the campaign.
Robbie Keane – Tottenham to Celtic (2010)
Despite failing to win a trophy during his time at Parkhead, lifelong Celtic fan Keane certainly enjoyed his stay at the club.
The Republic of Ireland’s all-time top goalscorer and most capped international had a superb spell at the Scottish giants in 2010.
On 1 February 2010, Keane signed for Celtic in a loan deal until the end of the 2009–10 season, having fallen out of favour at White Hart Lane. He made his debut on 2 February at Rugby Park against Kilmarnock. Robbie Keane scored 16 goals in just 19 games for the club and, despite the fact he only played between February and May, he was awarded the club’s Player of the Year award for the 2009-10 season.
Ronnie Rosenthal - Standard Liege to Liverpool (1990)
Israel born Ronnie Rosenthal arrived at Anfield from Standard Liège on 22 March 1990 in a deal until the end of that season, with Liverpool trailing Aston Villa in the title race at the time.
However, it did not take the relatively unknown forward long to make a mark in England, with Rosenthal scoring a hat-trick on his full debut three weeks later, in a 4-0 win against Charlton Athletic at Selhurst Park.
And the Israel international’s 7 goals in the final 8 league matches of the season, displacing Peter Beardsley as Ian Rush's strike partner in the process, were crucial in Kenny Dalglish’s side going on to win that season’s First Division Championship, still the club’s last top-flight crown.
On 29 June 1990 Rosenthal was signed permanently by Liverpool for a fee of £1.1m making him the first foreign player bought by an English club for more than £1million.
Henrik Larsson - Helsingborg IF to Manchester United (2007)
The Sweden and Celtic legend was 35 when he made the shock loan move to Old Trafford back in 2007. With Sir Alex Ferguson short on strikers, he signed Larsson on 1 January until 12 March 2007 during the Swedish League's off season. He scored three goals in his 13 appearances, including one on his debut in the FA Cup against Aston Villa.
Although that may not sound like a particularly impressive goal return, it was his overall professionalism and team ethic that had an effect on the side. United went on to win their first Premier League title in four years, and Larsson played his part. He had not played the required quota of 10 league games to qualify for a Premier League winners medal, but he was granted special dispensation by the Premier League after the club requested an extra medal for the striker.
Larsson is currently the manager of his former Allsvenskan club Helsingborgs IF.
Kevin Campbell - Trabzonspor to Everton (1999)
Everton, who were battling against relegation from the Premier League, signed Campbell on loan in March 1999 from Turkish side Trabzonspor. His impact on the side was immediate as he scored 9 goals in 8 games, making him Everton's top goalscorer that season as Walter Smith’s side avoided the drop.
Campbell became the first-ever loanee in Premier League history to be awarded the Player of the Month award after scoring six times in five matches in April 1999.
Campbell's move to Everton was made permanent in the summer of 1999 for a fee of £3million
Andrés D'Alessandro - Vfl Wolfsburg to Portsmouth (2006)
In January 2006, Vfl Wolfsburg's €9 million club record signing Andres D'Alessandro shocked everyone when he joined Premier League relegation candidates Portsmouth, on loan for the remainder of the season.
In what would be a major coup by Pompey manager at the time, Harry Redknapp, the Argentine playmaker was heavily influential in the club's survival that season.
Once deemed the 'New Maradona,' D'Alessandro scored three goals in his time at Fratton Park and Pompey finished the season four points clear of relegation, having been 19th in the league at the time of D'Alessadnro's arrival. Redknapp tried to sign him permanently in the summer, but the Argentine moved to Real Zaragoza in Spain, before returning home to South America.
In 2010, D'Alessandro led Internacional of Brazil to their second Libertadores Championship, and was elected the best player in South America for that year. In the 2010 FIFA Club World Cup, he also helped Internacional to a third-place finish, and was awarded the Bronze Ball as the tournament's third best player. The 34 year-old is still plying his trade with Internacional.
* Other players that made a big impact during their loan spells.
Mikel Arteta - Real Sociedad to Everton (January 2005)
Fernando Morientes – Real Madrid to AS Monaco (2003-04)
Jurgen Klinsmann - Sampdoria to Tottenham Hotspur (January 1998)
Edgar Davids – Juventus to Barcelona – (2004)
Christophe Dugarry - Bordeaux to Birmingham City (January 2003)
Kyle Walker Tottenham to QPR (August 2010) and Tottenham to Aston Villa (January 2011)
Iván Campo – Real Madrid to Bolton Wanderers (2002-03)
Kieran Richardson - Manchester United to West Brom (January 2005)
Patrick Bamford - Chelsea to MK Dons (2012-14) and Chelsea to Middlesbrough (2014-15)