There is a first time for everything and today, I think it is the first time I have agreed with Richard Keys.

As well as his usually clueless views on football in general, the presenter who was binned by Sky Sports has also repeatedly had a go in the past at Rafa Benitez for undeserved reasons.

However, I find it hard to disagree with what he is now saying.

Richard Keys has used his own personal blog to have a go at the loan system, pointing out how for example Chelsea (amongst the many many they will loan out this summer…) have already loaned out five players to other Premier League clubs.

His argument, that being able to loan players out to clubs in the same division can give you an unfair advantage.

None of these five loan signings below can play against Chelsea this coming season but they can play against the likes of Man City, Man Utd, Spurs, Arsenal and..Newcastle.

In fact three of the five played against Newcastle last season as well…

Izzy Brown at Brighton (Played for Huddersfield last season on loan)

Kurt Zouma at Stoke 

Tammy Abraham at Swansea (Played for Bristol City)

Kasey Palmer at Huddersfield (Played on loan for Huddersfield last season)

Loftus-Cheek at Crystal Palace 

Newcastle United obviously benefited from a Chelsea loan last season as well, with Christian Atsu contributing to the promotion push.

However, I do think it is out of control when you have so many players going out on loan where there is no intention of it being a try before you buy, simply a 100% temporary arrangement to give other clubs the advantage of a player they couldn’t otherwise have, whilst at the same time encouraging clubs like Chelsea to use the loan system to have a bigger and bigger operation away from the first team, with the overwhelming reason being to make money via buying and developing players to go out on loan and increase in value.

This gets even worse, as Richard Keys says, when it then comes to loaning players to clubs in the the same division.

He also refers to Newcastle as an example, if Mourinho allowed Anthony Martial to come on loan to St James Park…

‘We know Mourinho doesn’t fancy Anthony Martial. We also know how Mourinho’s mind works. Let’s say he does a deal to send him to Newcastle. What a sensation he’d be there playing in front of those fans. I’d back him to get 20 goals plus for the Toon. How many of those might be against Arsenal, City, Chelsea…..you get my drift.’

Not sure when the next time will be that I agree with Richard Keys but at least there has been a first time!

Richard Keys:

‘I’ve made mention previously how I believe that PL clubs distort the competition when they loan players to each other. Right now, Chelsea have five out and the chances are there’ll be more before we kick off again. It’s wrong. And here’s why…..

Each and every one of those players can play for the team they’re with AGAINST Chelsea’s title rivals – but they can’t play against Chelsea. It remains to be seen if they have any effect on the race by scoring big goals – stopping them – or indeed bossing games that frustrate a point or two from the other contenders. They might – they equally might not – but they’re going to have more of an impact against them than they would sitting in Chelsea’s bench.

Of course I know the value of sending players out on loan – but it doesn’t have to be to the PL. The truth is that too many clubs nowadays run squads that are top heavy and ways of keeping the guys happy – or furthering their education – don’t exist like they once did.

Let me give you another example of what I’m saying. We know Mourinho doesn’t fancy Anthony Martial. He’s not going to be in Utd’s starting line up very often this season. There are two options – sell – but the chances are Utd won’t make back the ridiculous money they paid for him – or loan him out.

We also know how Mourinho’s mind works. Let’s say he does a deal to send him to Newcastle. What a sensation he’d be there playing in front of those fans. I’d back him to get 20 goals plus for the Toon. How many of those might be against Arsenal, City, Chelsea…..you get my drift. He’s going to have more of an impact against Mourinho’s closest rivals in somebody else’s jersey than he will sitting watching at Old Trafford. You can argue it’s an unlikely example – but it’s not. What about City – where do they send Nasri? Arsenal – Walcott let’s say? Wilshere was out on loan last season. Liverpool have got capacity to let one or two out. It’s just wrong.

If you’ve got a top heavy squad – sell some. Back your judgement. No PL club needs to be borrowing players. They can all afford to commit.

Oh, for the record, the five Chelsea players on loan are Izzy Brown at Brighton – a striker. Zouma at Stoke – defender. Abraham at Swansea – a striker. Palmer at Huddersfield – creative m/f & occasional front man.  Loftus-Cheek at Palace – he too gets goals from m/f.’

(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])



  • Oooh bobbi fleckman

    He’s spot on with the loan system, 3rd party ownership is banned but clubs are effectively renting players from top clubs.

  • rickyd

    Richard Keys should have looked at Transfermrkt before making a fool of himself. According to Transfermarket’s stats on Transfermarket, Anthony Martial would never score 20 goals a season (according to Transfermarket). Why loan him anyway? Stinks of PENFOLD trying to save money. Let’s see if this one gets ‘over the line’ harr harr

    • Leazes Ender

      This is where a lot of pundits go wrong…. they base their prejudices on newspapers blinkered views.

      If they visit transfermarkt dot com they can pick up the very best of the rumours too which are assessed on their truthfulness, when they can be bothered to update them.

      • Jimblag23

        But wouldn’t it be fantastic if they based their views on having watched players, analysed them and come up with their own opinions and critiques.
        If they can’t do that then they’re not qualified for the job.

        • Leazes Ender

          I read Ryder sometimes for a laugh but he’s too much in the pocket of the club to have balanced opinion.

          I remember vividly him running polls to back up his crawling to Ashley, Charnley, Llambias etc…… so to for very dreadful managers such as Pardew and Carver.

