The loan move is a temporary transfer designed to change the fortunes of a player, but it does not always work out as planned.
Whether sent on loan to develop, find form, or as an audition for a potential permanent transfer, a number of loans involving Premier League clubs have failed to pan out as hoped so far this season.
Here are five loan moves that have failed to work out.
Clement Lenglet – Barcelona to Aston Villa
Clement Lenglet is in his second successive loan spell in the Premier League, with the centre-back having been deemed surplus to requirements at Barcelona. Lenglet spent last season on loan at Tottenham and made 35 appearances in all competitions, but the North Londoners turned down a permanent deal in favour of signing Micky Van de Ven.
Aston Villa swooped in to sign the central defender, but it’s been a frustrating spell for the summer arrival. Lenglet is still awaiting his first Premier League appearance for Unai Emery’s side, with Ezri Konsa, Pau Torres and Diego Carlos all ahead of the Frenchman in the pecking order.
The 28-year-old has made only five appearances in all competitions, all of which have come in the Europa Conference League.
David Datro Fofana – Chelsea to Union Berlin
Chelsea’s revolving door of players saw David Datro Fofana come in and out inside the space of six months.
The 20-year-old signed from Molde in January and made four appearances over the second half of last season, before departing in search of regular minutes during the summer. Union Berlin appeared to be a good fit for the Ivorian, having upset the odds to secure Champions League qualification last season.
All has not been well since, however. Fofana has failed to score in nine Bundesliga appearances and has netted just once in 13 games in all competitions.
In October, the forward was suspended for a week after refusing to shake the hand of manager Urs Fischer, after being substituted during the team’s Champions League defeat to Napoli. He apologised and has been reintroduced to the squad, where he will hope to end a barren run in front of goal.
After last season’s best-ever Bundesliga finish, Union Berlin are just a point above the relegation places, having lost nine consecutive games between September and November.
Arnaut Danjuma – Villarreal to Everton
It was a case of second-time lucky for Everton and Arnaut Danjuma, with the Toffees having seen their initial move to sign the winger hijacked in January. Spurs stole in to sign Danjuma last winter, but an underwhelming loan spell in North London followed.
Everton, clearly undeterred from their previous rejection, renewed their interest to sign Danjuma last summer. A cut-price option to replace the departed Anthony Gordon and Alex Iwobi, it appeared a sensible signing for the Blues.
However, after a bright start that saw Danjuma score goals against Doncaster (EFL Cup) and Sheffield United, the Dutchman has fallen out of favour. Jack Harrison’s return to fitness and Dwight McNeil’s form has restricted the former Bournemouth man to just 33 minutes of league action across Everton’s last 10 games.
Fabio Carvalho – Liverpool to RB Leipzig
Liverpool loaned out Fabio Carvalho last summer, with the 21-year-old a casualty of the club’s rebuild in midfield. Carvalho impressed in the infancy of his Liverpool career after signing from Fulham ahead of last season, but struggled for minutes during the second half of the campaign.
The arrival of Dominik Szoboszlai from RB Liepzig saw Carvalho sent in the opposite direction to fill the creative void. With Christoph Baumgartner, Lois Openda, Xavi Simons and Benjamin Sesko also recruited in attacking areas however, Carvalho has struggled to get a look in.
🚨 RB Leipzig spoke to Liverpool again as they have expressed desire to keep Fabio Carvalho and have said he’s regarded highly.
🔴↩️ Liverpool insist on his return from loan — as he’s a big part of future plans and gametime is most important, key factor for Fabio this season. pic.twitter.com/3nhoRN04BA
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) December 14, 2023
His lack of game-time, just one start and 145 minutes of action in the Bundesliga this season, has seen Liverpool open talks around recalling Carvalho from his loan spell in January. Leipzig remain keen to retain his services, but will need to up his involvement to do so.
Sofyan Amrabat – Fiorentina to Manchester United
Sofyan Amrabat has not proven to be the upgrade the Manchester United engine room needed. Amrabat’s performances for club and country last season saw the Moroccan coveted, having helped his nation to the World Cup semi-finals in Qatar, and Fiorentina to the Europa Conference League final.
Amrabat has struggled with the intensity of the Premier League on occasion, with the 27-year-old looking off the pace during defeats to Bournemouth and Bayern Munich over the past week. There have been some signs of the all-action force from last winter’s World Cup, including 11 ball recoveries in the win over Chelsea earlier this month, but those performances have been few and far between.
The midfielder lacked a pre-season and is adjusting to the demands of a new division, but better will be expected over the remainder of the campaign. At present, the £21.4m permanent option looks unlikely to be triggered.