5 high-profile loan players – keep or let go?

With financial restrictions and regulations wreaking havoc to transfer plans across Europe in recent windows, many top clubs have relied upon the trusty old loan market to get deals over the line.

The likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester United made major loan signings in the summer transfer window, but now with the 2023/24 campaign winding down, decisions over whether or not to make those deals permanent need to be made.

And that’s where we come in.

Having assessed the performances of loanees and potential future fees needed sign the players outright, 90min has decided to lend the top clubs a helping hand with their decisions.

Man Utd, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Tottenham Hotspur: you’re welcome.

Timo WernerTimo Werner

Scored against Villa / James Gill – Danehouse/GettyImages

In his short time at Tottenham so far, Timo Werner has done exactly what was said on the tin.

He’s electric and quick, a menace in the final third, but his lack of technique and inability to remain calm under pressure outweigh his positives.

Werner is definitely worth more than the £15m purchase option in Spurs’ loan agreement with RB Leipzig, but his relative success so far should be pushing the club to sign a top-quality option in his position instead.

Keep? No

Joao FelixJoao Felix

Not worth the money / Pedro Salado/GettyImages

Joan Laporta finally got hold of his favourite footballer in the final hours of the summer transfer window.

And since then, aside from starring against the club he’s on loan for (and hates), Joao Felix hasn’t done a whole lot.

The forward has been in and out of the Barca lineup in recent weeks thanks to his so-so performances throughout his loan spell at the Catalan club. Considering the fact that he’s bagged a measly five La Liga goals and Barcelona’s precarious – to say the very least – financial situation, forking out £70m for Felix perhaps wouldn’t be the smartest move in the summer.

Keep? No

Joao CanceloJoao Cancelo

A key player for Barcelona / Alex Caparros/GettyImages

While Joao Felix has been in and out of the Barca team, Joao Cancelo has very much been in it all of the time.

Thanks to his offensive prowess, Cancelo has been a key player for Xavi Hernandez’s side throughout the 2023/24 campaign so far, making 22 La Liga starts and starting all but one of the club’s Champions League games.

At a reasonable £20m, a player of Cancelo’s quality is very, very hard to turn down.

Keep? Yes

Sofyan AmrabatSofyan Amrabat

Amrabat hasn’t impressed / Michael Regan/GettyImages

Man Utd’s summer transfer plans were seemingly dominated by trying to get a deal to sign Sofyan Amrabat over the line.

Fast forward seven months, and everyone is wondering why Man Utd even bothered.

The midfielder has barely featured under Erik ten Hag and, when he has , he hasn’t exactly impressed. Amrabat’s egregious error in the Manchester derby defeat to Manchester City recently is likely to be the death knell in his Red Devils’ career.

Keep? No

Kepa ArrizabalagaKepa Arrizabalaga

Not needed / Alex Caparros/GettyImages

Let’s face it: Real Madrid panicked when Thibaut Courtois suffered an ACL injury and decided to sign the cheapest player they could find.

That player was Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Signed on a dry loan with minuscule fee attached, Kepa didn’t do too much wrong in the early months of the 2023/24 season, but a combination of an adductor injury and Andriy Lunin’s impressive form has led to the goalkeeper becoming Madrid’s second choice since the turn of the year.

With Courtois coming back soon too, it doesn’t make a whole lot sense to keep hold of Kepa beyond the current campaign.

Keep? No


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.