The Loan Ranger: Game of Loans!

By on July 31, 2017

A lot of money has been thrown about so far this summer, both in the Premier League and across Europe, but not every deal has been a permanent, record-breaking fee signing. Some of the most interesting transfers have actually come from loan moves during this window. So, as the highly-acclaimed fantasy drama series ‘Game of Thrones’ edges closer to its epic climax, with Series Seven currently being shown across the globe, I have decided to play my own ‘Game of Loans’ – by analysing some of the biggest loans moves to have already taken place this summer:

Hart Transplant!

Joe Hart (Loan Transfer – on a season-long loan deal from Manchester City to West Ham United) – Hart has joined West Ham on a year loan to get regular game time in this World Cup year, as the 30-year-old England shot-stopper would be lucky to get a cameo appearance as long as Ed Sheeran’s in ‘Game of Thrones’ under Pep Guardiola. This is not the first time Hart has gone it a-loan, as he spent last season on loan at Torino in Serie A and had a spell away from the Etihad in the 2009/10 campaign, with Birmingham City, when Shay Given was still first choice. It has been reported that Man City will cover some of Hart’s wages at the London Stadium, but Slaven Bilic’s side have paid £4.5million for his temporary services and could try to make the move permanent next year. Hart will hope the Hammers move is a new start, as the past eighteen months have not exactly been the highlight of his career.

James and the Giant Move!

James Rodriguez (Loan Transfer – on a two-year loan deal from Real Madrid to Bayern Munich) – James Rodriguez has linked up with old Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelottti at Bayern Munich for a two-year long loan move, which the German champions can then make permanent in 2019. The Colombian international will always be remembered for his incredible goal at the 2014 World Cup against Uruguay, but since that sensational summer and his £71million move from Monaco to Real, his career has not taken off as many would have expected. Rodriguez arrived at the Bernabeu with this hype that he would be the next Cristiano Ronaldo, but has struggled to get regular game time under current manager Zinedine Zidane. The 26-year-old winger did not even make the bench for Madrid’s 4-1 Champions League victory over Juventus in Cardiff at the start of June. He was linked with Premier League sides Chelsea and Manchester United, but Ancelotti claims Rodriguez was always his first choice attacking midfield player to bring to Bayern this summer. The German champions have also recruited Corentin Tolisso from Lyon in a £35million deal, as well as German youngsters Serge Gnabry, Sebastian Rudy and Niklas Suele. They have also made Kingsley Coman a permanent signing, after having him on loan for two years from Juventus. Speaking of the Old Lady (and I am not referring to Lady Olenna), the arrival of Rodriguez to Munich meant they allowed Brazilian midfielder Douglas Costa to join Juve, you guessed it, on loan! Costa joins the Serie A champions on season-long temporary basis, which should be made permanent next summer.

Tammy’s a Season-long Swan!

Tammy Abraham (Loan Transfer – on a season-long loan from Chelsea to Swansea City) – England Under-21 striker Abraham spent last season on loan at Championship outfit Bristol City, impressing in the second tier with 23 goals in 41 games for the Robins. Chelsea coach Antonio Conte was so impressed by the form of the 19-year-old that he decided to go and spend £60million signing Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid, so for Abraham to continue his development with regular game time, he has gone from a Robin to a beautiful Swan.

The deal for Abraham to sign for Paul Clement’s men actually occurred before Chelsea signed 24-year-old Spain striker Morata in a club record deal, but it was still unlikely the young English forward would get the sufficient game time at Stamford Bridge, so he was sent to the Liberty for a year. Clement used to be a coach at the Blues, so knows some of the younger players well and allowing Abraham to join the Welsh side may be Conte trying to soften them up, as the Italian is a known admirer of their current first-choice forward Fernando Llorente. Swansea rate Llorente at £30million, but would Chelsea spend that much on a player in their thirties, who would effectively be back-up to Morata?

Also, Swansea did well to get a player who was so prolific in the Championship on loan, but that was the second tier, it will be harder for him to match those stats in the top-flight and the Welsh side only just stayed up last season. Abraham is not much older than Arya Stark, but both are deadly assassins, just one does it with a ball in front of goal and the other does it with a sword in Westeros. Thinking about it, Abraham has just come from the West Country in England, as he is moving from Bristol to Swansea. Abraham is also eligible to represent Nigeria at international level and has a younger brother, called Timmy, who plays in the Fulham academy. No surprises, but he isn’t the only Chelsea player out on loan in 2017/18, as Stoke signed defender Kurt Zouma on a temporary deal, Brighton recruited attacker Izzy Brown for a season, Huddersfield have got midfielder Kasey Palmer for a year, and London rivals Crystal Palace secured a deal for midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek to join Frank De Boer’s squad at Selhurst Park for the upcoming campaign.

PHOTO CREDIT: Ben Sutherland via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

About Richard Lewis

Richard Lewis can relate almost anything to football and quite often does! You may have seen Richard's previous ideas and work in the BBC Match of the Day Magazine, from 2011 to present. He is a Manchester United and England fan, but has gone to see Leyton Orient play with his O's season ticket in the 2013/14 campaign. Aside from football, Richard has written articles on Doctor Who and studies English Language and Linguistics at the University of Westminster. Aspiring sports journalist.