The loan deal involving Eddie Nketiah to Leeds United is a good illustration that loan deals are not always the perfect answer for emerging talent to develop and hone their skills elsewhere.
The player and the club entered into the deal thinking that a full season in the championship would give the forward valuable experience, but its subsequently turned out to be a mirage of an idea, with Arsenal on the verge of pulling the plug to send Nketiah elsewhere.
In terms of players coming into the club by the same method, you don’t have to look too far back to note that Arsenal’s track record is quite poor.
Dennis Suarez was a complete waste of time and money. The hype was that Suarez and Emery had an understanding and mutual appreciation, but the Spanish coach soon realised the loan deal was ill advised. No goals, no assists and limited appearances underlined a disastrous indulgence that made absolutely no difference to Arsenal’s season or the eventual outcome.
If Suarez was a mistake, the purchase of Kim Kallstrom was far worse. Kallstrom arrived at the club in the second half of the 2013/14 campaign, but he suffered a back injury before the ink on the contract had dried. He wasn’t even there for an entire season and only made four appearances in total. Not Wenger’s finest hour.
On a slightly brighter note, Dani Ceballos, has had a fairly impressive start to his loan spell at Arsenal from Real Madrid but at the end of it, there are no guarantees that extend his stay or that he will take up a position in the Spanish club’s midfield.
Mesut Ozil may be the next to be loaned out after two disastrous seasons under Unai Emery. Rumour has it that Fenerbahce, Inter Milan and AC Milan are interested, but it may be a poisonous deal meaning that the North London club will be liable for the majority of his wages.
Yet, it seems Arsenal’s hierarchy are happy to facilitate a move at any price, in the hope of ending a saga that has become deeply embarrassing for both parties.
Surely the worst ever loan deal belongs to Sunderland, who bought in Ricardo Alvarez on loan from Internazionale in the 2014/15 season. The agreement included an option to buy if the Black Cats avoided relegation and at the time, it seemed as a pretty reasonable deal but Alvarez was plagued by injury that season and made just 13 appearances before he was sent packing, back to his parent club.
Inter took Sunderland to court as they enforced the purchase and they were subsequently forced to pay €10.5m, but worse was to follow. Alvarez, successfully sued Sunderland over their contractual obligations and managed to swindle them out of a further £4.198m.
Having already invested heavily in the injury prone Argentinian, they then cut their loses and released him on a free, just to see the back of him.
Sunderland have since responded by suing the club doctor at the time, Ishtiaq Rehman, for a hefty £13,182,647 and 93p.
Who knows what the 93p is for but this triangle of ugly litigation serves to show how complicated a loan deal can become, not to mention the financial implications.
Sunderland claim that Rehman didn’t attend Alvarez’s medical and that he sent four specialists in his place whilst away with the first team.
Due to concerns over the player’s recurring knee injuries, one of the four was an expert in this field but later, Rehman expressed no concerns and the deal went through.
Arsenal be warned ! The loan market is a minefield, yet perhaps their biggest problem at present is how to rid themselves of Mesut Ozil’s wage bill.
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