The Birmingham Mail have reported that Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce has extolled the virtues of the loan market for clubs in the second tier.
Former Hull City manager Bruce has also revealed that he has been in the market for a number of Premier League loanees, but has so far been rebuffed – with the exception of Manchester United goalkeeper Sam Johnstone, who has returned to the club on a season long loan deal, following a successful stint with the club in the second half of last season.
Bruce says this is because top flight clubs want to see how their young prospects get on in the Premier League, before deciding whether they can make the grade.
Bruce has lost out to Premier League clubs West Ham United, Crystal Palace and Swansea City, as well as newly-promoted Premier League debutantes Brighton and Hove Albion and Huddersfield Town – with the former Wigan boss interested in the signatures of Joe Hart, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Tammy Abraham, Izzy Brown and Aaron Mooy, but ultimately losing out.
Bruce also went on to say that the loan market can be a really valuable resource for clubs in Villa’s position, and cited his own Hull City sides, as well as David Wagner’s impressive Terriers side, as two examples of clubs who have utilised the loan market to their advantage.
“One or two loan options is always a key,” Bruce explained. ““When I was Hull, we used the loan market very well and even last year we saw how David Wagner at Huddersfield used it well. [Huddersfield] had two, three, four players and it helped them a lot.”
Bruce is absolutely right – the loan market can be perfect for promotion-chasing Championship clubs. It is a source of talented, hungry, often young players, with no real risk involved and can provide a real low-cost boost to squads who require a variety of different attributes in order to win out through the long and arduous second tier season.
With top clubs stockpiling players like never before, it is only right that the youngsters are afforded gametime, rather than being sat on a Premier League bench, or in an Under 21 side.
However, like Bruce rightly noted, if you are trying to hone a player for the Premier League, it makes sense to give him gametime within that league – therefore, the former Wigan boss might have his work cut out if he is to secure cut-price additions of the right quality to aid Villa’s promotion push.
Villa fans – do you want to see some loan arrivals or would you rather have players on a full time basis? Let us know in the comments below…