The loan system in football can come in incredibly handy for both club and player.
It can be used for a variety of reasons.
Bigger clubs may loan out an exciting youngster to give them the experience of first-team football. The receiving club gets a talented youngster while not having to stump up big wages.
It can also be used as a ‘try before you buy’. If clubs are unsure on whether the player will be right for the club, they can loan them with an option to sign them after the temporary move.
While clubs sometimes look to free up some space on their wage bill by offloading unwanted players and getting the loaning side to pay some – or all – of the players’ salary.
But because loans can sometimes last for just a couple of months, it’s quite easy to forget some spells.
Therefore, we’ve decided to dig out some loan spells that most fans have probably completely forgotten about – or weren’t even aware of in the first place.
Here are 43 loan spells that will probably make some of you go ‘Really?’
Quiz: Can you name the footballer based on their Wikipedia page?
Ashley Cole at Crystal Palace
Cole went on loan from Arsenal to Palace in 2000, playing 14 times.
Peter Crouch at IFK Hässleholm
Crouchy went to Sweden where he scored three goals in eight appearances. A season earlier, he was at Dulwich Hamlet in the Isthmian League Premier Division.
Jonjo Shelvey at Blackpool
Shelvey went to Blackpool whilst at Liverpool, scoring six goals in 10 matches.
John Terry at Nottingham Forest
During the 1999/00 season, Terry played six times for Forest.
Michael Carrick at Birmingham City
Whilst at West Ham, Carrick went to Swindon Town and then Birmingham. He only played six times for Swindon and twice for Birmingham.
Aaron Ramsey at Nottingham Forest
In the 2010/11 season as an Arsenal player, Ramsey played five times for Forest.
James Milner at Swindon Town
Despite making his Premier League bow at a very early age, Leeds allowed him to join Swindon in the 2003/04 season where he played six times, scoring twice.
Steven Caulker at Liverpool
Most people will probably remember when Liverpool signed Caulker on an emergency loan in 2015/16 – and kept bringing him on upfront!
Les Ferdinand at Besiktas
One of the greatest strikers in Premier League history went to Turkey back in the 1988/99 season. He scored 14 goals in 24 Super Lig games.
Teddy Sheringham at Djurgardens IF
When at Millwall, Sheringham went to Sweden in 1985. He came back with 13 goals in 21 games for Djurgardens IF.
Jesse Lingard at Brighton
Lingard has left Man Utd on loan for Leicester, Birmingham, Derby and West Ham during his career. But it’s his spell at Brighton in 2013/14 that’s perhaps easiest to forget.
Rodrigo at Bolton
Now at Leeds, it’s easy to forget Rodrigo joined Bolton in 2010/11 from Real Madrid.
Wojciech Szczesny at Brentford
Szczesny spent a season in League One with Brentford in 2009/10.
Frank Lampard at Swansea
At the start of his career, West Ham allowed Lampard to join Swansea on loan for 11 matches.
Rio Ferdinand at Bournemouth
West Ham also allowed Ferdinand to leave. He played 11 times for Bournemouth.
Danny Welbeck at Preston
In 2009/10, Welbeck played eight times in the Championship for Preston.
Kyle Walker at Northampton
When at Sheffield United in the Championship, Walker was shipped out on loan to Northampton in League One.
Louis Saha at Newcastle
Saha’s first taste of English football was on loan at Newcastle from Metz, where he scored twice in 12 games.
Alan Hutton at Mallorca
Hutton swapped Birmingham for Mallorca in 2012/13 when he was an Aston Villa player.
Ross Barkley at Leeds
We don’t blame you for forgetting this one because Barkley played just four times for Leeds in 2012/13.
Ian Wright at Nottingham Forest
Towards the end of his career, Wright joined Forest on loan from West Ham. He scored five goals in 10 games.
Adam Lallana at Bournemouth
Lallana loves the south coast, doesn’t he? When at Southampton, Lallana played three League One matches for Bournemouth in 2007/08.
Ian Rush at Sheffield United
After leaving Liverpool, Rush had a fairly unsuccessful spell at Newcastle. During which he played four times for Sheffield United in the First Division in 1997/98.
Mark Noble at Hull City
Noble is West Ham through and through but he did play five times for Hull in the Championship in 2005/06. He also spent time at Ipswich the following season.
Wayne Bridge at Sunderland
At the end of his Man City career, Bridge played eight times in the Premier League for Sunderland.
Harry Kane at Millwall
Kane had four loan spells away from Tottenham before he became the striker he is today – Leyton Orient, Millwall, Norwich and Leicester.
Jordan Henderson at Coventry City
Right at the very start of Henderson’s career, he left Sunderland for Coventry. He played 13 times for the club.
Adriano at Fiorentina
The legendary Brazilian striker was loaned to Fiorentina for the 2001/02 season by Inter Milan. He scored six goals in 15 games.
Daniel Sturridge at Bolton
Sturridge rekindled his Chelsea career by banging in eight goals in 12 Premier League games for Bolton in 2010/11.
Jack Wilshere at Bolton
A season earlier, Wilshere turned out 14 times for Bolton as a teenager.
Giovani Dos Santos at Ipswich
The former Barcelona man signed for Tottenham in 2008 but was soon sent on loan to Ipswich, where he scored four goals in eight matches in the Championship.
Jack Grealish at Notts County
Grealish actually spent a full season in League One during 2013/14 for Notts County. He scored five goals in 39 appearances.
Hector Bellerin at Watford
Before becoming a regular at Arsenal, Bellerin played eight matches for Watford in the Championship.
Gylfi Sigurdsson at Crewe Alexandra
When at Reading, Sigurdsson spent time on loan at both Shrewsbury and Crewe Alexandra.
Carlos Vela at West Brom
At the end of his time at Arsenal, Vela played eight times in the Premier League for West Brom.
Kasper Schmeichel at Falkirk
When he was at Man City, Schmeichel spent time at Darlington, Bury, Cardiff and Coventry. But it’s his time in Scotland with Falkirk that many won’t remember.
Yossi Benayoun at Arsenal
Okay, fans will probably recall this but it still seems strange that Chelsea allowed him to join their London rivals. Benayoun played 25 times for the Gunners.
Giuseppe Rossi at Newcastle
Man Utd didn’t give Rossi much of a chance at the start of his career. In fact, he played more Premier League matches for Newcastle whilst on loan during the 2006/07 season.
Jordan Pickford at Darlington
Pickford spent time at local club Darlington in the Conference in 2011/12. He also went on loan to Alfreton Town, Burton Albion, Carlisle United, Bradford City and Preston North End.
Diego Costa at Celta Vigo
Early in his Atletico Madrid career, Costa endured a few loan spells to the likes of Penafiel, Braga, Celta Vigo and Albacete.
Philippe Coutinho at Espanyol
Now on loan at Aston Villa but did you know Coutinho went on loan to Espanyol during the 2011/12 season?
David Silva at Eibar
Before his Valencia career took off, Silva spent time at both Eibar and Celta Vigo on loan.