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The Loan Danger

By Mike Adamson :  16/01/2008 :  Comments (31) :

I'll be the first to admitt that Steven Pienaar has made me purr this season with his relentless work rate and his excellent technique. I'll also admit that Manny Fernandes thrilled me last season with his outrageous flair and limitless potential. My final admittance, is that a couple of players we've been linked with on loan this January, namely Steve Sidwell and Daniel van Buyten, would be decent signings and could well cement our place in the top six come May, meaning another European campaign.

Happy days: a few more jollies away in Europe next season, yet more recognition for the excellent job Moyes is doing, and all is rosie in the Goodison garden.

My main concern with this situation however, is what happens over the summer months, if indeed Sidwell and Van Buyten do sign on loan (and that is a rather big if, with Portsmouth and Celtic sniffing round each respectively at the time of writing) we could face the situation of having the back bone of a team on our books temporarily, with their futures up in the air. We could have our first reserve centre half, our first choice midfield enforcer (assuming Sidwell dislodged Carsley) and two of our three main creative midfielders with their future in limbo.

If one considers the worst-case scenario, we could actually end up in a worse situation come June than we are in now. Transfer fee will be an issue with Van Buyten and Fernandes, with Bayern and Valencia probably asking for about £4 million and upwards of £8 million respectively. With Sidwell, Moyes's possible unwillingness to match his Chelsea wages, and Chelsea's possible unwillingness to sell him permanently to a team they see as an increasing threat could be a problem. Pienaar is probably the player we're most likely to secure on a permanent deal, given his positive media statements and the fact that Dortmund were willing to do without him for a whole season. However, the club which had its fingers and its pride burnt last summer over the whole Fernandes U-Turn should know that nothing is certain when it comes to making loan deals permanent.

So while I'm all for January reinforcements to keep things fresh, and am aware that loan signings offset the risk of transfer window panic buying at inflated prices, I would humbly urge caution. If the two loan signings mentioned were to arrive, or if any others joined, and they as well as Fernandes and Pienaar were to leave in the summer, then the blues position could, as already mentioned, be worse in June that it is now. This would necessitate major forays into the summer transfer market to ensure we didnt stand still, or worse, move backwards. Whether the money would be available for this with a potential new stadium to finance is open to debate.

This article is largely hyperthetical and I'm no doubt getting ahead of myself, but I would still urge Diamond Davie to balance out the appeal of short-term transfer fixes with the overall goal of long-term progression.

Reader Comments

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Michael Hunt
1   Posted 17/01/2008 at 05:14:12

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Totally agree (while acknowledging all the ifs and buts as you highlighted). A key caveat that protects us is when we have a pre agreed option to buy. When this is secured I wish the club would let us know (ideally including key details: At what price and what date the option expires).
This would not be a problem at all as if the contract is tight then no other club can gazump us. I think we have such an option of Pienaar, but don’t know about Fernandes?
This would save us supporters a whole lot of angst!
Eric Myles
2   Posted 17/01/2008 at 06:02:42

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"This would necessitate major forays into the summer transfer market to ensure we didnt stand still, or worse, move backwards. Whether the money would be available for this with a potential new stadium to finance is open to debate."

But wouldn’t we be in the same position if we wanted to buy ALL the loan players? We’d still have to find in excess of 15 million and more likely upwards of 20 million in the summer, and to pay them to sit on the beach too!
AND we’d still only be standing still.
John Lloyd
3   Posted 17/01/2008 at 08:12:37

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I see your points, and in some cases I agree but I dont think you’ve thought of the pluses of loans....for example imagine we had paid a fee for Tommy Grav, even on a free we would of been fucked with that one.

I think DM is one of the best exponents of Loan deals in the premier league (along with Harry Redknapp) and after getting his fingers burnt with players in the past (Koldrup deffo + possibly Beattie & Wright) he aims to only pay a fee when he is 100% sure, sometimes more haha!! As for the point of letting supporters know whether we have buy-option price as part of loan, he should keep that as close to chest as possible IMO as he should with all possible tansfer & out. Us fans will speculate anyway, we love it, but the club should conduct thier business as quiet & proper as possible, again IMO
Mike Adamson
4   Posted 17/01/2008 at 08:41:46

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Fair point Eric, I think the point I was trying to make in that sense was that it would effectively mean entering the market twice: once for your loan players, and once again for your permanent players. Perhaps it might be a bit difficult to carry on finding players of equivalent quality twice a season.
Dan Mckie
5   Posted 17/01/2008 at 08:50:52

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As long as you have an agreed fee as part of the loan deal then your ok, we didnt have that last season with Manny because of the 3rd party and the fact it was a bit of a rush job. I think Moyes will have learnt from that like he seems to have done with Pienaar and the 2nd loan for Fernandes!
Andy Ellams
6   Posted 17/01/2008 at 08:55:43

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You could argue that January is a time for bolstering the squad for that final push, so a couple of loan deals just to strenghten a creaking squad is a good idea, then do the real business in the summer for the new season.
Mike Adamson
7   Posted 17/01/2008 at 09:17:53

