The loan deal has long been an afterthought in the frenzy of the European transfer window, and in the past, these deals have been struck mainly to get a young prospect some playing time in a new environment, or in other cases to help a player regain his form in hopes he can returning to his parent club.
However, the advent of financial fair play has somewhat altered the significance of the loan deal, and owners are increasingly looking for ways to improve their team in the short term without significantly raising costs. This increased effort to find the best value has led to players on loan having an important role in the domestic fortunes of the clubs they are being borrowed by, and in turn these moves are having a sizable impact this season on some of Europe’s domestic title races.
Below are five loan deals that are currently having the most significant impact on the European football landscape. Keep in mind that the impact of these players comes in various forms, and at times some of these loanees have struggled, but overall these are players who either already have or will begin to play a leading role in fulfilling their club’s objectives this season.
1. Loic Remy, forward, Newcastle via Queens Park Rangers
No loan deal has brought more value this season than Loic Remy’s move from current Championship team QPR to fringe European contenders Newcastle. The Magpies are Remy’s third team in the span of 18 months after leaving Marseille in January 2013, and the French striker is breaking out under the guidance of Newcastle manager Alan Pardew. Remy is tied for fifth in the Premier League with 12 goals, and with an improved supporting cast his presence in the attack has improved dramatically since his nomadic 2012-13 season between Marseille and QPR.