Cup of sugar: One player per PL club ripe for a loan…

Ian Watson

Arsenal: Eddie Nketiah
“I am confident enough in my ability that I am good enough to play here,” said the England Under-20 centre-forward earlier this month. “My aim is to play for Arsenal, that is my goal and has been my aim since I was a kid.” It seems Unai Emery has decided that the best way to help Nketiah achieve that goal is to send him away for a season as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette are not likely to allow the 20-year-old many opportunities to impress. Bristol City are leading the chase, despite reported interest from some Premier League clubs, and a spell at Ashton Gate never did Tammy Abraham any harm.


Aston Villa: Keinan Davis
After 28 Championship appearances in 2017/18, the 21-year-old managed only six games last term and while Dean Smith isn’t flush for strikers, it seems most likely Davis will be loaned out to a club back in the second tier rather than be exposed too soon to the Premier League. There is no shortage of interested parties, with reports suggesting Swansea, Hull, Preston and QPR are all interested.


Bournemouth: Mark Travers
The Republic of Ireland keeper made his Premier League debut during the weird win over Tottenham at the end of the season, when he was named man of the match against nine-man opposition. The 20-year-old has made clear his desire to become the Cherries’ first-choice stopper but that seems unlikely to happen quite so soon. Eddie Howe is known to be on the lookout for a ready-made No.1, with Asmir Begovic still around, Artur Boruc having signed a new contract and Aaron Ramsdale in consideration too. Ramsdale, a year older than Travers, enjoyed a hugely productive loan spell at AFC Wimbledon last season and a similar challenge would suit the former Shamrock stopper.


Brighton: Viktor Gyokeres
The Sweden forward already had more than two seasons of senior experience in his homeland before he joined Brighton from Brommapojkarna in January 2018. Since then – before making his Premier League bow – the 21-year-old has made his international debut and scored his first international goal, so another season of Under-23 football just won’t do. Gyokeres is currently in Austria with Graham Potter’s first-team squad but presumably the new manager will have a crack at squeezing some form out of the Seagulls’ set of expensive, underperforming attackers, while Aaron Connolly is also pushing to make the breakthrough. In the meantime, Gyokeres can get a taste of the action elsewhere.


Burnley: Ali Koiki
The left-back, who played 15 games on loan at Swindon last term, may have been encouraged to see Stephen Ward leave Turf Moor, freeing up the role of back up to Charlie Taylor. But then Sean Dyche signed Erik Pieters, leaving Koiki back to square one despite travelling with the first team to Portugal this summer. Burnley Under-23s coach Steve Stone has a very specific plan after Koiki played for a ‘footballing side’ at Swindon: “He might need to go to somebody a little bit different to see a different side of the game. That could be League One or League Two where it is a bit tougher and the ball is in the air a bit more where he has to compete for second balls.” Enjoy.


Chelsea: Fikayo Tomori
Given Frank Lampard can’t sign anyone this summer, there is likely to be a reduction in the number of Blues dispatched on loan – just the 41 last season. The new Blues boss, though, isn’t short of numbers at centre-back, with David Luiz signing new terms, presumably having been assured over his role in the XI. Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen will again fight to partner the Brazilian, with Kurt Zouma also eyeing a belated opportunity. That leaves England Under-21 defender Tomori – player of the season under Lampard at Derby – as the fifth choice and most likely to depart again, unless Zouma’s patience has finally been exhausted and he opts to depart once more. Whichever of Zouma and Tomori leave, both need game time this term.


Crystal Palace: Sam Woods
The centre-back and lifelong Palace fan is currently getting plenty of minutes on the pre-season tour of Switzerland but that is unlikely to remain the case once Palace get down to Premier League business. The 20-year-old made his senior debut last year in the Carabao Cup and spent much of the season travelling with Roy Hodgson’s first team, but a loan move of the like Woods almost made a year ago to League Two would serve the rookie better than carrying the kit around Premier League stadiums.


Everton: Beni Baningime
Everton are currently in the midst of clearing the decks and dispatching their talented young players on loan spells and though Baningime went to Wigan for the second half of the Championship season last term, he played only a single game before being frozen out by Paul Cook completely. So the central midfielder will have to try again because it seems almost certain his chances under Marco Silva will be similarly limited, with Andre Gomes and Idrissa Gueye likely to remain as the first-choice pairing, while Fabian Delph is also set to swell Silva’s ranks.


Leicester: Josh Knight
Brendan Rodgers could sell Harry Maguire
and still be swimming in centre-backs, even if he chose not to reinvest Leicester’s windfall in Lewis Dunk. Maguire aside, the Foxes have Jonny Evans, Wes Morgan, Caglar Soyuncu and Filip Benkovic, while Knight and Darnell Johnson are also coming through the ranks. Shortly after winning the Premier League 2 Player of the Month award for December and immediately upon signing new terms at Leicester, Knight was sent to Peterborough for the second half of last season, where he also showcased his versatility by impressing in a holding midfield role.


