To loan or not to loan

Jack Cork joined Burnley on loan in two seasons

That Richards deal is for the maximum 93 days permitted for emergency loans which means he will need to return to Swansea on 12th December leaving him unavailable for the last four league games of the calendar year.

Early moves into the loan market have, in recent years, been rare with clubs often leaving it a couple of weeks to ensure that they have the players right through until the end of December, particularly if the loans have been made with a view to a permanent signing.

It's nine days now since the much publicised 'Agents and Sky Sports News Day', otherwise known as the last day of the transfer window. Clubs chased up and down to bring in last minute signings.

Manchester United and Arsenal failed miserably in their attempts to sign multiples of players, Crystal Palace and West Brom landed four and Harry Redknapp managed a late interview through his car window having brought in three late loans.

Burnley's only signing on the last day was that of Stoke City's Michael Kightly on loan. He's a player who manager Sean Dyche knows well from his time at Watford and there will be no Christmas worries with this deal, which was completed with just a few minutes to spare, bringing him to Turf Moor for the season.

There were hopes amongst supporters that a new striker might be coming in. There had been all kinds of links with Brighton's Ashley Barnes at the fore, but the Kightly signing has certainly been greeted with some enthusiasm.

Loans, however, are loans. They are not players committed to the club long term and they are, for some managers, last resort signings. However, they are very much part of the game now and when Kightly wears a claret and blue shirt for the first time he will become the 101st loan player to play for the Clarets, and that excludes players such as Jon Harley who signed on loan just to get the deal through in time to play before making it permanent days later.

Some managers love them. Ian Holloway won a promotion with them with Blackpool and Steve Bruce had more than a handful playing for Hull last season as they returned to the Premier League, and remember the impact Fraizer Campbell had there when they were promoted in 2008.

Watford, meanwhile, took the loaning of players to a different level last season, exploiting a Football League loophole that allowed them to bring in just as many as they wanted from outside our shores. No one will convince me they are not doing the same this season.

Some managers don't like the idea of filling up a squad with loan players. Eddie Howe wasn't keen on loan signings and neither was Steve Cotterill who once told me that by the time you got them fit and ready to play it was virtually time for them to go back.

Kieran Trippier's loan became a permanent move

Cotterill brought in players on loan at times out of sheer necessity. With no disrespect there can be no other explanation for the arrival of players such as Karl Bermingham or even Michael Ricketts.

He also brought in other players who, in his words, were better deals for the club. They were players on longer term deals, the likes of Gary Cahill and Eric Djemba-Djemba, and those with a view to a permanent move. They included players such as James O'Connor, Pete Whittingham, Andy Gray and Alan Mahon. Not all of them worked out and not all of them signed for us.

I've had a look through the list of names, and they've had loan spells at Burnley of varying degrees of success, but there is no doubt the longer term loans, half and full season, have proved, overall, to be the most effective.

They have had the opportunity to come in and get themselves match fit given that, in most cases, they weren't getting much football at their respective parent clubs. It's meant we've had more of an opportunity to see them at their best and I think that has, very often, reflected in their performances.

We'll all have our ideas on who were the most successful loans at Burnley. I certainly have my own ideas but I've decided to open this up as a vote and so, rather than try to influence anyone, I've just selected who I think to be the best sixteen from which you can make your selection.

By my reckoning, 23 of the 100 went on to play for Burnley on a permanent after their loans, some immediately and others, such as Steve Davis (Mark 2) almost two years later.

Additionally the list includes Tony Morley and David Miller who played for us on loan after previously being at Turf Moor on a permanent basis and then there are Brian Flynn, John Mullin and Marlon Beresford who had loan spells with the Clarets in between two permanent spells.

Remember when making your choice, and you can vote until Friday via the front page of the site or the VOTING POLLS page, it is how they performed on loan and not throughout their entire Burnley careers.

For a player such as Malcolm Smith, the first player ever to play for Burnley on loan, that's a bonus. He was a bit of a let down after signing permanently, winning his contract after a loan spell when he just couldn't stop scoring goals. Once he'd signed on the dotted line it was months before he found the net again.

