Southampton manager Ronald Koeman has utilised the loan market to get a look at prospective signings with huge success.
So far this season the Saints have taken Toby Alderweireld, Ryan Bertrand and Eljero Elia on loan and currently all three are proving to be a success.
The system has allowed the Saints to get a close up glimpse of the ability and character of players they are interested in, without the restriction of a long-term contract.
Success so far
As far as this season goes for the Saints, they have found all three of their loanees to be success.
Alderweireld has become one of the most accomplished players in the Premier League thanks to his Champions League experience, whilst Bertrand had a point to prove after being let go by Chelsea.
Elia has only just joined the club from Werder Bremen but already his signing looks to be a shrewd move by Koeman after his two goals led them to victory over Newcastle last weekend.
Option to buy
Another plus to the loan system is that all three players carry an option to buy clause which has an agreed fee attached to it.
Should they prove a success at Southampton, the club can be safe in the knowledge that they have already settled on a price to be paid at the end of the season, no matter what the player is worth by then.
Further signings possible
That has increased the possibility of further loan deals being completed in the January tranbsfer window.
The Saints backroom staff has worked wonders to obtain such successful stars as Bertrand, Alderweireld and Elia, so if they can produce more magic to bring in another quality signing on-loan then Koeman is sure to be delighted.
The main reason the Saints have used the loan market is that should any player not be successful, they have no agreement to take him on a permanent basis.
This allows the Saints flexibility to chance their arm on a player who has not done so well at his previous club, without the need to pay a large fee, just like they have in Elia.
It becomes almost a win-win situation for the club as if the gamble pays off they can pay the agreed fee and take the player permanently, or they can allow him to return at no cost to them.