The modern day loan system is botched, and needs addressing if prodigious young talents are to reach their full potential.

By 90Min
September 07, 2017

The loan system: a creation made with the intention of allowing young, inexperienced players to ply their trade temporarily elsewhere, in order to develop their skills and ultimately break into their parent club's first team. 

In recent times however, this window of opportunity has been exploited by bigger clubs in an attempt to farm out large groups of players year after year, Chelsea being a damning example. The Blues currently have 31 players out on loan, a ridiculous number made even worse by the fact that the majority of them have no chance of making it at Stamford Bridge. 

Highly rated youngsters such as Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Tammy Abraham, to name a few, are perhaps the most likely to break into the first team. The question is, if Chelsea had any intention of blooding them next season, why spend around £110m on Tiemoue Bakayoko and Alvaro Morata to occupy their positions?

Of course, the loan system has its beneficiaries. The likes of David Beckham and Frank Lampard took their first steps into the senior footballing environment on loan at Preston and Swansea respectively, but more recently, Harry Kane has emerged as a reminder that the modern day loan system still offers hope. 

The Tottenham academy graduate was loaned out numerous times by his parent club, spending time at Leyton Orient, Millwall, Norwich and Leicester before breaking into Spurs' first team. Since then, Kane has joined Ruud van Nistelrooy, Thierry Henry and Alan Shearer in becoming the fourth player to score over 20 goals in three consecutive seasons. 

Tottenham's No. 10 has also become the captain of his country, and if he continues to produce the form we've come to expect of him, the 24-year-old is on course to beat Alan Shearer's long standing record Premier League goals tally of 260. 

Despite all his accomplishments, Kane was very close to being shipped out of north London, as disappointing loan spells at Norwich and Leicester had the Spurs hierarchy questioning whether the Englishman had the capabilities to be a successful Premier League striker. As we all now know, their presumptions were unjust, and luckily for Kane, Tim Sherwood stuck by him and kept him around, allowing Mauricio Pochettino to mold him into the powerhouse he is today. 

Julian Finney/GettyImages

Conclusively, what this all goes to show is that there may be hundreds of Harry Kanes plying their trade on loan year after year, never being allowed to settle at one club due to their parent club's insistence on accumulating assets as opposed to developing potential. 

If clubs like Chelsea continue to farm out promising young English talent, and bring in expensive foreign recruits, the national team will suffer in the long term as a consequence. Yes, perhaps some youngsters aren't ready for first team football at the likes of Chelsea for a few years, but why not follow the European model of buy back clauses to allow a player to settle elsewhere and buy them back if they become a success?

The modern day loan system is botched, and needs addressing if prodigious young talents are to reach their full potential.

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