Liverpool: Ryan Kent
The left winger could save Jurgen Klopp from dipping into the transfer market and his performance in the pre-season friendly at Bradford suggests Kent is keen to spare his manager the fuss. But once Mo Salah and Sadio Mane return from international duty and Xherdan Shaqiri regains his fitness, then the 22-year-old will see his opportunities severely restricted. Turning 23 in November, Kent cannot afford months of inactivity. Rangers will happily take him back to the SPL but a spell in the Championship, where he has unfinished business after struggling at Bristol City in 2017/18, might serve Kent better.


Manchester City: Lukas Nmecha
The Germany Under-21 attacker has travelled with Pep Guardiola’s first team on their pre-season tour despite having a busy summer at the European Under-21 Championships. In the Far East, the 20-year-old will get the opportunity to show Guardiola what he learned during a productive spell at Preston, where he made 38 appearances. But upon City’s return, he is more likely to follow Jack Harrison’s path in returning to the Championship, perhaps rather than Tosin Adarabioyo, who has the chance to push into Pep’s first-team squad while the manager is light on centre-backs.


Manchester United: Tahith Chong
Chong, James Garner, Angel Gomes and Mason Greenwood may all play increased roles for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after cameos last season but United’s signing of Daniel James presents another obstacle in the Holland Under-21 winger’s way. Chong turns 20 in December and he has already spoken about the prospect of going out on loan this season, admitting “anything is possible”, but only after catching the eye on United’s pre -season tour of Australia, China and Singapore.


Newcastle: Kelland Watts
Newcastle have made one appointment this summer, that of Shola Ameobi as loan coordinator. The former Toon striker will be keen to avoid a repeat of the premature return of three players being loaned out in January because of a lack of game-time. That is exactly what 19-year-old centre-back Watts needs and despite making Rafa Benitez’s final match-day 18 on the closing day of last season, among the muck and bullets of Newcastle’s defence is perhaps not the most suitable environment for a teenager next term.


Norwich: Louis Thompson
Another season plagued by injury saw him restricted to just six appearances in the Championship as the Canaries sealed promotion. In fact, a succession of injuries – and two loan spells at Swindon – have seen Thompson play just 14 games in all competitions for Norwich in the last five years. At 24, Thompson needs a full season of football and he is unlikely to get that in the Premier League, even if he does manage to stay fit.


Sheffield United: Regan Slater
The 19-year-old midfielder enjoyed a productive loan spell at Carlisle last season and though the Blades’ youngest ever goalscorer is currently with the first team in the Algarve, that is likely to be the limit of his involvement this season as Chris Wilder prepares his team for the Premier League. Slater turns 20 this term and a step up to League One or perhaps the Championship will aid his development.


Southampton: Callum Slattery
The midfielder was handed his first-team debut by Ralph Hasenhuttl last season and was talked up by the new manager. So it seemed strange that the 20-year-old was left out of the Saints squad for their pre-season camp in Austria. That suggests that after five first-team appearances, Slattery is set to head out on loan before the start of the season rather than sit on the fringes of Hasenhuttl’s bloated squad. Either that, or the former England Under-20 international has run over the manager’s cat…


Tottenham: Oliver Skipp
The 18-year-old played 12 first-team matches for Mauricio Pochettino last season but now Spurs are actually buying players, Skipp’s immediate prospects may become more limited, especially if Dani Ceballos follows Tanguy Ndombele through the door before the start of the season. There were reports suggesting Skipp has been offered around Championship clubs and a season playing regularly in the second tier would certainly be more productive than Under-23s football, which would feel like a backwards step after first-team involvement.


Watford: Cucho Hernandez
He has scored two goals in 18 minutes of international football for Colombia but has never actually played for Watford, who loaned him out to Huesca two years ago. He helped Huesca get promoted to La Liga but could not prevent them being relegated during his two-season spell with the Spanish side. Now he is likely to head back to Spain again, with Real Betis, Mallorca, Espanyol and Real Valladolid all reportedly keen on a player whose contract expires next summer. Expect a Watford deal extension to be closely followed by a short hop on Iberia Airways.


West Ham: Josh Cullen
Almost four years ago, the 19-year-old Josh Cullen started three games as West Ham stumbled in Europa League qualifying, eventually playing 90 minutes in a 2-1 defeat to Romanian side Astra Giurgiu alongside Diego Poyet, Modibo Maiga and various other fringe Hammers. Only Cullen and Manuel Lanzini remain at the club, but the former is likely to sod off to the Championship on loan (QPR are interested) after a fantastic spell with Charlton last season that led to him becoming a full Irish international. “He could have been playing U23s football for West Ham last season, but we were lucky enough to get him and now look at him,” says Addicks boss Lee Bowyer.


Wolves: Ruben Vinagre
“Everybody probably thinks the best place for him is here so hopefully that is the case because he’s a fantastic footballer and he can stay here for many years,” said Wolves skipper Conor Coady last season after one of the Portuguese full-back’s seven Premier League starts. There is no doubt that Vinagre has talent but there is also no doubt that Jonny Otto is proving pretty hard to shift. The answer might be a loan back to the French league, with Lyon said to be interested in Vinagre as a short-term replacement for Ferland Mendy.


Ian Watson and Sarah Winterburn