I think I’m more open to using the loan market this year than I have been in any other year down here. Reason being that the alternative is to sign free agents to occupy your backup positions, and we’ve proven that the success rate of players from that particular pool isn’t great - I still haven’t forgotten about Callum McFadzean, Danny Graham and Remi Matthews.
It’s less of a burden and less of a risk, therefore, to sign players on loan from Premier League and Championship clus that are ready to come to a club like ours to prove themselves, like Dion Sanderson last season, for instance.
If they’re successful, great - we get a top player and don’t pay anything for them.
If they’re crap, well... you send them back without any real burden. See: Jake Vokins.
Seems pretty straightforward to me. Concentrate your resources on paying decent fees and wages to buy better players in key positions, and back them up with your best U23s and loanees from clubs in the top division.
Tom Albrighton says...
Using the loan market should be high on the agenda of Sunderland this coming season. With a large ’rebuild’ in the offing and a strong desire to move the club forward and up the divisions, making use of the loan market could be crucial.
As shown by Lincoln and Blackpool last season, there is no shame in utilising the market to improve your squad with players you couldn’t otherwise afford or would be reluctant to gamble on.
Ultimately, fans may disagree but if the grand plan is to come to fruition, labouring ourselves with 3 or 4 players who we may not be able to sell/be good enough for the league above eats away at valuable resources, as well as squad places. Without the commitment of long term signings, this also offers Sunderland a chance to look into signings in more depth, as well as use funds to strengthen elsewhere where needed.
Although the inevitable heartbreak of a loan signing leaving stings, if Sunderland were to be promoted, the chances of making any loan signing permanent also increases.
In a world of financial instability, tapping into the loan market makes complete sense.
Will Jones says...
I feel the loan market can be used in multiple ways, however, I feel this is a big cause of this ‘stagnant’ market LJ refers to due to the big clubs waiting for their players to come back from their delayed holiday.
I believe the loan market is essential in this league. Lincoln showed how well it can be utilised, and so did Doncaster in the earlier parts of the season.
There will be many players looking for game time and looking for development before they try and hit the big time and to be able to have some of them in the squad to help us even if it be just for a year can work wonders.
A way we could use this market is essentially test players out. Instead of buying players, we can take players on loan with a view to a buy. Like we did with Max Power. This would allow us to take him with no obligation to pay any cash and if they fit into the squad, we pay the cash needed.
With the championship in need to drop wages, this could be a win-win. Taking young and/or fringe players from them and giving them a reason to push themselves and thrive. I believe this area of the market can really be exploited as teams who don’t want them may just need the wages off the books while they get back on their feet, and with a potential option to buy may just show we have some commitment to helping their cause with cash.