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Totally agree with you Andy that it is obviously an excellent way of strengtherning for a final push.
My only concern is that if you can’t replace your short term players over the Summer Transfer Window, then you could possibly end up in a false position and could struggle the season after as a result.
Andy Ellams
8   Posted 17/01/2008 at 09:28:21

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I suppose the answer to that Mike is, as mentioned previously, to have an option to buy clause added to the loan deal. This also prevents the selling club from raising the price should the player shine as I think could well have happened in the case of Steven Pienaar this season. I also believe that January loan deals are best used for squad strengthening rather than bringing in first eleven players. That could cause problems in the summer.
Stefan Tosev
9   Posted 17/01/2008 at 09:23:38

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Sorry Mike but I cant see anything that make sense in this article. FM pure -if,maybe,would - complete nonsense.

You presume that we will sign Sidwell, than he will dislodge Carsley, than DM wont want to buy him ?!? ridiculous.

Same with Buyten;he will come;be our back up DC (what about Jag and Stubbs)and we wont be able to afford him and then will find ourselves in position when the back bone of a team on our books .

Excuse me but when have we signed these players, when turned they into first teamers and made impact ?!?

Crazy stuff
Paul Lenehan
10   Posted 17/01/2008 at 10:05:35

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I now what you are saying, but if you are thinking this im pretty sure Moyes will be thinking the same. I would be amazed if Moyes has not already thought about the summer and the club will have to have done financial projections. My point is I don’t see Moyes doing any business without thinking about the long term consequences of such business.
Mike Adamson
11   Posted 17/01/2008 at 10:10:48

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Stefan, if you look at the last paragraph of the article, I aknowledge that I am hypothesising a great deal and admitt to getting ahead of myself.

I merely used Sidwell and Van Buyten as extreme examples of the dangers of becomming too over-reliant on loan deals, because they are two players we’re supposedly interested in taking on loan.
Stefan Tosev
12   Posted 17/01/2008 at 10:21:33

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Mike we have 3 players on loan - Gravesen - gone in the summer; Pienaar -he will be signed for sure and Fernandes -only his situatition is in limbo, he has to prove himself to DM and Goodison faithful and justify his price tag.

Thats it - very settled squad with one player eager to prove his worth; for me everything else is FM pure
Mike Adamson
13   Posted 17/01/2008 at 10:43:13

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Stefan Im going to leave this one hear as your clearly missing my point, which was that if we sign any more players on loan, we risk becomming over-reliant on players who won’t definitely be here next summer.
Stefan Tosev
14   Posted 17/01/2008 at 11:13:16

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I take your point lets leave it like that and discuss it in the summer

Mike Adamson
15   Posted 17/01/2008 at 11:21:12

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Agreed. Looking forward to it!
Paul Whitehouse
16   Posted 17/01/2008 at 12:05:12

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Don’t we have a 20 mill summer transfer budget. Surely that will be enough to secure Manny and 1 other?

We need reinforcements now
Jack Calvert
17   Posted 17/01/2008 at 12:29:01

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It is not as worrying as is being made out. Again being HYPOTHETICAL and not FM OBSESSED - what if your scenario plays out but in the summer the likes of Gosling, Rodwell, Kissock and Baxter all break through into our first team? Surely then the loan system becomes the stop-gap to give young players time to break through not at the expense of their careers by big name signings?
Again hypothetical we have no idea how these young players will turn out
Gavin Ramejkis
18   Posted 17/01/2008 at 20:26:24

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I cant remember the exact source but remember when; it was the time we got Yobo on loan that Everton as a club started the precedent of EPL teams loaning with a view to signing on a good showing from the player, other clubs have since followed suit, a loan offers less of a risk than a straight buy for a lemon but also gives rise to potential vultures taking the catch at the last moment but given that contracts these days are worthless and the vermin that are agents will arrange moves no matter what then to me this still offers the best attangement for unknown or potential players for the club, I?m happy to keep this way for now as we aren?t the club to waste millions on another Beattie.
John Charles
19   Posted 17/01/2008 at 22:10:42

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Everton have a £2.5M option with Dortmund to buy Pienaar.... it's as good as a done deal.
Dave Southword
20   Posted 17/01/2008 at 22:26:10

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There is not a single, solitary fact in this article to hang any arguments on. In fact, it seems you are worried about hanging onto 2 loan players we haven’t even got in on loan yet.
Tommy Jones
21   Posted 17/01/2008 at 22:30:31

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Your analysis is very good as you have thought ahead to next summer. The point you made about Davie Moyes, to me, is the most uncelibrated thing obout our club.

The man is OUTSTANDING and in my book has made a silk purse out of the proverbial ear with no/hardly any dosh. We should be hailing him at every game.

As for your " I hope we finish in the top six" point...I am hoping for number one!

