Arsenal – Takuma Asano (Stuttgart)
Lucas Perez is doing fine back at Deportivo after his Arsenal disaster, but the nod goes to Japanese Asano, who has not actually spent any time at Arsenal. The forward helped Stuttgart to promotion back to the Bundesliga last season, at which point they took up the option to extend his loan by an extra year. He has played 15 league games as Stuttgart have kept their head above water.
Bournemouth – Lewis Grabban (Sunderland)
So successful was Grabban’s loan at Sunderland that Eddie Howe actually chose to terminate the deal on January 5. He scored 12 goals in 19 league games for a team in the relegation zone. It epitomises Sunderland’s season that their good news story was quickly taken away from them. Aston Villa or Cardiff are now expected to buy Grabban on a permanent deal.
Brighton – Oliver Norwood (Fulham)
Norwood must have been pretty disappointed at not getting a chance in the Premier League at Brighton. He has now played for six current or former Premier League clubs in his career, but never actually appeared in the division himself. Still, he’s been one of Fulham’s better players this season as they make a charge for the play-offs.
Burnley – Dan Agyei (Walsall and Blackpool)
Slim pickings here, but 20-year-old Agyei did score four times despite only starting seven league games for Walsall and got another in the cup before returning to Burnley at the start of the month. He’s now joined Blackpool, one place below Walsall but on the same points.
Chelsea – Marco van Ginkel (PSV)
The most likely of Chelsea’s loanees to ‘do a De Bruyne’ by being sold and then turning into a wonderful footballer. Van Ginkel is now 25, has played 12 Premier League minutes for Chelsea (in 2013/14) but has scored ten times in 18 Eredivisie games from midfield. He’s heading for his second Dutch league title in three years.
Crystal Palace – Keshi Anderson (Swindon Town)
Palace have only loaned out three players from their paper-thin squad. Jonny Williams hasn’t played much at Sunderland, which leaves two League Two loanees. We’ve plumped for Anderson, who has at least started 23 of Swindon’s 27 league games and scored four goals.
Everton – Kieran Dowell (Nottingham Forest)
Henry Onyekuru was doing marvellously at Anderlecht but suffered a season-ending injury in December. So it’s Dowell who gets the nod. His performances have improved markedly over the course of the Championship season. He’s now Forest’s top goalscorer and No. 10, and has had his loan deal extended until the end of the season.
Huddersfield Town – Jack Payne (Oxford United and Blackburn Rovers)
Now at Blackburn and likely to earn promotion to the Championship, Payne was one of the best player in League One in the first half of the season whilst on loan at Oxford United. He scored seven goals and assisted 12 others before being recalled by Huddersfield. At 23, Payne is going to make a Championship club very happy indeed. Managed an assist on his Blackburn debut despite playing for 16 minutes, obviously.
Leicester City – Harvey Barnes (Barnsley)
It’s not quite Wolfgang Wolf at Wolfsburg, but Barnes enjoyed life at Barnsley. The winger was one of the bright spots of a difficult season at Oakwell, scoring five times in the Championship and earning effusive praise from manager Paul Heckingbottom. The England Under-20 international was recalled on January 1, and is waiting to see if he will be loaned out for the second half of the season.
Liverpool – Sheyi Ojo (Fulham)
Divock Origi has performed better than many had expected for Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga, but it’s the form of Ojo in the Championship that gets the nod. “My aims now? To have a good solid season under my belt that will put me in a good position next season to be playing for Liverpool,” Ojo said in November. That’s probably wishful thinking, but good on him for the positive attitude.
Manchester City – Pablo Maffeo (Girona)
It’s gone horrendously for Joe Hart at West Ham, Patrick Roberts has suffered frustrating injuries at Celtic and we can’t quite believe Jason Denayer is still a Manchester City player. But things are looking rosy for Maffeo at Girona alongside fellow City player Aleix Garcia. The right-back has received praise from both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for his man-marking jobs on both. Still isn’t going to get him in Manchester, mind.
Manchester United – Andreas Pereira (Valencia)
Went against Jose Mourinho’s wishes to complete a loan to Valencia, which may go against him in the long run. Still, it’s going swimmingly in Spain. Pereira does not start every La Liga game, but at 22 is finally getting regular competitive football and could well help Valencia back into the Champions League after a three-year absence.
Newcastle United – Matz Sels (Anderlecht)
Newcastle have an odd goalkeeping situation. They have Rob Elliot, who is an Ireland international, and Karl Darlow fighting to be their No. 1. They have Freddie Woodman, who is incredibly highly-rated and won the Under-20 World Cup with England. They have Tim Krul, a Dutch international sent out on loan to Brighton. And they have Sels, who joined for £5m, was largely awful and has now been sent to Anderlecht. He has nine clean sheets in 15 league games in Belgium and played against PSG and Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
Southampton – Harrison Reed (Norwich City)
Things haven’t gone perfectly for Reed at Norwich, although he will be better for the experience. He started the season in Daniel Farke’s first-choice midfield but has not started in a league win since December 9. Still, Southampton’s other loanees have done nothing of note outside of Olufela Olomola in League Two. Jordy Clasie can’t even get a start at Club Brugge.
Stoke City – Marc Muniesa (Girona)
Girona is a wonderful enclave for Premier League footballers. They have four on loan from Manchester City, have former Middlesbrough striker Cristhian Stuani up front and have Muniesa in central defence. The Spaniard’s season has twice been interrupted by injury – he is out now – but his ten league starts include the victory over Real Madrid and draw with Atletico. Not bad at all.
Swansea City – Jordi Amat (Real Betis)
It does seem a little perverse that the team bottom of the Premier League can currently have players on loan at three different clubs in La Liga. Of those three, Jefferson Montero has still not started a game and Borja Baston has carried on doing what he does best (not scoring goals); that was £15.5m well spent. That leaves Amat, who has left behind a relegation battle to start 11 league games in defence for a team eight points behind Real Madrid in fourth place in Spain. Nice work if you can get it.
Tottenham – Josh Onomah (Aston Villa)
Cameron Carter-Vickers’ loan spell at Sheffield United earned mixed reviews, while Fenerbahce fans are enduring the same Vincent Janssen that Tottenham supporters did. Which pretty much leaves Onomah at Villa, the scorer of some wonderful goals and a player truly embracing the loan system. The next youngster to step up into Mauricio Pochettino’s first team?
Watford – Juan Camilo Hernandez (Huesca)
The star of the La Liga 2 season, Hernandez is the reason Huesca top the table and are likely to earn promotion to the top tier. At the age of 18 he has 11 goals in 22 league games and is being rumoured with a call-up to the Colombia senior squad; not bad at all. It will not surprise you to learn that Watford signed Hernandez from Granada. In the Pozzos we trust.
West Brom – Tyler Roberts (Walsall)
Most of West Brom’s young loanees have failed to hold down regular Football League minutes, while we’re still not sure Zhang Yuning even exists. But Welsh attacker Roberts did pretty well at nearby Walsall. He scored five league goals and was backed by local journalists to break into the West Brom first team after his recall on January 4. Wolves are reportedly interested.
West Ham – Robert Snodgrass (Aston Villa)
A classic piece of West Ham PR. Snodgrass revealed that Slaven Bilic had to ask his best position at his first day of training following a £10m move, and then David Sullivan said in an interview that his kids “begged” him not to sign the midfielder. Erm, he’s still your player. Anyway, Snodgrass has no future at West Ham but has been pretty brilliant for Aston Villa in the Championship. Some might say that that is his natural level.