Young football players are often like rough uncut diamonds. They need steady honing and polishing before they sparkle with the clarity that we are often accustomed to and there is no better way of doing that than by sending them out on loan.
The English Premier League is filled with many such special talents who are in need of such an education. Following is a list of players who could potentially set the Premier League alight in coming seasons.
10. Ryan Mason
Ryan Mason of Tottenham Hotspur in action during the pre-season friendly match between Northampton Town and Tottenham Hotspur at Sixfields on August 4, 2012 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)
Parent club: Tottenham Hotspurs
Loaned to: Swindon Town
The England U-20 international plays as an attacking midfielder, and has also plied his trade as a forward on several occasions. He made his UEFA Cup debut for the senior Spurs side in 2008 as a precocious 17 year old, and also topped the goal scoring charts for the U-18 Spurs side for two years running.
Considered to be one of the brightest talents to have emerged from Tottenham’s academy, injuries have blighted his career and stunted his development. At 22, he is at a crucial stage of his career and his loan move to Swindon Town could be a make or break one for him to secure first team football at Spurs. At Swindon Town, he is joined by fellow Tottenham players Massimo Luongo, Grant Hall and Alex Pritchard.
Jem Karacan of Reading competes with Suso of Liverpool during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Reading at Anfield on October 20, 2012 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Parent Club: Liverpool
Loaned to: UD Almeria
Suso is a Spanish attacking midfielder who currently plays for UD Almeria. After joining the Liverpool academy from Cadiz FC in 2010, he has slowly established a reputation as a fine versatile attacking midfielder.
Before joining Liverpool he was approached by Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona, but declined them on the advice of former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez. He was part of the U-19 European championship winning Spanish side.
He featured in the senior Liverpool squad on multiple occasions in the 2012-2013 season and also provided some important assists. In 2012, he committed his future to the club by signing a long term contract. But since then, with the emergence of Coutinho and Sturridge, the young Spaniard has been side-lined.
A loan move to Almeria for the 2013-2014 season has proven to be quite a boon for the youngster, who has provided two assists in two games for the club and has been praised for his passing in the final third. The 19 year old is a great prospect for the five time European champions.
8. Adam Campbell
Adam Campbell of Newcastle challenges Paul McGowan of St Mirren during the Pre Season Friendly match between St Mirren and Newcastle United at St Mirren Park on July 30, 2013 in Paisley, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)
Parent club: Newcastle United
Loaned to: Carlisle United
The young Geordie has drawn comparisons to compatriot Wayne Rooney for his style of play and has won many plaudits. Campbell won the Most Valuable Player award at the 2010 Nike Cup at Old Trafford and was also awarded Premier Player of the Tournament at the 2012 Milk Cup.
He made his senior debut for Newcastle in a Europa League game, and in doing so, became the youngest debutant for Newcastle in European competitions. He also made his Premier League debut last season, and was involved in a crucial Newcastle goal against Stoke City. He also scored a brace in a friendly win this summer for the Magpies, and was subsequently sent on loan to Carlisle United. With Newcastle’s reputation of producing Number 9’s over the last few years, expect Campbell to be making waves soon.
7. Ryan Tunnicliffe
Ryan Tunnicliffe of Manchester United beats Dan Gosling of Newcastle United during the Capital One Cup Third Round match between Manchester United and Newcastle United at Old Trafford on September 26, 2012 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Parent Club: Manchester United
Loaned to: Ipswich Town
The 20 year old former England U-16 and U-17 player has been on the books at Manchester United since 2009. Like his hero Roy Keane, Tunnicliffe is a tough tackling midfielder who played a crucial role in the U-18 FA Youth Cup win in 2011, and was subsequently bestowed with the club’s Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year award for his excellent performances.
Having returned to Manchester United following a loan spell at Peterborough, he helped the reserves win silverware and also made his first team debut in the League Cup. He was subsequently loaned to Barnsley and then to Ipswich, where he now plies his trade. He was charged for drunk driving in 2012. If he can put a lid on such misdemeanours and concentrate on his game, the Old Trafford faithful could very well be singing his name in the coming years.
6. Chuks Aneke
Chuks Aneke of Arsenal XI is challenged by Ross Jenkins of Orient during the pre season friendly match between Leyton Orient and Arsenal XI at The Matchroom Stadium on July 30, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
Parent Club: Arsenal
Loaned to: Crewe Alexandra
A player whose name has been doing the rounds for a few years now at the club, Chuks Aneke has been with the club from the tender age of seven. Hailed for his passing ability and physical presence, manager Arsene Wenger has compared him to Yaya Toure.
Having made his competitive debut for the club in 2011, Aneke has subsequently been sent out on loan to Stevenage, Preston North End and Crewe Alexandra. In 38 appearances for Crewe in 2012-2013, the youngster racked up 8 goals and 7 assists, and has followed that up with a goal in two appearances so far this season. A gifted play maker and a bright prospect for the Gunners in the near future.
