ARSENAL – Rob Holding
With the imminent return of Per Mertesacker, young Rob Holding could benefit from a few months of first-team experience elsewhere. The 21-year-old endured a difficult Premier League debut in the 4-3 defeat to Liverpool, but he will be content with a clean sheet against Leicester and a win over Watford in his only other two games. Having only made 31 career appearances before joining the Gunners, now could be the opportune time to test his talents.
BOURNEMOUTH – Lys Mousset
When Bournemouth sign Lys Mousset, we simply referred to the striker as ‘a French person‘. That was all we knew of him back in June, and little has changed in the following six months. He has played a grand total of 23 Premier League minutes.
BURNLEY – Tendayi Darikwa
Tendayi Darikwa will be crossing his fingers that recent rumours linking him with a move to Leeds come to fruition. The 25-year-old has not been afforded a single Premier League minute under Sean Dyche. Poor thing.
CHELSEA – Ruben Loftus-Cheek
It’s that time of year, when Chelsea come to the realisation that they have reneged on their summer promise to play Ruben Loftus-Cheek. It is now December, and the 20-year-old has played just eight minutes, the fewest of any of the 20 players Antonio Conte has used in the Premier League. Even Ola Aina (nine) has played more often. The Daily Mail claim the Blues have ‘fielded 10 enquiries’ about the midfielder, including one from Newcastle.
CRYSTAL PALACE – Luke Dreher
“That’s hopefully the plan,” said Luke Dreher in the summer, when asked if a potential loan move was on the horizon. “We’ll get pre-season done and if there are clubs interested then hopefully I’ll be able to get out. We might be waiting until January but it’s up to the gaffer, whatever he says I’ll take.”
The gaffer might be different to the one Dreher spoke to in July, but the plan for the 18-year-old’s future might well stay the same.
EVERTON – Tyias Browning
Having spent a full year on the sidelines after undergoing an operation on his knee last November, Tyias Browning has entered the next stage of his rehabilitation. The 22-year-old made his return in the EFL trophy last month and has played two Premier League 2 games. Ronald Koeman might be unwilling to take the risk, but the versatile defender would benefit from first-team football.
HULL – Jarrod Bowen
The revelation that Hull actually have a big enough squad to be able to consider loaning out players in January might surprise you, but Jarrod Bowen perhaps deserves the chance to prove himself away from a Premier League relegation battle. The 20-year-old forward has made five appearances, all from the bench, under Mike Phelan this season, but being thrown on for four minutes against West Ham or six against Tottenham is hardly a true test of what he can do.
LEICESTER – Bartosz Kaputska
Back in June, we published an article titled: ‘Top ten Euro 2016 kneejerk reactions’. In at No. 10 was the following point:
‘Kaputska will be a star.’
He still might be, of course. But Bartosz Kaputska must have expected more than zero Premier League minutes and just one game on the bench by December when he joined Leicester for £7.5million in the summer. It has absolutely not gone well.
LIVERPOOL – Lucas Leiva
Jurgen Klopp is not a fan of loaning out young players to other clubs, and so if the decision comes down to letting Lucas Leiva or Joe Gomez leave temporarily, Liverpool’s longest-serving player had better pack his bags. Gomez is returning from a second long-term injury but his versatility and talent is expected to be more beneficial at Anfield than Lucas’ experience. That’s probably fair.
MANCHESTER CITY – Tosin Adarabioyo
With Pablo Maffeo and Angelino, both 19, already completing their loan moves to Spanish side Girona, Pep Guardiola might be a little reluctant to lose another young player from his squad. But if the manager is open to another departure, Tosin Adarabioyo could top that list. The highly-rated centre-half has not played a minute of Premier League football this season, and is probably not learning a great deal from Nicolas Otamendi, John Stones or Aleksandar Kolarov in training.
