Next month brings the return of the transfer window as clubs assess their options mid-season, a chance to correct the wrongs of the summer or cast aside those deemed surplus to requirements.
Whilst clubs and fans eagerly anticipate the excitement that the transfer window can bring, there will be a number of players who will be keen to see what awaits in January following a frustrating start to the campaign.
Securing regular first-team football will be paramount for many young players currently on the fringes of Premier League sides, and we’ve decided to look at some names who could benefit from a temporary move away.
Here are five Premier League youngsters who need a January loan:
William Saliba arrived at Arsenal with a flourishing reputation from Saint-Etienne in 2019, signing in a deal worth a reported £27m before being loaned back to the French side to continue his development.
His loan spell in France proved frustrating as a combination of injuries and a curtailed season saw the defender make just 11 league starts, before returning to Arsenal during the summer with ambitions of breaking into Mikel Arteta’s side.
Those hopes have failed to materialise with the 19-year-old yet to make a senior appearance for the north London side, whilst he was left out of the club’s Europa League squad due to Arsenal’s overstocked centre-back options.
The Gunners currently have six senior options ahead of Saliba in the pecking order, in addition to the unwanted Sokratis who remains at the Emirates despite being deemed surplus to requirements.
William Saliba's 2019/20 season by numbers in Ligue 1:
❍ 12 appearances
❍ 476 passes completed
❍ 88% pass accuracy rate
❍ 35 clearances
❍ 30 aerial duels won
❍ 21 interceptions
❍ 19 tackles
❍ 6 take-ons completed
Bon Anniversaire. 🎂 pic.twitter.com/NwkbIR3Jko
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 24, 2020
Saliba will have taken note of the progress of former Saint-Etienne teammate Wesley Fofana who has thrived since being handed regular opportunities at Leicester, and will be desperate to secure first-team football to revive his faltering fortunes.
Just a little over a year ago, Fikayo Tomori was making his senior debut for England after impressing alongside a collection of academy graduates in a new-look Chelsea side under Frank Lampard.
Whilst the likes of Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham have cemented themselves as fixtures, Tomori has become somewhat of a forgotten figure for both club and country in recent months.
The 22-year-old has made just two Premier League appearances in 2020 after falling down the pecking order for the west London side, finding himself behind the likes of Thiago Silva, Kurt Zouma and Andreas Christensen at Stamford Bridge.
It’s been a frustrating period for a player who has not featured in a Premier League match-day squad since mid-October, his only starts of the campaign coming in League Cup clashes against Barnsley and Tottenham.
Lampard reportedly retains a belief that Tomori can be a part of his long-term plans with the Blues, and a loan move could be beneficial for a player whose progress has stagnated this year.
Leeds and Newcastle have been linked with the youngster and would hand Tomori an opportunity to play consistently at Premier League level, whilst Rennes have also been credited with an interest.
Another player whose rapid rise has hit a road-block over the past year, Jack Clarke burst onto the scene at Leeds during the 2018/19 campaign to earn a £10m move to Tottenham.
The winger was viewed as a player brimming with potential but was unable to force his way into the first-team at Spurs, returning to Leeds for an unsuccessful loan spell as he struggled for opportunities under Marcelo Bielsa last season.
Clarke was recalled by Spurs who sent him on another temporary stint to Queens Park Rangers, though his fortunes failed to improve and he made just 10 appearances over his two spells in the Championship.
The 20-year-old was handed his first-team debut by Jose Mourinho as a late substitute in the Europa League victory over LASK in October, though his chances of further minutes look limited and another spell away could beckon.
Finding a club that is prepared to hand Clarke an extended run of games is of huge importance for Spurs, as they look to develop a player who must convince he can play a part in their long-term future.
Reiss Nelson is amongst a number of Arsenal youngsters currently on the fringes of the first-team at the Emirates, impressing when handed opportunities in the Europa League but struggling for minutes when it comes to Premier League action.
Nelson spent last season on loan in the Bundesliga in Hoffenheim and produced some encouraging displays during his time in Germany, making 29 appearances in all competitions and scoring seven league goals.
The 21-year-old has made just two substitute appearances in the Premier League this season which have totalled just 70 minutes of action, though has scored once and provided an assist in three Europa League starts as Arsenal qualified for the knockout stages with a flawless record.
The England U21 international must be questioning whether he has a long-term future with the Gunners following Mikel Arteta’s reluctance to hand him an opportunity, Nelson remaining a peripheral figure despite the club’s worst ever start to a Premier League season and the poor form of both Willian and Nicolas Pepe.
Hertha Berlin were reportedly interested in his services during the summer and have been linked with a move to take Nelson back to the Bundesliga on loan, a sensible move for both club and player if he continues to remain on the sidelines.
Brandon Williams followed a long line of Manchester United academy graduates to make an impression in the first-team last season, making his Premier League debut as a substitute against Liverpool in October 2019 before featuring regularly for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.
The 20-year-old finished the season with 36 appearances in all competitions in a breakthrough season for the Manchester-born full-back, scoring his first senior goal in a thrilling 3-3 draw with Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.
Williams remains raw but impressed with his versatility and full-blooded commitment, featuring at both right-back and left-back throughout the course of the campaign.
The youngster’s pathway to first-team football has been blocked this season following the summer signing of Alex Telles from Porto, Williams finding himself behind the Brazil international and Luke Shaw for a position at left-back, whilst Aaron Wan-Bissaka remains a fixture on the opposite flank.
It remains to be seen whether Williams can carve out a long-term future with the Red Devils, with regular first-team football required for a player who has outgrown U23 level.
Southampton have reportedly shown an interest in signing the youngster on loan this winter, though it is difficult to see him cementing a starting position at St Mary’s given the presence of Kyle Walker-Peters and Ryan Bertrand.
Daniel James – slightly older than the player’s on this feature at 23 – is another who could benefit from leaving Old Trafford having fallen out-of-favour this term.