Hatem Ben Arfa is the latest one and the jury is still out as he gradually gets back to full strength, both physically and mentally after his horror injury.
Our mackem mates took things to ridiculous lengths last season when half their team ended up being made out of borrowed players. Surely it can’t be good for team spirit when so many players are almost certain to be only using your club as a very temporary stopping off point in their career.
The mackems’ collapse last season seemingly backs up that impression, though having somebody as clueless as Steve Bruce in charge couldn’t have helped.
The temptation of loan players is that on the surface it appears you are getting in a player who probably looks better quality than what you’ve got, without paying an upfront fee.
On the downside is that this is meaningless if their heart isn’t in it.
Step forward Nicklas Bendtner, even before he (allegedly) decided to go dancing on cars in Stowell Street, whenever I’ve seen the mackems on TV he looks as though he just doesn’t give a toss, with a goal return to prove it!
When it comes to Newcastle United’s transfer dealings (if any) this January, it will be interesting to see if they will go down the loan route. A bit like many see paying rent rather than buying a house, I reckon Ashley will see it as wasted money, though if he’s not in it for the long haul it could be a short-term way of papering over a few more cracks.