This past Thursday was the deadline for Football League teams to arrange loan deals. In exceptional circumstances, clubs can apply for special dispensation to the Premier League or Football League to arrange deals outside these times – for instance, if they had no goalkeepers available. Here’s a quick look at four of the “bigger” names to join teams in the Championship for part or all of the stretch run.
One of the bigger moves was pulled off by Birmingham who signed veteran striker Andy Cole on loan from Portsmouth. The 35-year-old Cole had made only five starts for Pompey since joining from Manchester City for £500,000 in August 2006. Cole was anxious to move somewhere in order to get some playing time. Cole and Birmingham manager Steve Bruce are well aquainted having been team-mates at Manchester United from January 1995 until May 1996. Harry Redknapp has revealed that Cole was allowed to move on loan as he could not find the right chemistry on the pitch with Portsmouth’s top scorer Kanu. “When I’ve played Andy and Kanu together up front I’ve had no one to run in behind teams,” he said.
Hull City signed Bolton striker Ricardo Vaz Te on a one-month deal to help aid their fight against relegation. Manager Phil Brown used to be the assistant manager at Bolton and is familiar with the capabilities of Vaz Te. The pacy 20-year-old is a Portugese U-21 international and joined Bolton from SC Farense in August 2003.
Blackburn defender Michael Gray joined the struggling Leeds side for an initial month loan with a view to seeing out the rest of the season at Elland Road. Gray, 32, previously spent three months at Elland Road in 2005. He has not been a regular for Rovers this season, making just 12 first-team appearances.
Leicester City signed West Ham midfielder Shaun Newton on loan until the end of the season. The 31-year-old former Charlton and Wolves player is looking to rebuild his career after missing most of the season due to a drugs ban. Newton served a six-month ban after traces of cocaine were found in his system after a routine drugs test undertaken following West Ham’s FA Cup semi-final win over Middlesbrough. Newton joined West Ham for £10,000 in March 2005 and was an integral part of Alan Pardew’s promotion-winning squad of 2004/05.
If you are curious, the BBC has a complete listing of loan deals.