MANCHESTER UNITED – Marcus Rashford
It really is a difficult balancing act, ensuring that a young player is being afforded enough first-team opportunities but not too much. Manchester United relied too heavily on Marcus Rashford at numerous stages since his debut in February, but he has now arguably been pushed too far towards the periphery. The 19-year-old has not started a game in a month, and has played just 48 minutes in all of December. Perhaps United should find him a temporary home?
MIDDLESBROUGH – Jordan Rhodes
This was supposed to be the season in which Jordan Rhodes was finally afforded his opportunity in the Premier League. After years of dominating the Championship, he had earned his chance. But the Scot has looked out of his depth even after only six sporadic appearances. If Aitor Karanka isn’t going to play him, it’s time to loan him out to a side in the second tier to increase the chances of a summer sale. And if the worst comes to worst and Boro suffer relegation themselves, they already have the perfect striker to boost their promotion hopes.
SOUTHAMPTON – Jack Stephens
Claude Puel might be more inclined to trust Southampton’s never-ending conveyor belt of talent than predecessor Ronald Koeman, but Jack Stephens is one of few not to benefit. The centre-half is yet to feature in the Premier League this season, and has only been on the bench once. It could be time for the 22-year-old to add to his four career loan spells.
STOKE – Julien Ngoy
When Stoke sign Julien Ngoy in October 2013, it was reported that the Potters beat Real Madrid and Manchester United to sign the Belgian teenager. Three years later, and the forward has only just made his competitive first-team debut. His four-minute substitute cameo against Arsenal earlier this month was his first appearance in the Premier League. The 19-year-old has his first taste of English football; he is perhaps better served to look elsewhere for his next.
SUNDERLAND – Thomas Robson
It was reported back in August that a number of ‘Sunderland youngsters’ wanted to leave the club on loan due to ‘frustrations at senior level’. Atop that particular list was one Tom Robson, and a solitary appearance on a Premier League bench – for the second game of the season against Middlesbrough – is unlikely to have deterred the left-back. Of course, David Moyes might be reluctant to lose any player in a window where he will have nothing to spend himself.
SWANSEA – Oliver McBurnie
Unless Nathan Dyer fancies another Premier League winner’s medal for his troubles, the most likely candidate to leave Swansea on loan in January is striker Oliver McBurnie. The 20-year-old has made as many Premier League appearances this season as the Welsh club has had managers. And his two games extend to just ten minutes of playing time. The Scot has played three games across the EFL Trophy and EFL Cup for Swansea, scoring four goals in the process.
TOTTENHAM – Georges-Kevin Nkoudou
Another manager who is averse to letting his young players leave on loan, with few coaches in the lower leagues utilising a similar style, Mauricio Pochettino must still see the benefit in allowing Georges-Kevin Nkoudou the chance to rediscover his form before the summer. The winger joined for £11m in August and represents a fast, direct alternative to the club’s other forward options. Yet the 21-year-old has played just 36 minutes of Premier League football, with a further 69 minutes to his name in the Champions League.
WATFORD – Abdoulaye Doucoure
Considering the first thing Watford did when they signed Abdoulaye Doucoure for £8m in February was loan him straight out to Granada, there will be no reluctance to mark his first year at Vicarage Road by farming the midfielder out once more. He has played six minutes of Premier League football this season.
WEST BROM – Jonathan Leko
In truth, Jonathan Leko is unlikely to have expected much more than his 90 minutes of Premier League football this season. He is a 17-year-old winger playing under Tony Pulis, after all. But the boy born in 1999 could look to cut his teeth elsewhere in the lower leagues for the remainder of this campaign.
WEST HAM – Reece Oxford
Hey, it was good enough for Rio Ferdinand. The England and Premier League legend made his West Ham debut in May 1996, before merking his way over to Bournemouth for a loan spell six months later. He made ten appearances in the Second Division before returning and becoming an integral part of the Hammers’ first team. Ferdinand had only just turned 19 when he blossomed out on loan; if Oxford truly is his successor, perhaps he should follow in his footsteps in every sense.