10 Loanees Fans Can't Wait to Return Home
The pros and cons of the loan market have been a hot topic for debate this season, with several players making enormous contributions for their new sides over the course of the year.
England is not a country where loaning players runs deep in footballing culture, and indeed the whole system is mistrusted by many. It can, though, be an excellent way for players to develop and gain game-time when they otherwise may not.
Sometimes, though, fans would prefer to see a loanee starring for his parent club. If there are weaknesses in a side, it is frustrating to see a viable option unavailable for selection.
Who, then, are the current loanees whose return to their parent club is hotly anticipated?
The fact that Chelsea loaned out the player who has possibly been the best goalkeeper in European football this campaign, before exiting at his hands in the UEFA Champions League, leaves many questioning how the Blues are benefiting from Thibaut Courtois' loan move to Atletico Madrid.
Just 21 years of age, Courtois is already in his third season with the Rojiblancos and has excelled throughout. This, then, surely is the summer that the Blues look to make Courtois their long-term No. 1.
Standing in his way is Petr Cech, an admittedly excellent goalkeeper and long-serving member of the Chelsea squad. Courtois, though, is the future and is arguably already the better 'keeper of the pair.
Jose Mourinho has some tough decisions to make this summer, and the future direction of the Chelsea goalkeeping jersey is one of the most important of those. Courtois is that future and will only wait around so long before growing impatient.
It's not so much that Barcelona fans will be desperate to have Gerard Deulofeu back this summer as desperate for him to return from his loan ready for first-team action.
Long regarded as a leading prospect of the Catalan club, there is real anticipation of the levels he may achieve.
Deulofeu's first season playing in a top-flight league has gone well. Although disrupted by injury mid-season, he had quietly eased himself into an effective first-team role for the Toffees by that point.
His start may have been quiet, but his first extended spell in the first team led to a series of excellent performances and, in particular, a wonderful showing against Arsenal.
With European football to come next season, Everton will be keen to retain the young Spaniard a bit longer. He will, though, eventually make it at the Camp Nou where Barca's fans are already expectant of his arrival.
Quite what Ravel Morrison is doing in the Championship, nobody is quite sure. The Queens Park Rangers man was frequently a handful on the pitch for West Ham early in the campaign, yet fell out of favour over the Christmas period and was quickly farmed out on loan.
The suggestion must be that something happened off the pitch to see him depart quite so abruptly.
In the second tier, Morrison has continued to demonstrate that he is a special talent. He may not perform every game, but he can be unplayable at his best. Indeed, he is long since past needing to play at Championship level.
West Ham fans are known to demand good football and special players. Morrison is one such figure but is sadly being wasted by the club for the time being.
If there is one Sunderland player whose performances this season do not deserve to be caught up in a relegation scrap, it is Korean Ki Sung-Yeung.
Quite why he is at Sunderland, rather than parent club Swansea, is a complete mystery. While he wasn't at his best for the Swans last season, he is surely too good to loan out to a rival.
Ki is wonderfully gifted with the ball at his feet, controlling play from his position in the middle of the park. While Jonjo Shelvey is an excellent long-term addition for Swansea, he is simply not at the level of the Korean at present.
Whoever takes over at the Liberty Stadium next season would be foolish to repeat the mistake of Michael Laudrup this time around.
Like many of his decisions in the transfer market, it is difficult to comprehend quite why Paulo di Canio opted to loan Senegalese midfielder Alfred N’diaye this season.
At the end of the 2012-13 season, the 24-year-old had been an important factor in the Black Cats maintaining their Premier League status but was promptly cast aside by the Italian.
In Spain, it is fair to say he has done well at Real Betis and has been a regular for the Andalusian side ever since joining. With decent technique and plentiful power, he is a very useful engine in the centre of midfield.
Whether N'diaye will return to the north-east remains a mystery, but there are plenty of Sunderland fans who would like to see him back through the doors this summer.
As one of the first Academy products to emerge under Brendan Rodgers' stewardship at Liverpool, Andre Wisdom continued his steady development out of the public eye on loan at Derby County.
Despite staking a place in the first team with 19 appearances last season, Rodgers has seen fit to farm Wisdom out to gain more playing time with the Englishman slotting straight into the Derby back four.
A total of 34 games in the Championship with the Rams looks to have furthered Wisdom's development, and the thinking at Anfield is that he will return to provide competition to current right-backs Glen Johnson and Jon Flanagan.
With left-back continuing to be a problem area, Reds supporters will be reassured to see plenty of talent in the right-back position with Wisdom reinforcing their options ahead of a potentially gruelling campaign in 2014/15 as a result of their return to the Champions League.
It is now 16 months since Lewis Holtby joined Tottenham and Spurs are still yet to see anything like the Germany international's best form. On loan at Fulham and played regularly in his favoured attacking midfield role, he has been a standout player for a poor side.
Tottenham have excellent midfield resources, but few seem to be used in a way that sees them produce their best football. The North London club's fans can see Holtby's obvious talent but will know they have not seen the best of it.
Part of the problem for Spurs has been the number of changes, both in playing staff and management, over the past two seasons. There is no stability and many have been discarded far too soon.
Holtby, in the right setup, could be a major asset for Spurs, and it is the task of whoever takes control of the side next season to remove his shackles and allow him to shine.
It's not been the best of seasons for Manchester United and, indeed, much of the criticism the club has faced has centred upon the lacklustre performances of the club's wingers. Another fault often identified, meanwhile, is a lack of pace in the club's attacking moves.
Wilfried Zaha may not be everybody's cup of tea and, indeed, has only shone in intermittent glimpses at Cardiff, but he is clearly talented.
The task for Manchester United's new manager, whoever he may be, is to unlock that potential. Zaha has much to learn about decision-making at the highest level, but that can be taught.
United fans are famed for their love of precocious talents and would show patience with the youngster as he finds his feet. He does, though, need to playing regularly and not neglected as was the case early this season.
It's not often Queens Park Rangers loan players to AC Milan, and given Adel Taarabt's form when they were last in the Championship, Harry Redknapp's decision to sideline him this year is questionable at best.
QPR fans were often left frustrated by the Moroccan in the Premier League but will also remember that he was largely responsible for them reaching the top flight in the first place. With a more stable side around him, it is easy to sense he would have done better.
Taarabt has done well in Italy thus far and would love to stay at the San Siro next season. That, though, will require AC Milan coughing up for a transfer fee.
Many Rangers fans would have him back in a heartbeat. Frustrating he may be, but he is also a wonderfully gifted talent.
With 14 goals to his name this Premier League season, Belgian forward Romelu Lukaku is set to be the highest-scoring Chelsea forward in the division for the second year running. Sadly for Blues fans, he is once more representing another side.
Lukaku has spent this year at Everton and greatly impressed as the spearhead of Roberto Martinez's fluid and attack-minded Toffees outfit.
Strangely, despite his impressive performances, there is nothing to suggest that Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is planning to utilise Lukaku next season. Talk has instead focused on striking alternatives.
Given the disappointing nature of their strikers' performances this campaign, many fans have craved the return of the giant forward and could get irate if they are forced to watch him shine from afar again next season.
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