Lukaku and the Loan System – Martin Samuel



…From my angle, I’m happy that he’s scoring goals against our direct rivals, and he doesn’t score against us because he can’t,’ said Jose Mourinho of Romelu Lukaku. ‘It’s phenomenal you have a player that, even when he is not playing for you, is scoring against your opponents.’

Indeed it is. Phenomenal, outrageous, diabolical, the choice is yours really.

The corrupting force of the loan system is always with us, but it takes a plain speaker like Mourinho to put it inadvertently into perspective. In essence, a club like Chelsea can stockpile talented individuals and distribute them to other clubs to act as special agents.

… They are no mugs, as Lukaku has proved with eight Premier League goals already this season, a total that placed him behind only Sergio Aguero, Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez, coming out of Saturday’s 4-0 win over Stoke City.

…Everton are breaking no rules, neither are Chelsea, but that is hardly the point. There should be rules, there should be limitations.

To advocate the abolition of the loan system is a losing battle these days — but there are measures that can be taken to ensure a clean fight.

The rules that prevent Lukaku turning out against Chelsea, but leave him free to damage their rivals, were introduced to prevent gentlemen’s agreements taking place on a nod and a wink basis between managers and chairmen.

Manchester United and Everton entered one over Tim Howard, the goalkeeper who moved to Goodison Park permanently in 2007 on the condition he did not turn out against his former club that season.

At the same time it was revealed that Sheffield United had a good thing going with Watford over Steve Kabba.

… Instead of reforming the loan system, however, all the league did was make gentlemen’s agreements official. It no longer required a cosy agreement behind closed doors; the Premier League removed the player from the fixture against his true owners, by law.

And now it is open season. A manager such as Mourinho can plant his agents at clubs across the Premier League, knowing they will be strong enough to form a vital component of that team, but missing when Chelsea come to town.

Everton will be below strength, minus Lukaku, at Stamford Bridge just as they were when Chelsea went north in September. Justice was done that day with an Everton victory, but Chelsea’s 21-goal attempts to Everton’s 10 suggest the scoreline does not tell the whole story of Lukaku’s absence.


So what could be done here? Well, scrapping the rule that states a loaned player cannot turn out against his former club would be a start. And how to then prevent covert deals being struck?

One option would be to introduce a sanction that if a player does not turn out against his club of ownership — subject to independent medical examination, obviously — he cannot then play in the next two league matches. That should be a significant deterrent.

Source: Daily Mail 

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3 Comments on “Lukaku and the Loan System – Martin Samuel”

  1. sanky December 3, 2013 at 4:45 am #

    If the rule of a loaned player to be played against the parent club is implemented, most of the loaned players will remain in bench in the parent club or in sub par clubs where they will not be able to showcase their talent completely. Do you want that to happen?

    • Omer December 3, 2013 at 7:32 am #

      Well if the player really wants to play he can move out of that club on a permanent basis or not sign for them in the first place.

      yeah I agree that some players will not get a transfer however if a club will have to weigh if sending Player A on loan for 38 matches is worth it vs. no loan hence no game timebut he doesnt play against you either.

      Perhaps the next step will be clubs can dictate which matches Player A can play or not. So Chelsea could force him to rest vs. a weaker team in GW 13 so that we he plays Man U in GW 14 he is completely rested.?

      • sanky December 4, 2013 at 3:14 am #


        There are many instances when clubs have an upper hand over the players. So, players really can’t make all decisions.

        Your second point sounds acceptable. If implemented, even clubs will start considering the option.

        Your final point is an interesting imagination. But, think once more whether loans will happen in such a scenario. Clubs will not take players on loan.

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