This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Huddersfield Town winger Isaac Mbenza has joined French side Amiens on loan until the end of the season.
Mbenza, 23, joined Town on a permanent deal from Montpelier last summer after spending the 2018-19 season on loan with the club, with the ex-Belgium U21 international making six appearances this season, though he has not featured since the 1st October.
So are the Terriers making the right call to offload Mbenza?
“I think Huddersfield might come to regret this decision. Danny Cowley has seemingly exiled a few first-team players since his arrival, and unfairly so too. Mbenza has struggled since his permanent move to the club in 2019, but he remains a player of good quality and a young one at that.
“A loan-move will only insight a move away from the club and that’s not what Huddersfield want – Mbenza can still go on to achieve big things in England and the Terriers could end up losing out on a potentially good player, and all because the manager didn’t favour him at the time.
“On the other hand, he could well impress out on-loan at Amiens, and come back to Huddersfield and be a regular under Cowley. The ex-Lincoln boss though was always favourable of a select few at his former club and the case looks the same at Huddersfield – I fear this loan-move is only to boost Mbenza’s price up in time for a summer sale, so Huddersfield don’t make too much of a loss on him.
“Nevertheless, Mbenza will return to Huddersfield at the end of the season and they’ll go from there. He’s an effective, pacey attacking player and that’s something that could’ve been hugely useful to Huddersfield in their battle to stay in the Championship this year, and I just hope the decision to loan him out doesn’t come around to haunt Huddersfield.”
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“This looks to be the right move!
“Mbenza has struggled to really make much of an impact ever since his arrival at Huddersfield, and he did look to be quite some way down the pecking order at the John Smith’s Stadium.
“With that in mind, it does make sense to let him leave on loan in search of first-team opportunities, rather than keep him at the club not getting that game time, which would likely be a source of frustration for the attacker, something the Terriers will not want to lead to a distraction for the rest of the squad.
“Indeed, having recruited heavily in the January transfer window, getting an extra player such as Mbenza out of the club may be a good thing financially for Huddersfield, given it ought to reduce the amount the club is spending on wages to some extent.”
“It’s just one of those moves that hasn’t quite worked out for the player. It happens a lot when players depart to England, and he never quite got to speed with the game.
“He does have talent so I can see why the Terriers have stuck to a loan deal and not sold him permanently. Having paid an extortionate price, it doesn’t look like they’d be able to get much of that back if they were to sell him in the summer.
“Two things that Danny Cowley needs in his side is work-rate and end product. At this present moment Mbenza has neither. Maybe after a loan move he’ll come back a better and more well-rounded player.
“This is his last opportunity you feel and if he doesn’t show signs of anything during the loan the it feels as though the Terriers will sell in the summer.”