It’s that time of the year when loan deals are fashionable in the Premier League, particularly after the way that Everton exploited the market last summer and turned it into a successful strategy.
While the transfer window isn’t over yet for a few more weeks, here’s the top 5 Premier League loan signings of 2014-15, so far:
1. Mauricio Isla – Juventus to Queens Park Rangers.
Isla, having failed to impress at Juventus since his move from Udinese, will be hopeful in reviving his career at recently promoted QPR. The club suffered an exodus of players after being relegated in 2013, but they’re back with a few of the players from their big spending summer in 2012 with the hope of doing much better this time around. Isla should slot in well at QPR, if for his versatility more than anything else. His preferred position is as a wing-back, but he seamlessly slots in nearly anywhere on the right flank. His experience with Juventus and at the World Cup with Chile should help stabilize QPR’s defensive qualities, along with veteran defender Rio Ferdinand and new arrival Steven Caulker.
2. Ryan Bertrand – Chelsea to Southampton.
Bertrand has had a tough go at his Chelsea career, having failed to impress Chelsea’s revolving door of managers. At 25 and fresh off his sixth loan deal, he was surely ready to move on this summer. Liverpool were linked to a permanent deal with Bertrand, but once that collapsed, he was sent on loan to the clearinghouse of Southampton. The Saints sold two of their best defenders this transfer window, and since that money has apparently not been used for much, their fans will hope that Bertrand is one of the saviors that they deserve.
3. Carl Jenkinson – Arsenal to West Ham United.
Jenkinson is another formerly promising defensive prospect that has not been able to make it into his first team. The 22-year-old has had his moments for Arsenal, but with the arrivals of Mathieu Debuchy and Calum Chambers at the Emirates, the writing was on the wall for Jenkinson.
West Ham are a club that, as of late, always seems close to relegation. The Hammers will be hoping to build on last season’s 13th place finish and avoid even the possibility of relegation. Jenkinson might not be good enough for Arsenal’s first team right now, but he’ll be hoping that he gets a chance to prove himself at Upton Park this season.
4. Javier Manquillo – Atletico Madrid to Liverpool.
Signed on a rare two-year loan, Manquillo is one of possibly two fullback acquisitions for Liverpool this window. The youngster has yet to truly prove himself at the top level, which explains Brendan Rodgers’ preference of a loan move over a permanent deal. Rodgers and Liverpool will also hope that this loanee provides more than the last fullback brought in to Anfield–Aly Cissokho, who failed to impress last season. So while Manquillo is a relative unknown, he comes highly regarded by Spanish experts and obviously rated well by Rodgers.
Fullback has been a problem position at Anfield for longer than most can remember, and Manquillo’s preference for playing on the right surely means that either Glen Johnson or Martin Kelly are on their way out. Johnson’s form has declined in recent seasons, though he wasn’t exactly a world-beater at his best. Manquillo’s ability on the ball will suit Brendan Rodgers’ Spanish-infused brand of football, but the young fullback will need to improve on his passing if he is to secure a permanent deal at the Merseyside club.
5. Frank Lampard – New York City FC to Manchester City.
Not exactly a glamorous signing for a club with the spending habits of Manchester City, Lampard’s controversial six-month deal at the Etihad seems a bit peculiar at first glance. Chelsea fans are understandably unhappy, as they assumed Lampard’s move to MLS meant he was retiring from the Premier League as a Chelsea legend. But since his new club doesn’t actually start playing until the 2015 MLS season, Lampard needed a way to stay match fit.
But even though Lampard is in the twilight of his career, he has a few things to offer a club like Manchester City. The reigning Premier League champions wore a bit thin at times last season, and are a prime example of how the sheer number of matches a club plays can wear away at the roster. Lampard, while likely 3rd or 4th choice in central or defensive midfield, will surely see plenty of action in the domestic cups and early rounds of the Champions League. His experience and broken records for Chelsea and the Premier League will also grant him a number of substitute appearances in the League. Lampard’s presence will help keep City’s superstars healthy and able to mount a second consecutive title challenge.