By Tony Attwood
How many players do Arsenal have out on loan?
It is not a difficult question, and I suspect that if you are here as an Arsenal supporter not only will you get the answer right you will be able to name the players
The number is five and the details (taken from Transfer Market) are…
|Jul 29, 2015
|Aug 30, 2016
|Aug 31, 2016
|Aug 21, 2016
|Aug 26, 2016
They have gone on loan for different reasons: to help them develop or recover form, to give Arsenal time to see if others who stay will develop as hoped, and because Arsenal have registered the maximum number of 25 players.
Campbell for example showed a lot of promise but was struggling to hold down a place in the team, and has been given a chance to get that extra form that would allow him to be a first team choice. Asano is getting used to the European game, and failed to get a visa. Szczesny is there because he is highly rated and it allows Mr Wenger to watch Cech, Ooooospina and Szczesny develop. Will Cech’s powers decline with advancing years, will Ospina become a brilliant keeper – and if so will he await his chance at Arsenal, has Szczesny overcome his reported emotional issues and occasional lapses? The loan system gives the club the chance to wait and see.
But what of other teams? What are they up to?
We all know that Chelsea have become the loan kings of the world, but do they have rivals? Interestingly I couldn’t find anyone who has done an analysis, and when I came to do a simple one myself, the numbers didn’t equate with those often reported. These figures come from Transfer Market and they tend to exclude under 21s and also players who have not established themselves as (or been recognised by the club as) first teamers.
- Chelsea: 26 players on loan
- Man C: 16 players on loan
- Arsenal: 5 players on loan
- Man U: 5 players on loan
- Liverpool: 5 players on loan
- Everton: 5 players on loan
- Tottenham: 4 players on loan
- West Ham: 3 players on loan
- Southampton: 2 players on loan
- Leicester: 1 player on loan
I haven’t completed the remaining clubs in the league because quite honestly the numbers are boringly similar as far as I can see, and the main point is already made – Chelsea and Manchester City are out on their own even with these lower numbers that Transfer Market gives.
Chelsea’s own site however has them listing not 26 but 37 players on loan. I can’t find a similar list on Man C’s website but DutchNews.nl says that Chelsea have 10 players on loan to Dutch clubs alone. So it seems that these numbers for Chelsea and Man C might be significant under-estimates.
The Manchester Evening News did an analysis of the situation at Man City and came up with two reasons why Man C have moved into the wholesale loan market
One reason for farming out new youngsters, of course, is to give them valuable first team experience which they will not get at City. But there are constraints which also apply to players from outside the European Economic Area.
Under strict new rules introduced last year, players signed from outside the EEA – which Britain will leave as part of Brexit – have to be elite stars.
I am sure that point is right, but I am not sure it is enough of an explanation to cover the whole Chelsea and Man C situation.
Here is the Man City details…
What we should remember is that the Chelsea experiment along the same lines suggests that the chances of finding a youth player who becomes a star through multiple loans is quite low. The vast majority never get to PL standard.
But this has been going on for a few years now. In 2015 the Telegraph ran the story “Chelsea have loaned out 33 players who cost £100m with Premier League clubs”
However there is a downside to multiple loaning out. Imagine, you buy a house, and then just leave it a year or two, maybe renting it out, and then sell it again for 20% profit. That takes the house away from others who might want to buy it, and doesn’t do anything for the local community in which it exists. Multiple loans hamper the market and can be used as a way to stop other clubs getting hold of players.
Also, Louise Taylor, writing in the Guardian on 1 September this year quoted the former agent Colin Gordon saying, “It’s an excellent way of hiding your mess by sweeping it beneath the carpet. Loans can be vitally important in enabling young players to learn their trade but, all too often, they simply enable people to disguise their recruitment mistakes. A lot of clubs fail to perform proper due diligence on signings and quickly discover they don’t want them but are then unable to get their money back. They use loans as a mat to hide bad buys under.”
But although Chelsea and Man City are regular top loaners, other clubs have cut their numbers this year. A year ago the figures were Chelsea 38, Manchester City, 17, Liverpool 12, West Ham 12.
In terms of individual players Patrick Bamford’s career is one of the most loan orientated: these figures from Wiki…
|Milton Keynes Dons (loan)
|Derby County (loan)
|Crystal Palace (loan)
|Norwich City (loan)
“The most lucrative is almost certainly yielded from Juan Cuadrado. After joining for £23.3m last year, the Colombia forward, who would probably not be recognised by some members of staff at his parent club’s Cobham training base, was relocated to Juventus, where he has returned on a three-year loan for an annual fee of £4.25m. At the end of that period, Juve have an option to buy him permanently for a final instalment, potentially rising to almost £12m.”
Now maths might not be my strongest suit (although I used to do a lot of it and still know my way around a calculator) but I make it that if Juve pay £4.25m a year for three years and then they pay the maximum transfer fee that makes £24.75m income for Chelsea, having paid £23.3m, a profit of £1.45m. Take off the legal fees, and the salary paid to Cuadrado before his loan and we are down to under £1m. A lot to you and me, but to Chelsea, bugger all (to use the technical term). Discount all the staff time, the physical assessments and the like, and the money is gone.
ARSENAL: The Long Sleep 1953-1970 by John Sowman; foreword by Bob Wilson.
The Long Sleep recalls a time when professional footballers in England were inextricably tied by contract to their club and not allowed to earn more than the statutory maximum wage. It traces Arsenal’s fortunes through that era, as well as the stand taken by one man who went on a 141 day strike against his club – a strike which led to the creation of football as we know it today.
Now available to purchase on line as book or Kindle version at
- What takes clubs up and down the league: attack or defence?
- Referee Extremism: the situation in Spain and in England
- Didn’t appreciate KO time, M1 is a disaster, but watching Arsenal is a joy
- Arsenal v Newcastle: the team and league positons AFTER the game.
- Arsenal v Newcastle: injuries, yellow cards and recent form