With over a month left until the transfer window closes, here are five youngsters at different Premier League clubs who’d benefit from a loan spell away from their current sides and why.
Alex Iwobi – Arsenal:
Starting with the most established player on this list in terms of experience, Iwobi has already made over 50 club appearances for Arsenal at the age of 21. He took his opportunity centre-stage with both hands once given a chance to impress in the FA Cup two seasons ago, and hasn’t looked back since.
However, a lack of consistency during frustrating times for the club as a whole in the middle part of last season saw him harshly criticised and regularly blasted by some supporters, who questioned why he was constantly in the starting line-up after underwhelming attacking displays.
He scored four and created seven assists across all competitions last season despite making only two substitute appearances in the final fixtures of the league campaign, before which he was either an unused sub or involved with the u23s.
His ability and potential to improve is unquestioned, though he shows hesitancy and poor decision-making in the final third at times and that will need to be ironed out of his game.
If he’s given a chance to start on a weekly basis for another Premier League side, it’s likely to prove a better alternative for his future development.
Patrick Roberts – Manchester City:
It’s easy to forget that Patrick Roberts is still only 20-years-old. The exciting winger has just returned from a 18-month loan spell with Scottish champions Celtic, where he has experienced silverware and enjoyed his time in Scotland too.
Having signed from Fulham for a reported £12m in 2015, it’s clear that City rate him highly but Pep Guardiola and his coaching staff may feel he needs to gain top-flight experience before staking a senior claim.
He quickly showed that he’s too good for youth football, not least after excellent UEFA Youth League displays upon arrival in Manchester. However, there is a genuine worry that Roberts could follow in the footsteps of other team-mates among his age-group and leave for guaranteed minutes elsewhere.
It’s important that they give him assurances over his future, not least with players like Bernardo Silva joining a vast array of talented attack-minded players at City.
Everton – Dominic Calvert-Lewin:
Calvert-Lewin’s stock has quickly risen in recent months, not least due to his impressive performances for both Everton and England’s u20 side at the World Cup in South Korea.
The Sheffield-born forward, who can play as a centre forward as well as on the flank, asserted himself in history by scoring England’s first and only goal to win the World Cup at youth level over Venezuela last month.
It’s been a whirlwind twelve months for the youngster, who signed from Sheffield United around this time last summer. Everton rate him highly too, as evidenced by their move to extend his existing deal until 2022. Despite possessing talent and versatility across the forward line, Calvert-Lewin only made eleven league appearances last term.
This was partly due to an ankle injury sustained in January, though he is regularly utilised off the substitutes’ bench and needs more minutes.
Romelu Lukaku’s departure is a significant one and despite Wayne Rooney’s return to Merseyside, it’s clear that manager Ronald Koeman will be targeting other quality strikers to replace the Belgian’s void at Goodison.
Sandro Ramirez was signed from Malaga and Everton themselves have UEFA Europa League qualifiers to worry about. Calvert-Lewin is good enough to feature more regularly and if a loan offer comes in for his services, it’s something he should consider.
Chelsea – Charly Musonda:
Very much a forgotten man in west London, Musonda’s development has stagnated recently due to troublesome knee injuries. He’s still highly-rated and turns 21 in October, though his impressive displays at La Liga side Real Betis highlighted both technical brilliance and focused upon flaws in his attacking game.
It would be a waste of his talent to keep him stuck among the youth ranks, though it’s unlikely that Antonio Conte sees him as much more than a squad player at present. Musonda needs to be playing regularly and at Chelsea, this is highly unlikely – especially in the short-term.
Celtic have been linked with a possible swoop for his signature but having already experienced a different culture in Spain, it’d be more impressive if he accepted a Premier League move elsewhere and fought for his place in the starting line-up on a weekly basis. Teams like Bournemouth and Watford are both possible destinations, somewhere that his attacking flair and youthful exuberance could help lift their efficiency in the final third.
Liverpool – Sheyi Ojo:
Last but not least, another u20 World Cup winner with England this summer.
Sheyi Ojo joined Liverpool in November 2011 with the Reds fending off interest from a plethora of suitors for his signature. Since then, he has excelled at youth level and impressed when given an opportunity in the senior side too.
He would’ve been alongside Ben Woodburn and Trent Alexander-Arnold as Liverpool’s youngsters completing their first-team breakthrough properly last season, if not for an unfortunate setback.
He has shown a willingness to impress Jurgen Klopp and understands that it won’t be easy, though his ability stands out from many as one of the most productive youngsters in England. It’s a shame that at 20-years-old, he hasn’t played more regularly but that’s usually the case with highly-rated youngsters who play for big clubs.
He had loan spells at Wigan (2014/15) and Wolves (15/16), so another one could prove beneficial for his development – especially after enjoying an excellent tournament with his England teammates in South Korea. It’s important that he is afforded an extended opportunity to play regularly and it doesn’t come as a surprise that clubs are interested.
Newly-promoted Newcastle have been heavily linked recently, though it is believed he would prefer a loan spell at Championship side Fulham where players like Ryan Sessegnon are being given the perfect platform to flourish.