The transfer of players on loan has proved to be a real saviour for both players and clubs alike, with the opportunity to play regular first-team football an opportunity often too good to refuse.
Not only this, but the club also manages to save some wages from an already unproductive source.
GMF here looks at five players currently on loan who in fact needed some playing time to get to their best and could be the stars of their parent clubs come the 2013-2014 Premier League season.
Fabio (Manchester United to Queens Park Rangers)
With Manchester United only having Fabio and Patrice Evra who could play at left-back last season, Sir Alex Ferguson decided to invest in the transfer market purchasing promising Dutchman Alexander Buttner, and sent the former on loan to get some required Premier League experience.
Since Fabio was neither in a position to replace Evra from the starting line-up (because he wasn’t that good), nor in a position to act as a successful understudy (because his few appearances proved that he was still a raw talent), a loan move was in the best interest of both parties.
A good number of appearances later, albeit not all successful, Fabio could be all set to return to Old Trafford in a season or two to act as a useful squad rotation player.
Benik Afobe (From Arsenal to Millwall)
The 20-year old British striker has been on loan for a long time now with the latest stint being at Millwall. A talented forward who has searing pace, Afobe was the Player of the Tournament in the Victory Shield in 2008, during which he equaled Michael Owen's goalscoring record.
A potential star in the making, he could be set for big things with Arsenal in a season or two.
Chu Young Park (From Arsenal to Celta De Vigo)
The 27-year old forward, who was signed by Arsenal in a rather quick deal from Monaco, while it appeared he was set to sign for Lille.
He is a striker who has a lot of experience from his international exploits with South Korea, winning the AFC Youth Championship in 2004 (U-20 side), also winning the Golden Ball in the process. He also participated in the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship, 2010 World Cup, 2010 Asian Games, 2012 Olympics and has always been a key figure in the national set up.
Having had an impressive beginning to his club carrier with FC Seoul, where he scored a 23 goals in 69 games, he was snapped by French side Monaco. His form wasn’t too bad there as well, he netted 25 times in 91 appearances, a move to Europe was always going to affect his otherwise brilliant performance is the K-League.
All in all his move to a top side like Arsenal wasn’t expected, with Young not settling in, making just a single appearance in the process and consequently being shipped out on loan to Celta Vigo. His resurgence has been decent this season, and time in Spain could allow him a return to form.
Thibaut Courtois (From Chelsea to Atletico Madrid)
A goalkeeper of absolute top quality, 20-year old Courtois has had a great spell between the sticks in Madrid. A replacement for current Manchester United keeper David De Gea, he has in fact been as good as the Spaniard.
A total of 37 clean sheets in the 76 games for Atletico Madrid have shown he is one of the best in the world. A return to parent club Chelsea will not be a good move for him currently as Petr Cech is still going strong. Although the Premier League should witness one of the most promising goal keeping talents, it will not be soon.
Romelu Lukaku (From Chelsea to West Bromwich Albion)
The new Didier Drogba, as he is fondly called, Lukaku is a promising young striker plying his trade at West Brom, on loan from Chelsea. In his first season at the Stamford Bridge, Lukaku just managed a handful of starts, as Drogba and Fernando Torres were both preferred in the striking department, although he did impress in the appearances he actually made.
In the current campaign, Lukaku has been a decent enough striker and at 19, it is clear he has a bright future ahead of him. His 10 goals in a West Brom shirt are likely to have impressed potential suitors and, if not at Chelsea, he will certainly be a star at some other club come next season.
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