Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughIs The Loan System Fair? - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Is The Loan System Fair? - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Is The Loan System Fair?

Loan deals have been around in football for a long time now.  Whilst some have certainly worked out better than others, the option continues to be taken out by the vast majority of clubs every season.  But do the rules need to be changed?

There seems to be two basic concepts of sending someone out on loan: to help a young prospect gain experience, or to get an unwanted player temporarily off the wage bill.  Arguments for both can be made each year, with evidence of the latter increasing due to the ever-expanding business side of the game. 

However, the really intriguing element about the loan system is the fact that it is perfectly acceptable to send a player to a league rival.  In this scenario, which is seen frequently, said player is permitted to play for his temporary side against everyone else in the league, with the one exception of his parent club.  For the very top teams like Manchester United and Chelsea, it is possible for them to allow a promising talent to leave for nine months with the knowledge that it will not affect them adversely.  In essence, they are helping to strengthen mid-table teams who could then go on to get a result against their rivals for the title.

It is not always young players that get sent out on loan, and there are times when an established player who would get into any other team in the league just can’t make the starting lineup at a top club.  Last year saw a case where the opposite happened, as Romelu Lukaku began the season as a player with an exciting future and now comes into this campaign as a known threat. 

The striker had already proven himself in Belgium with Anderlecht, for whom he scored 33 goals in 73 league games.  This prompted Chelsea to pay a fee of between £10-£17 million to sign him, yet they still didn’t feel the young striker was ready for their first team.  Sent out on loan to West Brom, the Belgium international was one of the signings of the season and found the net 17 times in 35 Premier League appearances.  Scoring more goals than any of his teammates at Chelsea, Lukaku’s form must have been bittersweet for the Blues, although they do now have the 20-year-old back amongst their ranks and ready to be called upon.

Scoring home and away as the Baggies completed the double over Liverpool, Lukaku prevented the Reds from gaining six points that would have seen them put pressure on his parent club’s league position.  At the same time, had the Belgian achieved his goal tally in a Chelsea shirt then the title could well have been headed to Stamford Bridge.  And finally, whilst ultimately coming in a rubber match, a perfect hat-trick against Manchester United on the final day could have had serious consequences earlier on in the season.

For all parties involved, perhaps it’s time to bring an end to same-league loans.