5. Cristian Cuevas
Chile’s midfielder Cristian Cuevas (R) vies for the ball with Peru’s midfielder Wilder Cartagena, during their South American U-20 final round football match at Malvinas Argentinas stadium in Mendoza, Argentina, on February 3, 2013. Four South American teams will qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup Turkey 2013. (DANIEL GARCIA/AFP/Getty Images)
Parent Club: Chelsea FC
Loaned to: Vitesse Arnhem
Not much is known about the Chilean left back who can also operate as a left midfielder. His performances for the Chilean U-20 side in this year’s World Cup caught many an appreciating glance. Chile ultimately made it to the quarter-finals in the tournament on the back of some of his impressive performances, and this prompted Chelsea to offer him a trial and subsequent contract till 2018.
A potential successor to Ashley Cole, one should keep an eye out for this young Chilean. At Vitesse, he is joined by several other Chelsea loanees like Patrick van Aanholt, Gaël Kakuta and Lucas Piazón.
4. Angelo Henriquez
Manchester United’s Chilean striker Angelo Henriquez (2nd L) vies with Sevilla’s Spanish striker Vitolo (L) and Sevilla’s Chilean midfielder Gary Medel (R) during the pre-season friendly football match between Manchester United and Sevilla at Old Trafford in Manchester, northwest England on August 9, 2013, the game is a testimonial match for Manchester United’s English defender Rio Ferdinand. (ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images)
Parent Club: Manchester United
Loaned to: Real Zaragoza
The second Chilean to feature in this list, the talented forward began his career at Universidad de Chile and his rights were subsequently bought by the Manchester giants in 2009 for a hefty fee of €4 million. The player has impressed one and all at the club and has featured for the U-21 side.
He also secured his first major piece of silverware in the form of an FA Cup, as an unused substitute while on loan at Wigan. He scored a goal for Wigan in his eight major appearances for the club. After returning to Manchester United, he scored for them in a friendly this summer and impressed in pre-season.
Now on loan at Real Zaragoza, one can expect a lot from the forward who notched up an impressive tally of 15 goals in 28 games for Universidad de Chile.
3. Scott Sinclair
Manchester City’s English midfielder Scott Sinclair (2nd L) vies with Reading’s English midfielder Danny Guthrie (L) and Malian midfielder Jimmy Kebe (R) during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Reading at The Etihad stadium in Manchester, north-west England on December 22, 2012.(ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Parent Club: Manchester City
Loaned to: West Bromwich Albion
What can be said about Scott Sinclair’s career so far? The 24 year old has been a journey man of sorts, having begun his career at Bristol Rovers and then moving on to bigger fish like Chelsea, only to have spent the next 3 years of his life on loan at Plymouth Argyle, Queens Park Rangers, Charlton Athletic, Crystal Palace, Birmingham City and Wigan Athletic.
He finally secured a move away from his nomadic existence at the West London Club when he moved to Swansea City in 2010. The move proved to be a master stroke, as with regular first team football, he flourished into a dangerous winger. But in 2012, after a stellar year with Swansea, he decided to move on to reigning champions Manchester City, and that’s when things went downhill again for the young Englishman as first team opportunities came few and far between.
The loan deal at West Bromwich Albion is vital for him now, as his career hinges on it. The first team appearances he makes there under the tutelage of Steve Clarke should benefit him immensely.
2. Marko Marin
Marko Marin of Chelsea in action during the UEFA Europa League match between AC Sparta Praha and Chelsea on February 14, 2013 in Prague, Czech Republic. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
Parent Club: Chelsea
Loaned to: Sevilla FC
The favourite of many a gamer in the FIFA gaming series, the German of Serbian descent has come in for high praise from the likes of Joachim Low, and has often been lauded for his pace and technical ability.
Playing as a winger and attacking midfielder, he rose to prominence while plying his trade at Werder Bremen. His performances caught the eye of many clubs but it was the West London club who secured his signature in 2012.
He made his debut for Chelsea later that season, but the surfeit of attacking talent that Chelsea had at their disposal limited his appearances. His move to Sevilla should vitalize his career, though, as the Andalusian club has lost much of its creativity and goal scoring ability thanks to the departures of Jesus Navas and Negredo. A few eye catching performances in La Liga may prompt a return to Chelsea for Marin as he hopes.
1. Thibaut Courtois
Thibaut Courtois, goalkeeper of Belgium in action during the international friendly match between Belgium and France at the King Baudouin Stadium on August 14, 2013 in Brussels, Belgium. (Photo by John Berry/Getty Images)
Parent Club: Chelsea
Loaned to: Atletico Madrid
One of the best young goalkeepers in Europe at this point, the progression of Courtois’s career has been rapid to say the least.
The young Belgian keeper rose to prominence while at Racing Genk, where he kept 14 clean sheets and let in only 32 goals in 40 games. He signed for Chelsea in 2011 on a five year deal and has spent his subsequent seasons on loan at Atletico Madrid. Replacing David de Gea isn’t an easy task, but the youngster has risen to the challenge with aplomb.
In his three seasons with Atletico, he has won the Copa Del Rey, the Europa League and the UEFA Super Cup. His outstanding agility and shot stopping ability has earned him praise from all quarters, including Jose Mourinho and Petr Cech. His performance in last season’s Copa Del Rey final earned him a man of the match award.
With Cech growing older, it is only a matter of time before we see Courtois replace him as Chelsea’s number one. At 21 years of age, he has an extremely promising, if not legendary, career ahead of him. With Mignolet already taking on the mantle of Liverpool’s new number one, it will be interesting to see these two Belgian goalkeepers plying their trade in the EPL.