Surely it is the defining fact that sums up the madness of the Premier League and transfer window, when one club loans out 33 players.
Just think, that is more players than most Premier League clubs will have at their disposal.
No surprise to see that the club in question is Chelsea, who have left the rest of the opposition trailing when it comes to the use of loan deals at their club.
Other clubs such as Arsenal and Liverpool are in double figures and close to half that Chelsea total, whilst Newcastle lag way behind with five (Armstrong, Vuckic, Ferguson,, Woodman and Ameobi).
Like pretty much everything else, the loan system appears to be geared to benefit those clubs at the top.
The ability to carry so many extra players by being able to loan them out temporarily, is only ever going to benefit those clubs who accumulate/speculate on ridiculous numbers of players.
A bit like when they expanded the number of substitutes on the bench to seven, it allowed those clubs with more strength in depth, to have another seven quality players at their disposal to cover every eventuality.
Whilst for normal clubs, they know fine well which two or three subs they are almost sure to rely on if they want/need to change during a match.
For Chelsea, the scale of their loan arrangements is crazy – in this window just closed they have loaned players to clubs competing in the top leagues in the following countries: Italy, France, Portugal, Germany, Holland and Turkey, as well as players loaned out to four other Premier League clubs.
These are just some of the major clubs that now have players on loan from Chelsea: AS Roma, Juventus, Napoli, Vitesse Arnhem, Crystal Palace, Trabzonspor, Stoke City, Borussia Monchengladbach, West Ham, Rennes, Bournemouth, Vitoria Setubal and Monaco.
Whilst some of the players may have developed as kids at Stamford Bridge, those who have gone out on loan have cost the West London club well over £70m in transfer fees in recent years.
Example such as Mohamed Salah £22m, Juan Cuadrado £12m, Marco van Ginkel £7m, Victor Moses £8m and Marko Marin £6m.
I struggle to think of many (any?) players that Chelsea have sent out on loan and who have then returned to star in their team.
You look at somebody like Lukaku who was a massive success on loan at West Brom & Everton and yet he was still sold, rather than given his chance for Chelsea.
They now have a player like Victor Moses who clearly is never going to get a first team spot at Stamford Bridge, coming up to his 25th birthday and he is now on his third Premier League club on loan from Chelsea – West Ham having followed Liverpool and Stoke.
The whole integrity of the game is called into question with this abuse of the loan system, whilst specifically, I still can’t get my head around the idea of how a club is allowed to loan players to a team in the same division.
So Bournemouth, Stoke, West Ham and Crystal Palace all have Chelsea players who could potentially take points off the clubs competing with Jose Mourinho’s team, yet the players in question can’t play against Chelsea.
How is that a level playing field?
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