Top 5 Loan Deals in 2012
The art of the loan deal is more complex than it seems. Paying the wages can mean more money than a transfer fee, and clubs are restricted to three a season.
But if you can pull it off, it works wonders. And for five different clubs so far this year, things have improved when a loanee arrives.
Here are my top five loan deals so far in 2012.
5) David Pizzaro (AS Roma- Manchester City)
On the rare occasion City don't buy a player, they have decided to get one on loan. No huge transfer fees, only huge wages. This new cost-effective venture has worked so far for title chasing City, and it comes in the form of 32-year-old David Pizzaro.
Having worked with Roberto Mancini before at Inter Milan, Pizzaro became the first Chilean to put on a sky blue shirt. He proved his quality by netting one and assisting another in their Europa League game against Porto, in only his third appearance for the club.
As a midfielder, he can fill all sorts of roles. While this is good for him and the club, it does not help poor Owen Hargreaves, who falls down the ladder again.
Whether this deal was an attempt to fill in for Yaya Toure until he returned, I'm not sure, but he seems to be doing his job.
4) Doherty/Hayes (Charlton-Wycombe)
Chances are you haven't heard of either Gary Doherty or Paul Hayes. They play for League One leaders Charlton Athletic, but with a strong contest for places, they joined bottom of the table Wycombe and scored three goals between them on their debut as they helped Wycombe off the table in a 5-0 win against Hartlepool.
Gary Doherty had not scored in over two years, yet he ended the drought with a goal inside 10 minutes. Much better investment than Torres.
Paul Hayes bagged two, no doubt a relief to be playing first team football again as he is at the bottom of the pecking order at The Valley. Manager Chris Powell has revealed there is a recall clause in Hayes' contract, so this deal is the way back to first team football at The Valley.
So with three goals in one game, this loan deal has proved fruitful in the earliest stages, and Wycombe have the services of the Addicks strikers until the end of the season. This deal may seem unimportant, but ask any fan and they'll tell you they'd want the same for their club: Hungry strikers in a relegation battle.
So if your looking for a quick fix to your relegation troubles, I'm sure Chris Powell can lend a hand.
3) Robbie Keane (Los Angeles Galaxy- Aston Villa)
The goals went in as expected at Villa Park, as Robbie Keane wrote his name into the history books as the 11th-highest Premier League scorer.
Making seven appearances in a Villa shirt, he showed some of his magic as he scored three and set up one. A welcome return to the Premier League, Keane demonstrated his class and helped Villa to some much needed goals and points.
Now back for the start of the MLS season, Villa fans will remember his contribution for the rest of the season.
2) Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy- Everton)
A popular figure at Goodison Park—although he has only ever played for Everton on loan—his presence at the club has not been forgotten.
Winning Player of the Month at the club in his first spell, he played in 13 games and established himself quickly among the best midfielders in the Premier League.
Returning two years later, Donovan—though now gone—made an impact again. Leaving with seven assists to his name, Donovan raised morale at the club which was having problems on and off the pitch. These assists included the winner against Manchester City and two in the FA Cup against Fulham.
A player like Donovan comes with a hefty price tag, but on a loan deal, you get quality for less. With two loan spells to his name and maybe a permanent deal if they can afford it—who knows?
He missed his last possible game through illness but he received a great reception from the fans as he said goodbye. And in his own words, "I'm an Evertonian".
1) Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls-Arsenal)
The biggest transfer of the season, risking his reputation, Henry went back to Arsenal. And he left with his reputation higher than before and another record to his name.
He arrived at a club in trouble. Wenger was under huge pressure, and the team was very tired and demoralized. Initially to play a 'behind the scenes' role, the magic that is Thierry Henry was recaptured when he came on as a sub and scored the winner against Leeds in the FA Cup.
Even I, as a long term Arsenal opposer, was ecstatic. He brought hope to Arsenal, restored faith in the team and manager and united the club, as they pushed for results.
The move helped ease some of the pressure off of the club and certain figures at the club, as Henry expanded his 'behind the scenes role' to a very front role.
His pace was off and his touches were not as good as they used to be, but he was hungry and he showed how much it meant to him to be there. He didn't expect to play as much as he did, but he put the work rate in. It is not often players hug the manager after scoring, but it was pure emotion when he scored that FA Cup winner.
He may be gone now, but after the 5-2 win over Spurs, Arsenal seem to be on the up. And they can certainly thank Henry for that.