We knew going into this transfer window that the club would be looking at free transfers, loans and a bargain, due to the financial hit clubs have taken since the Covid lockdown. This is not a situation we thought we would be in after Aprils news, but that wasn’t to be, and we find ourselves as Newcastle fans in familiar territory.
In the 13 years of Mike Ashley’s tenure as owner every manager has had to ‘box clever’ and look for players that could improve the squad but not at massive prices. Granted there has been over £80 million spent on Saint-Maximin, Almiron and Joelinton in the past year and a bit, but this large spending is very much out the norm for Ashley’s ownership. The other exception to the rule would be the two windows Steve McClaren was in charge, and we all know how that ended!
The club have used the loan market to a variance of success. Remy did well while here, as to did Rondon, Willems became a hero in his short time, Dubravka is probably the most successful loan in recent memory. There have been some dross however, Bentaleb, Kenedy’s second spell, Danny Rose didn’t set the world alight, and Stephen Ireland warmed the bench. I’ll include Lazaro in this, but for me the Austrian Winger was given enough time to prove what he could do, and possibly would have been better off staying at Inter!
But this is the market we find ourselves in this summer, and will probably be were most of our signings come from. This raises a question though, well a few actually! Do you sign a young player on loan? Do you hope they develop in the way you hoped? Do you try and keep the parent club happy with game time? For me all of these should come with a proviso: Should they perform can we agree a price now to sign them at any point during the loan spell.
Similar clauses were put in the Mikel Merino deal when we loaned him from Borussia Dortmund, only for the player to insist on a release clause. Similar terms were put in place for Willems and Larazo, with Willems if not for his injury you would think would be a Newcastle player for the foreseeable future.
For me the loan system if you are Premier League side should be in place for a ‘try before you buy’ or a chance to bring in an experienced player to plug a gap caused by too many injuries during a season, as we saw with the Danny Rose deal. It should not be for clubs outside the ‘Top 6’ to help nurture the talent of top 6 sides.
This is the position Newcastle find themselves in. Recently we have been linked to loan deal with Liverpool’s Rhian Brewster. There is no disputing the lads talent, and did a half decent job in the championship last season for Swansea. However a straight loan deal for a young player from a club above us, does not help Newcastle, it only helps the parent club.
Without an option to buy, there is always the chance that should the player have a good season, the following summer the parent club will be in a position to ask for more money should they decide to sell at that point, or have a first team ready player to help improve them, without having to really bed them into the league.
Taking a ‘development’ player on loan is a risk. It might not come off, they might struggle with the quality in the Premier League, but that shouldn’t be a risk another team should take! In this instance if Liverpool feel he may be ready for Premier League football, then it should be upon them to give him that opportunity, not rely on a team in the same division.
This objection is only really limited to domestic loans of teams at the top tier of English football. It does not help the other 14 teams in the league, where a loan from a top 6 side, could stop that clubs academy players breaking through! This sort of deal only really helps the parent club, and allows them to improve their overall squad without having to sacrifice a squad position.
This is something that should be looked at. It is helping the gap between the Top 6 and the other 14 teams grow! Understandably there is a premium for young English players, but to let a player go on loan to a team in the same division, and not allow them to play against you with out any sort of chance of the team the player is at for that season to buy the player after the loan is finished at an agreed price, is in my view elitism! And goes to prove that the top 6 see themselves above everybody else!
I understand that clubs will look to give their players coming through game time some how! There are plenty of top Championship sides that would be willing to take players for the season, in a league that may help development more, giving the level the championship is at! However if you are loaning a player to a Premier League side, there should be a clause that an option to buy HAS to be part of the deal!