Nil satis nisi optimum.
Andy MacFarlane
22   Posted 17/01/2008 at 22:28:34

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Totally agree with Gavin. Hopefully the (in my opinion unfair) "Dithering Davey" label may in due course be replaced by "Prudent Davey", as I think Moyesey is getting better at these deals as his experience grows. The greatest trick of all (if we can repeatedly pull it off) is getting a loan agreement with a "maximum" fixed fee option if we decide to but at the end of the loan deal. That, if I interpret it correctly, is the basis of the Piennar deal. We know from the outset the maximum we might have to pay to convert the loan to a transfer, and can budget accordingly. That takes the "vermin agents" out of the equation (or at least puts them on the back foot)
Steve Rewth
23   Posted 17/01/2008 at 23:10:02

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If if if .... you can play hypothicals all you want and worry that the sky will fall in. Reality is that Moyes seems rather adept at playing the loans game. We "lost" Fernandes essentially coz of his complicated ownership. We got Pienaar and Graveson again on loan and at short notice. Good business as it turns out as one is the real deal the other a dud. One we can take on approval for what looks like bargain the other we return to Celtic - thanks but no thanks Mr Strachan - and no financial millstone. Fernandes is on loan again - good business - and hope he does as well again to become another summer signing. IF we were to get Sidwell he’d provide additional cover for the absent Pienaar and injured Osman. If we can’t or don’t wont to make that deal permanent we revert to what we started with but will have strengthened our squad at a time when otherwise depleted by ACN and when the going gets tough fixtures and fitness-wise. This will hopefully help us maintain our good run and a top 5 finish and all without putting ourselves in hock. Moyes my have found a way for us to mount serious challenge for the top places without having to sell out to some dubious foreign investors (the shyte aren’t loking so smug anymore). So whats the problem here???
Hugh Jenkins
24   Posted 18/01/2008 at 00:33:35

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Moyes will have been here 6 years in March.

TO my knowledge, everytime he’s taken a player on loan, he’s agreed a signing fee at the end of the loan period befoore hand.

Given this track record, why does everyone think it will be different this time?

To me , his formula is simple.

Player becomes available.

DM speakes to chairman - says - I want this guy - on loan.
If he’s any good - I want to buy him at the end of the season.

The loan deal will cost - £??/

The end of season cost will be £???

Can i go for it?

If BK says yes - we go - if we ge tthe guy and he proves himslef - come the end of season - we exercise our option.

If BK says no - we don’t go for the guy in the first place.

If BK says yes - and the guy turns out to be crap - we don’t exercise the option.

It’s worked so far- and we re on the up!!!

Jason Lam
25   Posted 18/01/2008 at 07:00:30

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Agree with John Lloyd and Hugh Jenkins. I think it’s called ’probation’ for the common folk in us. If they turn out to be good, playing the Everton way, then yes let’s try to sign them up permanently. But unlike us commoners we can’t just fire their arse if they turn out to be like, say, VdM.

Permanent jobs don’t mean anything anyway. Didn’t we have Rooney on the books? I suggest we enjoy the moment. There will always be change and Moyes’ doing a superb job of managing it. My 2pence’s worth.
Paul Momber
26   Posted 18/01/2008 at 10:13:21

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I don’t think you are allowed that many loan players at one time are you.
Ben Howard
27   Posted 18/01/2008 at 11:10:55

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I think there’s a limit on domestic loans signings Paul. Something like maximum of 3 players on loan from another club from the same league? At present we don’t have any players on loan from the EPL.
John Pickles
28   Posted 18/01/2008 at 13:34:28

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Whilst I agree DM is playing the ?try before you buy? card very well it only guarantees the kind of performances a player is CAPABLE of. Should we get Manny permanently, we don?t know how he will play thereafter. So far his record is SIGNED for Benfica - they weren?t happy with his contribution , loan Pompey - excellent, loan EFC - excellent, SIGNED Valencia - weren?t happy with him. It?s possible he only performs when he?s in the shop window, something we won?t find out until / if he or anyone else signs.
Conor Denneny
29   Posted 18/01/2008 at 16:13:09

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Anyone know how many loan signings can Everton make in 1 season? We already have Tommy G, Pienear and Manny.
Ben Howard
30   Posted 18/01/2008 at 16:42:42

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See my comment above Conor.

John, I take your point yet we won’t know whether he just plays well in order to get a better move until the summer - let’s worry about that then.

The common factor in his failed permanent transfers to Benfica and Valencia was Ronald Koeman, who has upset many players throughout his short management career. I think a personality clash between the two could well be the reason.

Alan Irvine said that he was the model professional when he was here last time around. Let’s hope he shows what he’s capable of, falls in love with the crowd, and becomes our player in the summer.
David Haimes
31   Posted 18/01/2008 at 17:17:15

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I don?t think we should be too concerned - Yobo and Arteta were great examples of loan signings we made permenant, Manny deal did go sour, but he?s ended up back here too.

The fact is if the team is doing well and the signs for the upcoming season are good, then a player wil want to be a part of that. If we are an attractive club the deal will get done, because the player won?t want to go anywhere else and that puts us in a strong negotiating position - we?ve pulled in a few quid from the McFadden deal and finishing high in the league will also mean several million more prize money. If we can?t afford all of them - then Moyes will find another gem or two on loan again :)

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