Talking Point: Ipswich 14-14 Watford
There's been a lot of talk from all sides about our loanees, and I've penned my thoughts on them HERE, but this week I want to look at it from a different angle.
Last night the Hornets overcame Ipswich Town 2-0 at Portman Road. Of course Ipswich fans immediately took to Twitter to join the 'Udinese Reserves' bandwagon, but have they looked closer to home at all?
Town have themselves been prolific users of the loan market this season, bringing in a whopping 14 players on loan over the duration of the campaign.
Here they are in all their glory:
Massimo Luongo (Spurs), Guirane N'Daw (St. Etienne), Daryl Murphy (Celtic), Danny Higginbotham (Stoke City), Richie Wellens (Leicester City), DJ Campbell (QPR), Bilel Mohsni (Southend United), Tyrone Barnett (Peterborough United), Bradley Orr (Blackburn Rovers), Patrick Kisnorbo (Leeds United), David McGoldrick (Nottingham Forest), Aaron Mclean (Hull City), Richard Stearman (Wolves) & Stephen Henderson (West Ham United).
Of course, there's nothing wrong with that - we've had exactly the same number of loanees ourselves afterall.
However, Fernando Forestieri has signed permanently, and all being well, those who have shown they are up to the requisite standard will follow.
Of the 14 players loaned to Ipswich this season, a number have already returned to their parent clubs - Higginbotham, Wellens, Campbell, Mohsni, Barnett and Orr for example.
What kind of stability does that create? Absolutely none if you ask me.
So which of these models is most beneficial to the clubs involved - the one where the player comes in for three months does well and moves on, or the one where they come in for 12 months do well and sign?
I know which I'd rather have in operation at my club.
Now this might all sound a bit hypocritical, and in truth, it probably is. Watford had a rich tapestry of loanees before the Pozzo family bought the club. The likes of Ben Foster, Tom Cleverley, Michael Kightly, Tomasz Kuszczak, Chris Eagles, Henri Lansbury, Jordon Mutch & others all spending time on loan.
Short-term loans are a vital component at many Football League clubs - especially those who operate under tight financial circumstances. Where would we have been over recent seasons without our loanees? League One perhaps.
However, when all is said and done, Watford are utilising a 'try before you buy' policy this season. Ipswich are modelling the 'it's not my size, I don't really like it but it's 75 per cent off' model.
Again I ask, which is worse for English football? Football League - there has to be an overhaul of the loan system, but don't just look at foreign loans, I implore you to address every aspect of the current out-dated system.