The 10 best loan deals in the Football League this season

Macheda

Newcastle United, Manchester United, West Bromwich Albion, Chelsea, Arsenal, Sunderland, Celtic and Charlton Athletic players have all impressed out on loan this season.

Loan deals can provide Football League clubs with the impetus to gain promotion or fight off relegation. Not all loan deals go to plan but on occasions they can be vital development in a footballer's career.

Young players can relish the opportunity to go out on loan and test themselves at a competitive level as opposed to just in the youth team. The majority of the players featured in this list are young and used the loan as a chance to try and gain some experience with he hope of returning to their parent club and establishing themselves.

Here is what I believe to be the ten best loan deals in the Football League this season in terms of the impact they had at the club:

Jesse Lingard - Birmingham City and Brighton & Hove Albion
(Manchester United)

Lingard had minimal impact at Leicester City in the Championship in the 2012-2013 season, but this season he was given another opportunity with two clubs. Initially with Birmingham he made an unbelievable impact straight away. He scored four goals on his debut in a win over Sheffield Wednesday. He later joined Brighton and from both loan spells combined he scored ten goals in 30 appearances. Could get a few chances at United next season.

George Thorne - Watford and Derby County
(West Bromwich Albion)

In a season where no one particularly impressed at West Bromwich Albion, midfielder George Thorne made the most of two loan spells at Watford and Derby County. The 21-year-old made 19 appearances in total and led to some Derby fans claiming that he was one of their best ever loan signings. Playing in the holding role he has been keeping John Eustace out of the side, and if he can help them win Saturday's play-off final then he could be tempted to join them permanently.

James Tavernier - Rotherham United
(Newcastle United)

James Tavernier's sixth loan spell of his career brought the best out of him, as the 22-year-old settled into the Rotherham team. Having played in numerous positions throughout his career Tavernier has now become a real threat on the right side of defence and midfield, being capable of plenty of attacking runs forward and chipping in with five goals this season including a cracking free-kick against Bristol City in March.

Kenneth Omeruo - Middlesbrough
(Chelsea)

Middlesbrough brought an international to the club on loan from Chelsea this season in the shape of centre-back Kenneth Omeruo. The 20-year-old is a regular Nigeria player and is set to feature in this summer's World Cup. Omeruo arrived after spending a year playing in the Eredivisie in Holland, and helped shore up Boro's defence in his 14 appearances. Despite receiving a red card in his time he was a huge favourite with the Boro faithful.

Chuks Aneke - Crewe Alexandra
(Arsenal)

Chuks Aneke joined Crewe Alexandra for the second successive season in League One and despite The Railwaymen battling relegation all season Aneke came out shining. The Arsenal loanee grabbed himself an impressive 14 goals from midfield. His style of play can be likened to that of Yaya Toure as he has a physical presence but also plenty of pace and goalscoring ability. Arsene Wenger could give him a few first team chances next season.

Nick Pope - York City
(Charlton Athletic)

Nick Pope joined The Minstermen when they were in a relegation battle in League Two, but with the help of his fine form in goal, York climbed the table and ended up finishing in the play-off places. Pope kept an incredible 15 clean sheets from 22 games including a run of seven in a row. Following the news that Charlton 'keeper Ben Hamer has joined Leicester City, Pope could now return to The Valley and claim the number one shirt.

Connor Wickham - Sheffield Wednesday
(Sunderland)

Connor Wickham's form at the end of the season for Sunderland ultimately kept them up as he scored five goals in three games in the relegation run-in. His loan spell at Sheffield Wednesday earlier in the season did him the world of good, and those run of games allowed him to return and make an impact for The Mackems. He scored an impressive eight goals in eleven games for The Owls which gave them a much needed boost. Could be set for a huge season with Sunderland now.

Federico Macheda - Doncaster Rovers and Birmingham City
(Manchester United)

After bursting onto the scene as a 17-year-old five years ago when he scored two crucial goals that helped United on their way, Macheda's career hasn't progressed as many would have expected. Failed loan spells at Sampdoria, Queens Park Rangers and Stuttgart led to him falling down the pecking order. However this season when playing for struggling Championship sides Doncaster and Birmingham he managed to score 13 goals in 33 appearances. Probably set to leave United for good in the summer, but at least he proved himself to an extent.

Callum McGregor - Notts County
(Celtic)

Callum McGregor's move down south showed he has a lot of talent to offer and can be a huge asset for Celtic in the coming years. The 20-year-old central midfield scored 12 goals in 36 League One games as he helped Shaun Derry's side stave off relegation. Should comfortably be involved with the Celtic first-team next season after he proved to be one of the most exciting players in League One this season.

Patrick Bamford - Milton Keynes Dons and Derby County
(Chelsea)

Patrick Bamford returned to MK Dons for the second successive season on loan and he certainly hit the ground running this time round. He scored 17 goals in 30 games in the first half of the season, before moving up another league to link up with Derby County in the Championship. For The Rams he has scored eight goals in 22 games, and has coped admirably with at the higher level. Would be great if he could get a chance at Chelsea but that looks unlikely to happen for at least another year.

 

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