Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish thinks the loan system is a crucial component of the development of players and clubs alike. He told LiverpoolFC.TV that the system that allows players to join other clubs on temporary bases helps protect the value of a club’s greatest assets -? namely its players.
“There are benefits for everybody, ” he said, “but the most important thing is it is helpful for the players and if they can’t get a game here, then if it’s possible we’ll put them out on loan if it suits.”
Liverpool currently has seven players on loan
The players who are under contract at Liverpool, but playing elsewhere are:
- David Amoo ? Bury
- Alberto Aquilani – AC Milan (Italy)
- Joe Cole ? Lille (France)
- Stephen Darby ? Rochdale
- Peter Gulacsi – Hull
- Dani Pacheco – Rayo Vallecano (Spain)
- Jonjo Shelvey ? Blackpool
On-loan players generally fall into two categories. They are either young players who need league games as part of their professional education or established players who cannot break into the first team for whatever reason.
Young players gain experience with loan stints
Players can only reach a certain level by practicing. They must play games in order to continue improving. Most young players at big clubs have a loan stint at some point early in their careers because their paths to the first team are blocked by established professionals.
They join a weaker team within their club’s division or drop down a level and play league games there. Foreign players like Pacheco sometimes join clubs in another country to continue their development in a more familiar environment.
Dalglish spoke about young players like these. He said, “It is important for us to use as many opportunities as we can to develop the players — if we can’t give them games here, then we’ve got to look to get them playing somewhere else.
“We’ve put him (19-year-old midfielder Shelvey) out because we want him educated and to see him develop, not because we want to see him go. It’s purely progress for him. The loan system has got various options to it that you can use it for. In Jonjo’s case, it is purely for his development and benefit, and also for our benefit.”
Upon returning to their parent clubs, young players are more experienced and game-tested than when they left. They are better prepared to push for a place in the first team. If they still cannot make the grade, their resale value remains higher than it would be if they were stuck in the reserves.
Established stars and high-earners
Experienced players like Cole and Aquilani are loaned to other clubs for different reasons than young players. They earn high salaries and their parent club uses the loan system to find another club willing to pay part or all of this type of player?s salary.
These players are often strong personalities and it is sometimes better for a parent club to loan them out rather than seeing them become disruptive influences in the locker room. They often stay within the division or join a club in another country’s first division.
Dalglish talked about the cases of Aquilani and Cole. “We keep monitoring them so we know where we’re going. In some instances, for Alberto, it’s an opportunity for him to go back home and if he does well then they’ll purchase him.
“For Joe Cole, it was a fantastic opportunity for him to go and play Champions League football and also in France, which is a league that I think will suit wee Joe down to the ground and he’s done really well since he’s gone there.
When players like these return to their parent clubs, they sometimes contend for a place in the first team. It is more common for them to be purchased outright by another club.