Thursday, April 09, 2015

The Greatest Loan Deals in Premier League History

Loan signings are rife in football these days!

A loan deal can be a fantastic temporary solution to a club's problems - bringing in that special player for a season or even half a season, in an effort to help a Club realise its trophy ambitions, save a club from relegation, or simply to replace an injured player.

Over the years there have been some important loan signings in the Premier League.

Here are in my eyes some of the best loan signings in recent memory!

Jermain Defoe - West Ham to Bournemouth (2000/01)

West Ham United manager at the time, Harry Redknapp, sent 18-year-old Beckton-born Jermain Defoe to then Second Division club AFC Bournemouth to gain some regular first-team football at the start of the century. He scored an impressive 18 goals in 29 games, including a record-equalling ten goals in successive games to equal John Aldridge’s and Clarrie Jordan’s post-war record, as well as finding the net on both his FA Cup and Football League Trophy debuts for the Cherries.

These exploits propelled the youngster into the public eye, and many thought he could be the next Michael Owen. While he did not quite reach those dizzy heights, Defoe, now 32, has enjoyed a terrific career with West Ham, Portsmouth, Tottenham, Toronto FC, current club Sunderland and England, scoring over 200 goals to date.

Romelu Lukaku – Chelsea to West Brom (2012/13) and Chelsea to Everton (2013/14)

The Belgium international was loaned out to West Brom on 10 August 2012 on a season-long loan deal, and the 19 year-old striker proved to be a terrific coup for The Baggies. He scored 17 goals in 38 appearances, in all competitions, and was a major reason for West Brom’s excellent Premier League campaign.

Despite being loaned out by the club, Lukaku outscored all of his Chelsea teammates in the Premier League that season, being the sixth-highest goal scorer of the 2012–13 season with 17 goals.

On the final day of the summer 2013 transfer window, he joined Everton on a season-long loan. The striker made his debut for the Toffees away to West Ham on 21 September 2013, scoring the winning goal in a 3–2 victory for Everton. Lukaku went on to find 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 deal with the club, for a record fee of £28 million.

Kevin Campbell - Tranzbonspor to Everton (1999)

Campbell arrived at Goodison Park in March 1999 from Turkish side Tranzbonspor, with Everton languishing in the relegation zone.

Campbell made an instant impact at Goodison Park, in his two month spell with the Merseyside club he became the club’s top scorer that season with nine goals in only eight games as Walter Smith’s side avoided the drop.

Campbell also 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. Campbell went on to play for six more seasons in Merseyside, but nothing emulates his loan spell with the club in 1999.

Henrik Larsson - Helsingborg IF to Manchester United (2007)

Having re-joined his hometown club Helsingborg IF, following a successful spell at Barcelona, the Sweden and Celtic legend was 35 when he made the shock move to Old Trafford. Larsson was signed by Sir Alex Ferguson on loan from 1 January until 12 March 2007, coinciding with the Swedish League's off season.

The former Celtic frontman scored for the Red Devils on his debut against Aston Villa in the FA Cup third round, before his strike against Lille in the Champions League last-16 propelled United toward the semi-finals of Europe’s premier club competition.

In total, the Swede made 13 appearances, scoring three goals, as United finished the season with their first Premier League crown for four years.

The legendary striker then declined Ferguson's offer of an extended deal, in order to return to his native Sweden.

Daniel Sturridge - Chelsea to Bolton Wanderers (2011)

Sturridge moved to Bolton on a six-month loan deal on 31 January 2011 after struggling to win a starting berth up front at Stamford Bridge under boss Carlo Ancelotti.

The striker made 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. He followed this with another goal in the defeat to Tottenham Hotspur the following weekend, in which he made his first start, before scoring his third goal in three games in a 2–0 victory over Everton. When Sturridge scored the equaliser against Newcastle in his fourth game, he became only the sixth player to score in his first four games for a club in Premier League history.

Sturridge continued to make an impact at Bolton and finished his loan spell with an impressive eight strikes to his name in just 12 Premier League matches.

On his return to Chelsea he was to be met by a new Chelsea manager - André Villas-Boas.

Christophe Dugarry - Bordeaux to Birmingham City (2003)

The World Cup-winning Frenchman is thought of as a true Birmingham legend after his spell at the club over a decade ago. Much like Eric Cantona, Christophe Dugarry had an arrogance and aura about him which he backed up on the pitch.

Dugarry, the former AC Milan and Barcelona striker signed for Birmingham on a six-month loan deal from French Ligue 1 side Bordeaux in January 2003.

He scored four goals in five league games and managed to help propel Steve Bruce’s team away from the bottom three and towards a final position of 13th in the table, following promotion the previous season.
Dugarry signed permanently in 2003/04. He saw out only the first season of his contract before leaving the club by mutual consent, citing family reasons, but he will always be held in high regard at St Andrews.

Jurgen Klinsmann - Sampdoria to Tottenham Hotspur (1998)

The German striker was already a hero at White Hart Lane after a memorable spell during the 1994/95 season. His return on a six month loan deal from Serie A side Sampdoria in December 1997 was greeted with great joy by the Tottenham faithful, with their club languishing in the relegation zone at the time.

Jurgen Klinsmann scored nine goals in his 15 Premier League appearances, including four away at Wimbledon in a crucial 6-2 victory.

The North London side survived - Spurs finishing the season in 14th place, four points above the drop zone and Klinsmann was rightfully lauded for his impact on the side.

Klinsmann ended up playing the last top-level match of his illustrious career on the final day of that campaign, with the German inevitably netting in a 1-1 draw at home to Southampton.

Ivan Campo - Real Madrid to Bolton Wanderers (2002/03)

The Spaniard was a regular for a while at Real Madrid, so when Bolton manager Sam Allardyce acquired his services back in August 2002 it was a real coup for the Premier League strugglers.

The defender was a key man in helping The Trotters survive on the final day of the season. He enjoyed the loan spell so much that he signed on a permanent basis in the summer of 2003, staying until 2008.

The Spanish centre-back was converted into a holding midfielder and Bolton reached the League Cup final in 2004 and the club finished eighth in the league, at the time the highest finish in their Premiership history.

In 2005, Bolton finished sixth in the league, thus earning qualification for the UEFA Cup for the first time in their history.

Campo scored a 43-yard screamer on the opening day of the 2006/07 season against Spurs, thus endearing him further to the the Bolton faithful! Campo fitted in well with Bolton's style of play, but also topped the charts for most red and yellow cards received of any player in the Premier League in 2006–07.

Campo was so popular and such a success during his time at the Reebok Stadium that he gained cult hero status in the process.

Ronnie Rosenthal - Standard Liege to Liverpool (1990)

Rocket Ronny had been on trial at first division Luton Town where he scored two goals in three games but they couldn't broker a deal with Standard Liege. Liverpool asked Liege if they could have a look and after only one reserve appearance he was signed on loan in March 1990 until the end of the season.

At the time of Rosenthal's arrival at Anfield Liverpool trailing Aston Villa in the title race.
However, it did not take the relatively unknown forward long to make a mark in England, with Rosenthal scoring a 'perfect hat-trick' on his full debut in a 4-0 win at Charlton Athletic on 11 April 1990.

The Israel international's seven goals in only eight league fixtures were crucial in Kenny Dalglish’s side going on to win that season's 1989/90 First Division Championship (The inception of the English Premier League was in 1992).

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 £1m. However he never went on to make the same impact at the club, as when he had first joined on loan, mainly making appearances from the bench.

Rosenthal played 97 times for the Reds, scoring 22 goals. Rosenthal moved to Tottenham Hotspur in January 1994, for a fee of £250,000.

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