The full list of loan players is below - and hopefully I haven't forgotten anyone.

 

No Name Season   No Name Season
             
1 Malcolm Smith 1976/77   51 Matt Hewlett 1998/99
2 Martyn Busby 1979/80   52 Paul Cook 1998/99
3 Paul McGee 1981/82   53 Paul Robinson 2000/01
4 Brian Flynn 1981/82   54 Gareth Taylor 2000/01
5 Ian Muir 1982/83   55 Marlon Beresford 2001/02
6 Mike Walsh 1982/83   56 David Johnson 2001/02
7 Steve Baker 1983/84   57 Luke Chadwick 2003/04
8 Joe Neenan 1984/85   58 Delroy Facey 2003/04
9 Mark Rhodes 1984/85   59 Gareth Farrelly 2003/04
10 Dennis Peacock 1985/86   60 Andy Todd 2003/04
11 Andy Robinson 1985/86   61 Jay McEveley 2003/04
12 Phil Harrington 1985/86   62 Neil Wood 2003/04
13 Peter Haddock 1985/86   63 Bradley Orr 2003/04
14 Ian Britton 1986/87   64 Dele Adebola 2003/04
15 Wayne Entwistle 1986/87   65 Richard Duffy 2004/05
16 Mark Caughey 1986/87   66 James O'Connor 2004/05
17 Steve P Davis 1987/88   67 Gary Cahill 2004/05
18 David Reeves 1987/88   68 Pete Whittingham 2004/05
19 Tony Morley 1988/89   69 Dean Bowditch 2004/05
20 David Miller 1988/89   70 Karl Bermingham 2005/06
21 Mark Harris 1989/90   71 Keith Lowe 2005/06
22 Steve M Davis 1989/90   72 Nathan Dyer 2005/06
23 Junior Bent 1989/90   73 Lee Grant 2005/06
24 Neil Buckley 1989/90   74 Michael Ricketts 2005/06
25 John Pender 1990/91   75 Phil Bardsley 2005/06
26 Andy Marriott 1991/92   76 Andy Gray 2005/06
27 Mark Kendall 1991/92   77 Alan Mahon 2005/06
28 Nicky Walker 1991/92   78 Eric Djemba-Djemba 2006/07
29 Brian Mooney 1992/93   79 Mike Pollitt 2006/07
30 Louie Donowa 1992/93   80 Graham Coughlan 2006/07
31 Steve Slawson 1992/93   81 Paul McVeigh 2006/07
32 Nathan Peel 1993/94   82 Stanislav Varga 2007/08
33 Ted McMinn 1993/94   83 Mark Randall 2007/08
34 John Gayle 1994/95   84 Andrew Cole 2007/08
35 Jamie Hoyland 1994/95   85 Russell Anderson 2008/09
36 Craig Armstrong 1994/95   86 Rhys Williams 2008/09
37 Andy Saville 1994/95   87 Fernando Guerrero 2009/10
38 Paul Stewart 1994/95   88 David Nugent 2009/10
39 Paul Shaw 1994/95   89 Frédéric Nimani 2009/10
40 Paul McDonald 1995/96   90 Jack Cork 2010-11
41 Charlie Bishop 1995/96   91 John Guidetti 2010/11
42 Paul Mahorn 1995/96   92 Nathan Delfouneso 2010/11
43 Doug Hodgson 1996/97   93 Shane Duffy 2010/11
44 Steve Guinan 1996/97   94 Ben Mee 2011/12
45 Andy Kiwomya 1997/98   95 Kieran Trippier 2011/12
46 Gerry Creaney 1996/98   96 Sam Vokes 2011/12
47 John Mullin 1997/98   97 Josh McQuoid 2011/12
48 Paul Crichton 1998/99   98 Joseph Mills 2012/13
49 Gavin Ward 1998/99   99 Cameron Stewart 2012/13
50 John O'Kane 1998/99   100 Alex Kačaniklić 2012/13