Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughUtilising the loan system - a controversial look - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Utilising the loan system - a controversial look - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Utilising the loan system – a controversial look

What I’m about to suggest may not be entirely ethical or honourable; I accept that, it doesn’t however break any rules so I’m going to go with it.  

Next season’s Premier League promises to be one of the most competitive ever. Tiny margins could separate the successful from the unsuccessful, title winners from the runners up, Champions League qualifiers from the also-rans.

In my view there will be a three team race to be champions, the Manchester duo and Chelsea. There will then be a further three way fight for fourth place and the Champions League spot between Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool.

Any advantage that you can garner over a competitor will be invaluable and I think the loan system is an area where marginal gains can be made.

There has been some talk in the past of various clubs buying and almost stockpiling players so that rivals can’t acquire them.

Moving this rationale forward I think there is the opportunity for some clubs to obtain players or indeed utilise existing resources to loan individuals to teams so that they can play against direct rivals.

I can hear you, yes it’s not nice or in the spirit of the game or any of that malarkey but neither is diving, claiming a throw when you know the ball last came off you or feigning decapitation when you’ve barely been touched, but they all go on, it’s now all about being winning, it’s all about success.

Some may already be ahead of me in the game, Chelsea sent out Romelu Lukaku last season. He didn’t  really fulfil my brief.

He scored home and away against Liverpool and then a hat trick on the last day in that ridiculous 5 – 5 draw with United.

He didn’t however get on the score sheet against teams vying with Chelsea, namely Tottenham and Arsenal.

This wasn’t strictly his fault given that he was a sub in three or the four games involving the North London duo but this might indicate that he’s not quite ready to lead the Blue’s title challenge as some have suggested.

For my proposition to be effective I would recommend that the loaned player be more of a sure thing. Of course there are no guarantees and it’s a difficult balance to strike.

You will want to utilise a player not quite good enough for your first eleven but also someone who could do requisite damage to opponents.

My perfect example would be Javier Hernandez AKA Chicarito joining Tottenham for a season long loan.

It’s unlikely that the Mexican will be a regular starter for United next season but it’s also unlikely that they will want to sell him.

Spurs need a striker and going by recent history would like to obtain one without breaking the bank. He’ll play every week and injuries permitting he could be in a position to affect six possibly valuable points against both Manchester City and Chelsea.

Another example could be Edin Dzeko, City could use him in precisely the same way, presuming that Pellegrini doesn’t view him as an automatic choice and that they have targets in mind following Tevez’s imminent departure.

Dzeko would be a fit at somewhere like Arsenal should Higuain not come off or even an Everton where he could be THE main man and score all the football goals.

It’s not something that would necessarily just be the domain of the top three. There would be the opportunity for Spurs if they get additional firepower to farm out Jermain Defoe for instance, with it being World Cup year he will want to play and joining a Villa or a Sunderland or a Fulham would enable him to do that.

I foresee the system being predominantly geared toward attacking players, this is where the greatest benefit can probably be gained and the least disruption required.

Defenders and midfielders are more likely to be ingrained in the entire structure of the team, they are on the whole less individual and not quite so easily expendable.

With strikers most clubs have at least four and with a clause inserted to call back the player if required there will be minimum fuss to reintroduce them.

All clubs are constantly looking for ways to get an advantage over their opponents and teams they are vying against for similar prizes and this is just another option that could be open to them.

Moving it forward there could be a stage when the clubs who can afford to do so will specifically purchase players with a view to this purpose, Chelsea buying Cavani and Hulk maybe and then deciding that one needs a year’s Premier League experience elsewhere.

The battle for the title a couple of years ago showed us all how tight the race can be and it may only take a goal somewhere by a particular loanee to decide who will be next season’s champions.

Allen Whyte

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