The debate about the fairness and effectiveness of the loan system will no doubt run and run, but for Tottenham Hotspur it paid off yesterday.
Spurs loaned out midfielder Lewis Holtby at the end of the transfer window to Fulham, with the German out of favour and given a chance to play regularly and re-ignite his World Cup prospects in the process.
For Fulham, Holtby appears to have settled immediately, and to Tottenham's benefit too.
'Agent Holtby' played a key role in Fulham's draw at Old Trafford, helping take two points away from Manchester United.
United were and at a push still are, one of the clubs competing with Tottenham to fight for Liverpool's current fourth spot and Champions League qualification.
Spurs already had an advantage, but as a result of the game are six points clear of the Red Devils and can for now discount them and focus alone on catching Liverpool.
Holtby was integral to Fulham's success, providing a superb assist for Steve Sidwell's opener - which helped change the passage of the game.
Holtby's 37 passes was also the highest number attempted of any Fulham player, excelling in an attacking midfield role.
It was his defensive work which stood out too - Holtby made five tackles in the 2-2 draw, more than any player on the pitch.
Just his second game for the club, the spell is already showing signs of being a fruitful one personally and for Fulham, and if the two points dropped by United proves crucial for Spurs at the end of the season, for them too.
Fulham host an in-form Liverpool in midweek; and he will need to be at his best again if he is to give both of his employers a crucial lift.
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