          Luckily for him he can delete all of his old stories and start again with each new incumbent or player…… unfortunately they all turn out to be traitors or lazy individuals who dont care for some reason….. and thus the ouroborus goes full circle.

          Now that isn’t to say they don’t use statistics and data….. they do….but carefully selected and sweetened for consumption.

          • Anita kick up the Hoop

            Ryder is the most out of depth sportswriter in the game .. he learned from Alan Oliver and it shows.

          • Leazes Ender

            Today under the headline…’Newcastle United complete the signing of Mikel Merino – here’s all the details’ Lee Ryder

            He quotes Rafa…..’He comes from a top side in Dortmund and although he did not play too much last season…..’

            Well that isn’t all is it….. the player clocked up 292 mins of football at the top level….. did not play too much….. good grief Ryder just get the facts out…..

            ….He’s a squad player, who won’t see the first team for a while, but hey thats the chronicle for you!

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            What are you & @rickyd going on about. Keys is critiquing the loan system, he’s not said we’re in for Anthony Martial, just saying how such a hypothetical loan move would benefit the two clubs more than a hypothetical sale. It’s not about the merits of Anthony Martial although whilst at Monaco, in the 2nd half of 14/15 season he was banging them in after Monaco played him as a centre forward instead of wide right.

  • Jimblag23

    I’d love that hypothetical to be reality though, Martial until next summer would make this a great window.

    • Oooh bobbi fleckman

      that is true, he’s get his confidence back, on that basis, you’d want an option to buy.

  • TheFatController

    Loans are now the same as ‘stepping stones to bigger clubs’ where the player is already at the bigger club but uses a smaller club to acclimatize

    Loans were, as you say, with a view to buying, and also used to be for top payers to come back from injury e.g. Aaron Ramsey at Forest.

    Now they are part of the academy process. We did it last season with Armstrong at Barnsley of course – same division loan to dent rivals

  • Antenociticus

    Clubs like Chelsea and Man. City are abusing the loan system and using it to develop players as a side business to help them get around the FFP rules.

  • Anita kick up the Hoop

    He’s 100% right, I despise these loans between clubs in the same division .. they are just wrong .. the only way they should be permitted is if water tight guarantees are in place that the signing becomes permanent after a set number of games .. the FA should stipulate that 15/20 games for a loan player triggers a previously arranged signing fee. Financial fair play rules have become a laughing stock.

    • Oooh bobbi fleckman

      I think loans should be unlimited for U23 players (not within the same division) and if over 23s are permitted, there should be a cap on the numbers to say 2 per club.

      • Desree

        Bobbi I think clubs should be forced to do the opposite. 1 season max on loan then play them and develop them or cut them loose. I make reference to our own club where we simply do not give our own local talent a platform or the development to shine.
        Would adam armstrong have benefitted from 12 months of coaching with Rafa?
        Might Lewis Gibson have stayed if he knew he would only have to spend one season on loan, then the club would be forced to play him or sell him.

        • Oooh bobbi fleckman

          That’s another way of looking at it but does that punish the player? Take nufc.c out of the picture, let’s use Man City. I don’t mind them lending u23 kids out, it’s tough for them to break into a side that is better than a world cup winning nation. But, they lend out likes of Nasri knowing he will never play in City’s first team. Once it’s clear these older players are not in the squad, clubs will be forced to give up the registration and pay up contracts. CITY & Chelsea can decide not only who plays against their rivals but also decide who gets relegated if it suits them

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    This lot wouldn`t pay his salary never mind the loan fee

    • Oooh bobbi fleckman

      it’s a hypothetical scenario, not reality.

      why can’t anyone understand????

  • Burt Humperdink

    It’s weird because I agree with everything being said and yet smaller clubs do benefit from not having to pay silly money for decent players. Not to mention if we were in the top sixes position we’d do the same.

  • Steve Pearce

    There’s no way Rafa would entertain even a loan move for any player from a team managed by that miserable, disrespectful and whinging Portugese Chris Brunt. Indeed Spain and Portugal used to be mortal enemies, and during the Napoleonic wars fought against each other. The best way to settle this score is to give his team a right good thrashing at SJP and forget signing one of their players!

  • Andy Mac

    The one thing I would change about the loanees status is they should be allowed to play against the parent club. If not then its an unequal playing field when the likes of Wlshier, Bamford, Ake, Kenedy and Remy can play against every other team apart from Gooners and Chelski ?

    • Steve Smith

      It would be the answer if there wasn’t so much money involved and football wasn’t corrupt. Would you really trust a Chelsea player to put a shift in against his own club?

      • Andy Mac

        Good point but on the other hand how many Chelski loan players believe they’ll ever make it to the Bridge ? #limbo

  • Desree

    I think you should only be able to loan a player for one season maximum. Then you either play them or sell them. It would stop the ridiculous spending on bang average players. More importantly it would force clubs to develop players.
    Even Rafa is guilty of buying players and dumping them after a season. With such huge sums of money being paid it is scandalous how little due dilligence is done.
    Imagine buying a business for 75m. The amount of time and resources on due dilligence is significant. Time for football to grow up and enter the real world.

  • Haitchdee

    You should only be allowed to loan players in the premier league from abroad with a option to buy at a fixed price. You pay their wages. You should only be allowed to loan players to a lower league,The loaning team pays all their wages and insurance.